Dartmouth College

11 Essays That Got In to Dartmouth

Updated for the 2023-2024 admissions cycle.

About Dartmouth

Located in the cozy, bucolic town of Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is an Ivy League institution known for its small, personal setting. On the school’s expansive, rolling green campus, students are given an unparalleled education that emphasizes a culture of inquiry and hands-on learning. The College's unique programs and robust alumni network are clear signs of its dedication to leadership development. Students also benefit from Dartmouth’s distinctive D Plan: a program that allows students to customize their academic schedules and take advantage of internships during the fall, winter, or spring. Ultimately, Dartmouth gives its students the chance to push themselves and broaden their perspectives in a stunning natural environment.

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Hanover, NH

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Real Essays from Dartmouth Admits

Prompt: While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, delivered this memorable line: “It is, sir,…a small college, and yet there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2025, what aspects of the College’s program, community, or campus environment attract your interest? Why Dartmouth?

The most important thing I’ve learned in school so far is the value of community, so Dartmouth really brings me home. Its dedication to collaboration and expression through interaction and community work together to create a culture where I can feel inspired to understand global health and improve our communities. Academically, Dartmouth will support my interdisciplinary interests through classes like The Practice of Science Policy & Diplomacy that allow me to study broadly. I also imagine myself involved with the Dartmouth Student Mental Health Union to empower my community for positive mental health, and organizing with the Dartmouth Asian Organization.

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Essay by Aileen Luo

former academic weapon, current hot mess (health equity & social medicine focused pre-med).

Prompt: What excites you?

My orchestra in Boston is like a flock of flying geese, circling back whenever someone makes a mistake and moving toward our shared destination. With the conductor at the forefront of the V, we are one hundred independent geese paying rapt attention to each other so we can fly together harmoniously. Every Saturday when I see New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall with its tall glass windows, I walk faster in anticipation to join my flock inside as if I were coming home. Before rehearsal and during breaks we chat and laugh about topics ranging from Tchaikovsky to chai tea. Our strong connections arise from communicating in a language deeper than words during rehearsal. When we play, our charged moments of eye contact to coordinate entrances and the smiles we give to each other when we finish a solo are magical. In one of my flute solos I remember crafting my interpretation in the moment. The freedom made me feel like a flying bird, yet I was in a comforting flock supporting my interpretation. I realized orchestra provides a rare balance between freedom and support. If we have too much freedom, it is hard to synchronize the parts, but if we conform exactly to everyone else, the music feels restricted and lifeless. This balance is why I feel so emotionally connected to orchestra, willing to spend seven hours traveling every Saturday to go to rehearsal. I am a free-thinking explorer, whether in my academic interests, political beliefs, artistic preferences, or any other area of my life. Yet I always look for a nurturing community to belong to, whether it is an orchestra, study group, volunteer group, or college. When I find a community with this rare balance, the excitement drives me to push boundaries and bring others with me.

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Essay by Sophie

Entrepreneurial, multicultural app developer, flutist, pianist, and origami artist

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