Dartmouth College

13 Essays That Got In to Dartmouth

Updated for the 2024-2025 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: “Be yourself,” Oscar Wilde advised. “Everyone else is taken.” Introduce yourself.

I won’t be able to hide my weird forever, so here goes… I'm the kind of person who finds joy in the unconventional.

Take my childhood Saturdays, for instance. They were less about the hustle of the farmer's market and more about the joy of discovering how to eat summer strawberries: In WHOLE, leaves and all.

Weird, right? But that's me, always curious, always questioning the “why not” in life's small moments. (FYI: strawberry leaves rock)

I've carried this trait of embracing the unconventional into my passion for bassoon and fencing as well. I rarely find others who can relate.

Indeed, everyone I know tends to follow more conventional, popular sports. My closest friends, who seem to know every single football and basketball player alive, couldn’t tell you a single thing about fencing. They have legitimately asked me if my fencing blades are sharp enough to kill.

They’re not. This isn’t the Middle Ages.

As a bassoonist, I also deviate from the norm. As if the instrument itself wasn’t unusual enough, I’ve found my passion playing outside the traditional classical genre in the chaotic rhythms of jazz. Locking myself into the narrow road of classical music just seemed too limiting.

Following Wilde's counsel less as a mantra and more as a quiet acknowledgment, I find contentment in my unique blend of interests. Whether it's the unconventional crunch of strawberry leaves or the offbeat rhythms of jazz bassoon, each step I take is a testament to the joy of being myself.

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Essay by Zach Piesner

4/5 HYPSM Admit | Asian Male @ Harvard!

Prompt: What excites you?

Whenever my mom describes me, excitable is the first word she uses. Which I always thought was strange, why not funny, adventurous, or passionate? But, without fail or hesitation, she says that I am excitable. She’s not wrong, though. There is a seemingly never ending list of subjects that excite me. So my answer to “what excites you?” could’ve been sustainable land usage or 70s soft rock or camping or high-speed railway systems or film photography. But, as I reflected on the past few years, I realized that cinema has been the center of my most exciting conversations and experiences. There is something about the chaotic, love-filled action sequences in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and the vast visuals of Dune, and the quiet, intimate moments in The Power of the Dog that excites me to no end. And it’s this excitement that inspired me to write a film studies-based research paper.

Over the course of six months, I wrote 25 pages of original research about the impact of female perspectives on male-centered filmmaking. Through this opportunity, I studied the portrayal of female and male characters and their emotions, and how they shifted based off of the gendered perspectives represented in the filmmaking process. Despite the struggles of conducting research and the frequent moments of doubt, this experience deepened my love and understanding of cinema. So the movies are more exciting than ever, especially with my newly-honed analytical skills (although my friends are often annoyed by my mid-movie interpretations).

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Essay by Colleen Bailey

Hey! I play soccer, take photos on film, and explore the outdoors (among other things)!

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