|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 09:03 pm: Edit|
I currently attend Dartmouth College (class of 2006). I stumbled on this website and have been both scared, shocked and appalled by things I've read. Specifically, this post: http://www.collegeconfidential.com/discus/messages/8/13694.html by ‘badsatscore’. I thought I was stressed when I applied to schools my senior year but I just don't believe what's been posted. I'm writing here in the hope that I can share the knowledge that I have, about the college application process, about Dartmouth, and about other specific colleges and maybe, maybe, decrease the level of stress that some of you must be feeling as you approach the 'season' of applications starting in the fall. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
I know people have short Attention Spans, so here’s a quick summary of what I’m about to say:
Dartmouth is better than “x” College because:
-No classes are taught by TA’s (unlike Harvard or yale). The College exists for YOU, the freshman who is not positive what she is going to major in, not some prof or grad student.
-It has a unique sense of community unlike any other ivy league or USN&WR top 25.
-It has thousands of acres of land to play on and is more beautiful than Harvard or Yale. (Pollution? Inner city Crime? Are you joking?)
-It is a great academic institution with a legacy of amazing faculty and students, on par with any in the world.
Dartmouth is good/bad (depending on how you look at it) because:
-It lacks the prentention of Harvard, Yale or Princeton (I was once asked “Dartmouth, is that in florida?”). If you want to rely on image you wont find it here. It does have a strong alumni network – we support our own, we just don’t blow our own horns.
-It has fraternities, sororities and co-ed houses, 60% of upperclassmen are in one (NO frosh allowed to be members).
-It is not in New York. It is in Hanover. Hanover does not have nightclubs, opera or tons of taxis. It has Chi Gam Dance Parties (A.k.A. ‘DJ and Kegs’).
-1/4 of the student body plays a varsity or competitive club sport.
-1/4 of the student body is in the Dartmouth Outdoors Club. We like sports and the outdoors. A lot.
Dartmouth is bad because:
They tried to cut the swim team. Don’t worry, the student body didn’t let them.
I can’t really think of anything else negative.
I guess some Harvard hopeful will probably post some number about admissions yield here, at which point I can only refer them to my above comment about pretention. Who cares if your classmates have an average of 10 more SAT points than mine do? That’s one question right or wrong, and it tells prospective students nothing about Quality, which we have in abundance.
"It is a small College, and yet there are those who love it." Daniel Webster's quote, inscribed on the walls in the Thayer Dining Hall, sums up Dartmouth for me. Let's examine it closely.
Dartmouth is small. It has around 4500 undergraduates, the majority of which live on campus. It is in a small town, which has a few small clothing stores, a gas station, bookstores and 9 restaurants. The campus is not terribly large (Stanford's dwarfs it). None of those reasons, however, explain why it is small.
It is small because it is a College. Dartmouth does not have graduate students. Dartmouth has three professional schools, very highly rated, (Tuck Business, Thayer Engineering and the Medical School), which are located on the outskirts of the campus and THEY have small enrollments of grad students. They do not teach your classes and are regarded as mythical creatures like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy - rumors and whispers are all that I know of them.
What does this mean for you, in the class of 2008, 2009 (shudder, you're already reading this), and beyond (double shudder)? Unlike every other Ivy League School, and most other US News Top 25 (what a ranking, but apparently people actually use it so i'll reference it here) schools, Professors come to Dartmouth with the understanding and desire to teach undergraduates, not to publish papers surrounded by a horde of graduate students. It is true that every class at dartmouth is taught by a professor. What that MEANS is that your professors are intimately available to you, that the limit to your interaction with them is decided BY YOU and you alone. There are no wizened greats who sit behind their desks for the majority of the day only to drag themselves in front of 200 confused freshman for a few hours, and then toil back up the stairs to finish the next paper. There are only professors who are willing to make you greater than they ever were.
It is in upstate New Hampshire. You cannot take the T into Boston, drive into Philly, take the subway into New York or expect to be in a metropolis in 10 minutes (unless you count Lebanon, NH as a metropolis). Don't get me wrong - you can drive to boston in two hours (or less if you don't value your life), for a weekend or even a single evening. I've done it and it's great. But 95% of the time I don't. What does this mean for students? It means that Dartmouth is a community. It means that though there are many people on campus who i don't know and will never meet, I run into someone I know on the way to every class, be it a roommate's ex-hookup or my best friend. Community is a great feeling - you can be part of something larger than yourself that you are proud of. It represents shared values, shared experiences, a refusal to be impersonal and cold.
Speaking of cold, I should note (for all of us on the west coast) there are seasons. The leaves turn in the fall (people come from all across the country to watch it). In the winter, it does get cold here (the low this year was around -40 at night, -20 during the day). In the spring it is often still cold through early april, but it warms and over the summer it is often humid. The cold, though it may be intimidating, is just a different frame of mind. Get a good jacket, gloves, scarf, and a hat. You'll make it.
Speaking of jackets, I lost mine during an 80's rock party at Psi U fraternity in mid february. February in hanover is cold and being jacketless is bad. I was lazy, however, and didn't trek over there until the next friday. When I did take a look I was amazed to see it was in a lost and found bin. Kindergarten, not a fraternity, is most often associated with lost-and-found. Maybe that's community. It’s not surprising to me that community is composed of fraternity and sororities, even if the College administration tries to downplay their role.
Fraternity: a place with greek letters on the outside and beer on the inside. There are 11 at Dartmouth. There are also sororities, but being male I don't know much about them besides the fact that their parties are pretty cool because there are girls giving you beer. Each House is different, and I believe there is something for everyone in the fraternity system. Yes, it’s exclusive. And sadly there are individuals, and fraternities, within the system that do not treat women well. There are also several co-ed houses, more like co-ops than the animal house fraternity, which have great parties and are a lot of fun. I’m not going to try to sell the system to you, beyond saying that I will probably rush a house in the winter. The system at Dartmouth does have the enormous advantage of having rush winter term of SOPHOMORE year for all coed, fraternity and sorority houses. Freshman are not allowed to be affiliated with any house – you have a long, long time at Dartmouth to decide whether you want to rush, and where.
The flip side of the social scene is the Dartmouth Outdoors Club or “DOC.” An enormous physical presence on campus, It has over a thousand members. The college owns tens of THOUSANDS of acres across two grants in New Hampshire (maybe they bought it instead of having large graduate student populations, who can say really) over some of the most beautiful mountains, rivers and forests in New England. The DOC maintains 70 miles of the Appalachian Trail which runs right through campus, and it’s not uncommon to see hikers at the beginning (or end) of their treks down the thousands of miles of trail that run from Maine to Georgia.
Freshman are initiated into this through their Orientation Trips, which 98% of freshmen go on (the other 2% are all varsity athletes who’s sports begin in early fall such as Men’s soccer). These trips range from sedate fly-fishing and backpacking trips covering a few miles a day, to the savage –99 series trips which cover over 20 miles a day of some of the rockiest and roughest wilderness around. Leave your mascara and hairbrushes at home. About 90 people depart each day on different trips, and at the end all 90 end in a lodge owned by Dartmouth where there are some spectacular rituals and fun and games. That’s where the community begins, in the Moosilauke Lodge and the wilderness of New England.
Dartmouth is not Harvard. It is not Yale. It is not Princeton. It is it’s own animal – a small college, filled with those who love her. Some point to admissions rates, application numbers, or the average SAT of classes. I would argue that Dartmouth has numbers that are statistically indistinguishable from any other fine academic institution in Cambridge who’s name rhymes with Garvard. But what makes Dartmouth great, and why I’m happier here than I could even dream of being anywhere else, is not the numbers. Both because numbers lie, they are twisted and manipulated, and because there is no number to quantify the Experience (capital E) of Dartmouth College.
So when you are considering where to spend 4 years, I hope you come visit our College. Dartmouth has many programs and aspects which I have left out in the interests of Brevity (the soul of wit, I’ve been told). I am not the most eloquent, and it is difficult to convey in words what we have here, tucked away on the Connecticut River many miles upstream.
If you have any questions I would love to help you with them. Take a deep breath. It is going to be alright, I promise.
|By Sac (Sac) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 09:23 pm: Edit|
I disagree -- you are extemely eloquent. Thanks for that long, thoughtful, and passionate description of your school. Everyone really appreciates hearing from a student, especially one who is obviously having a wonderful experience.
|By Encomium (Encomium) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 09:49 pm: Edit|
Thank you so much for your description! My favorite schools are Yale & Dartmouth, but I find myself going back to Dartmouth's website and stuff way more often than Yale. But for some reason, Yale seems to be the "mecca" or something, because it's Yale, while Dartmouth is what the arrogant people at CC like to call a "lower ivy." I think I might eventually apply ED to Dartmouth or EA to Yale (depending on further visits). I have a few questions for you though. I am extremely against drinking. My brother died in a drunk driving accident, I'm highly involved in SADD and MADD and will never drink. But I hear so much about drinking at Dartmouth. Am I the only one there? How much overt drinking/boisterous behaviour is there? That's one reason why I might prefer Yale, is that Dartmouth has such a reputation, although Yale has a very liberal drinking policy. Also, how is science and science graduate school placement at Dartmouth? I think of it as more of a humanities school, but it seems to have a good bio/biochem program.
I hear the quality of life at Dartmouth is absolutely fantastic. That's one thing that I really like to hear. Can you describe a freshman dorm?
Also, how come Harvard has a like 6/1 student-faculty ratio and Dartmouth 9-1, but Dartmouth seems to have a more intimate teaching environment with professors? I assume those numbers that US News uses MUST be misleading.
How competitive is it, and how challenging is the program?
|By Onemanarmy (Onemanarmy) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 10:00 pm: Edit|
I really appreciate your post, i was wondering if you'd take a look at my stats being that you go to dartmouth, and you know what the student body is like.
i plan on applying to Dartmouth ED this fall. Please post feedback about what you think my chances are
Live and go to school in a suburb outside of Minneapolis, MN
SAT I: 1440 (780 Math, 660 Verbal) I have only taken the test once.
SAT II: Math IIC 750
US History 740
GPA: weighted 4.15
Class Rank: 10/800
AP Classes: US history, AB & BC Calc, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Computer Science
-4 on BC Calc
-4 on US History
-Hockey (K-12) Captain as a freshman and junior. I have been the top student athlete for the past two years.
-Orchestra (K-12) First Chair cello. I've played for 13 years
-Various intermural sports (9-12) 3 time bowling champion
-National Honor Society (11-12)
-Advanced certified scuba diver
-Competitive water skiing
-Mission trips to Mexico, and Chicago
-Various NHS activities
Work: Worked full time the past two summers.
I would anticipate a great essay and recommendations
|By Ouija (Ouija) on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 10:53 pm: Edit|
Thanks so much for your excellent post 2006. I have been dreaming of dartmouth for years now, and your post made me even more excited!
I do have one question for you, you said that the alumni network isn't very strong, but I have heard the opposite from other recent graduates. I am a legacy and I was wondering how much this would help me at darmouth, compared to being a legacy at other schools. My Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Grandfather, and Uncle all went to dartmouth, and its pretty much assumed that I will also go.......would this improve my chances, and by how much?? thanks so much!
|By Isacc (Isacc) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 01:10 pm: Edit|
2006 dartmouth....thanks for the wonderful post on dartmouth..could not have come at a better time ..my son just mailed out part 1 on tuesday to dartmouth ed..how has the d plan been for u?
|By Rhino (Rhino) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 02:44 pm: Edit|
2006 dartmouth- Without a doubt dartmouth is a fine place; I know it well both professionally and personally (my d was accepted and decided to attend elsewhere).
While there is much positive about Dartmouth, there are some other issues that prospective students should consider:
Can I be happy in a school where huge amounts of beer are essential to social life?
Can I be happy where the greek system is predominant?
Is the extreme shortage of "sophomore summer" classes that was a problem last year and this year, likely to be a problem in future years? This is related to the 'd' plan Isacc mentioned previously.
How is the ongoing budget crisis at Dartmouth going to affect my undergraduate experience?
These four issues are the negative side to dartmouth 2006's post. Prospective students should look at both sides.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 03:45 pm: Edit|
I'll reply to these posts one by one to make everything a bit easier to read. I'll try to answer your questions one by one but if i miss something let me know. So first things first.
"Mecca Yale vs. Lower Ivy"
Dartmouth does not have the reputation of Yale or Harvard, or Princeton. DESPITE that fact, it is consistently ranked highly in many important categories (for example if you go to princetonreview.com and look at dartmouth's entry they have some rankings like "quality of life", "best library", where dartmouth outperforms other Ivies by a lot and is matched only by small lib-arts schools, so go figure!). The real question is: Why is reputation important for you, a prospective student? Well, it's ONLY important if it accurately reflects the quality of the school. I suppose it's also important if you want to be able to tell people that you went to "Old (insert name here)." But i think the one thing that is true about Dartmouth, and the reason why it's at the bottom of the CC Ivy polls (i, too, noticed this when I was looking at some posts for the first time yesterday), is that it DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ITS REPUTATION. It's mission is not to be internationally renowned or rake in lots of cash - here's one example. In the early 90's the federal government wanted to help finance the construction of an enormous bio-tech research center that would be affiliated with dartmouth and turn the upper-valley of new hampshire into a bio-tech research zone. Dartmouth, after some consideration, REFUSED this despite the fact that it would have brought TENS of MILLIONS of dollars to the endowment because it felt it would take away from the mission of the college, providing a quality education for undergraduates. So visit the campuses, talk to the students, and see for yourself what it really means to go to school at these places. Try as much as possible to ignore the hype - especially for graduate science programs the important things are working closely with faculty who can write you good reccomendations, not the 'name' of your school. No graduate program will take you 'just' because you went to 'x' school, there are too many smart applicants, especially international ones (more on bio and bio-chem later).
"concerns about drinking"
While I myself do drink, I have some perspective on this issue because I row on the men's heavyweight crew and every year the freshmen go 'dry' (no drinking whatsoever) from the end of winter carnival to the end of the spring quarter (feb 14 to june 3 or so). That caused me to seriously re-examine my social options. my friendships changed somewhat, because some of my old friends just drank too much and everyone knows its not that much fun to be around drunk people when you're sober. the novelty wears off quickly. Also, I found that just 'hanging out' in frat basements was not very much fun anymore. I played two games of beer pong in that 4 to 5 month span, but not many people like to play with someone who can't drink because then your partner has to drink for you and gets drunk very quickly.
So what did I do? Well, I became more involved in the DOC (Dartmouth Outdoors Club). I went to 'Cabin and Trail' meetings (the part of the DOC that deals with, obviously, cabins and trails) and some of their trips and mini-classes where I learned how to make calzones on a small camping stove. But calzones were the least of my discoveries - here was this entire group of people who I'd never met before who were all crazy and passionate about things like maintaining trails, hiking, and canoeing (well technically the canoe club is separate). It was a great discovery and my only regret is that crew didn't allow me to go on most of their hikes because we'd have practice or races. (sidenote: intercollegiate athletics take up a lot of time. a lot.) I studied a lot harder for my classes, which is good because i had gotten d's on ALL of my first midterms (don't worry, i managed to save my gpa by the end of the spring through about a million hours of studying) (more on hard classes later). I did go to frats when they'd have big dance parties and as a sober person I can say they were a lot of fun. Other opportunities which I took advantage of include: skiing (skiing hungover really sucks, Dartmouth has it's own skiway which is some of the best skiing on the east coast and i could now enjoy it)and movies on campus for like $2 (it shows 2nd run movies and more arsty old ones that are picked by the film society). And keep in mind my freshman experience was EXTREMELY limited by crew, so I can only tell you what I personally know.
People do drink at Dartmouth. Some of them drink a lot. Some of them, like you and like I was for half of last year, remain sober all the time. I don't know the numbers of these two groups, and I don't think anyone does, but I'd bet that drinking at Dartmouth is comparable in quantity and frequency to most other schools. They probably drink more at U-Colorado-Boulder, and less at West Point, but that's just a guess.
One culture here does revolve around frats and sorities, but there are other cultures, like the DOC, like the Debate Team, like a capella groups (enormously popular, there are many). I'd also like to emphasize that one reason the culture revolves around frats is because they are ACCESSIBLE to everyone. Anyone can walk into any frat on any weds, friday or saturday and they won't be laughed at or ridiculed. If you ask brothers for a beer, they will give you one. Try that at UC Berkeley, or other schools (harvard finals clubs, yale frats/sororities, princeton eating clubs). I'm not saying that the frats are full of gentlemen and angels, because that isn't even true about the student body. Just that they are what they are.
The point is, wherever you go, you will create a group of friends who in large part share your intrests, especially concerning drinking because that's such a polarizing issue. In my experience at Dartmouth there have been many things to do that don't involve drinking that are a lot of fun. It's also important to remember that there aren't the overwhelming number of variations on cultural options (many different bars, clubs, symphonies) in Hanover that there are in NYC. But they do exist, which is something NYC cannot say about the gorgeous wilderness which we have. But comparing hanover and New Haven, god I'd choose hanover in a heartbeat. Second rate industrial ghost town vs. first rate new england small town? It's no contest.
"Graduate School Placement"
This is something that I am not very familiar with. I may go to graduate school in engineering or biology, medical school, or none of the above, I just don't know. But I'd imagine that graduate school placement depends in a large part on a specific test (LSAT or MCAT for law and med school), grades and rigor of classes taken (where dartmouth is comparable to any first rate institution in the country), and your reccomendations. The last part is where I think Dartmouth may have some unique benefit - I've already started to work with a professor in the Engineering department even though I just finished my freshman year. He actually encourages undergraduates to work with him, do research for him, which I assure you having been to many other universities is a rarity. Undergraduates working for professors usually rate somewhere between cannon fodder and expensive trinkets.
"Quality of life in a freshman dorm"
As you mentioned, life at dartmouth is good. One tour guide even boasted to his tour that there is the "H" factor that sets Dartmouth apart from other Ivies - everyone here is Happy. what an absurd thing to say to an admissions tour, it sounded so pompous and reminded me of Pleasentville. Ugh. While we mocked him endlessly and while I know that not every single student is as happy as i am, it is important to note that the VAST majority of students are Dartmouth's best advocates - proud of the school and of the community.
I should explain now that of the 6 or 7 guys who I was closest with in high school, 5 of them went to Harvard. They are my best friends, I've visited them several times and talked to them endlessly about "Hahvahd" as I like to call it. I think I can do a little comparison between freshman life at the two schools from what I personally have seen. I'm not trying to bash harvard, it's just the best comparison between two schools that I can give.
1) The food at Dartmouth is GOOD. Let's not kid ourselves, this is a college and don't expect foie gras and caviar, but its genuinely good food that I think (apparently other polls agree) is the best you can find in college in this country. There are five different legitimate places to eat meals on campus and two other snack-type places. Each specializes in something slightly different, ranging from kosher food (also a plus for vegetarians and vegans!) to hamburgers to pasta to healthy food. There is an almost overwhelming variety of things to choose from: EACH one of these places has the same size menu as the Harvard freshman dining hall. What's more, you pay by the item, so unpopular or not tasty items are not bought, and thus are not profitable and not made again. The dining halls are open at different hours during the day, but between 7 am and 1 am (yes, thats 1 in the morning) there is ALLWAYS some place to eat. That's quite different from most schools which have very restrictive meal times. The only downside is the salad is a little bit expensive, but thats a SMALL price to pay for the rediculous variety of food you get. We truly are spoiled.
If you don't like on campus dining there are two (count 'em!) indian restaurants that are actually pretty good, chinese food, a new mexican place, and several other restaurants. Hanover might not have much else, but it has plenty of good food.
2) UGA's. Each floor at Dartmouth has an Undergraduate Advise (UGA), which is an upperclass student who has volunteered for the position. They have NO authority over you and will generally NOT punish you for breaking rules or doing bad things (each UGA differs - in theory they could tell the campus safety and security about you, and then S & S could come by and if they find evidence of whatever misdeeds, can punish you) . They will tell you, however, that what you are doing is punishable and that you really should stop because you are going to get caught sooner or later. This is a SHARP contrast to Harvard and many schools which have graduate students as Residential Advisors who's JOB is to catch people drinking/smoking/breaking the rules. The UGA basically acts as your big brother - they have a small budget ($100-200) provided by the college to do things like take their floor to the movies or feed you with tasty chinese food, and is allways available if you need advice about classes or have any questions about anything at all. They are, without exception, great resources.
3) Dorm life is good, but variable. Obviously each roommate is different (i had 2) and each room is different, but almost all of my friends had a great time and many are even rooming with one or more of their freshman year roommates (i'm rooming with one of them). The physical dorm rooms are above average, but the nicest rooms at Harvard are bigger than the nicest rooms at dartmouth. It depends on your dorm, and there are some fairly small rooms, but there are also some rediculously big rooms, especially in East Wheelock (a dorm relatively remote on campus that is supposedly 'more studious and intellectual' and requires a separate application. More intellectual for the most part, but there are some notable exceptions). All the rooms are at least liveable, most are a good size, and some are downright huge.
The bottom line on dorm life is pretty simple: it is what you make of it. It is possible to sit in your room all day and ignore everything the campus has to offer, i've seen it happen to one kid. But for almost everyone, they get out of it what they want. That's all I asked for.
"harvard 6-1, Dartmouth 9-1"
Well once again, numbers are not a good description of life at a college. I'm not sure where that figure came from, but according to princetonreview.com they both have the same student to faculty ratio and average class size. Yet also according to princetonreview.com Dartmouth offers over 2000 courses for 4000 students, making the ratio 2:1. Confused yet? Cause I sure am.
Here's the difference: when a professor is hired by Dartmouth, whether he's given a chair and heads a department or is a part time guest lecturer, the professor understands that a substantial portion of what Dartmouth means is teaching undgraduates. I've taken a class from Ned Lebow, one of the most famous international relations scholars in the world. The class had 35 people in it, officially. He was so good that word spread and by the second day about 110 showed up. He accepted all of them into the class - even though it meant more work for him. Most of the 110 didnt show up every day, and usually it was just that first 35 that would appear for lectures. But what was remarkable was that he had time to meet with me to discuss my term paper maybe half a dozen times during the fall, despite teaching classes and having a very busy schedule. And I know I wasn't alone - everyone I knew in that class said that he was amazingly accessible outside of class, more so than some of their professors in HIGH SCHOOL. That's the difference - while class sizes may be comparable (this class was a rarity and illegal- it was supposed to be capped at 40 but Prof. Lebow let in anyone who wanted to show up), at Dartmouth the professors are there because they WANT to talk to you, they WANT to make you learn. Even in the largest classes (That class is the largest I've ever heard of, typical 'big intro' classes are around 40 people) the professors are willing to spend as much time as YOU want with you, helping you learn. That's how you get to know professors, that's how you understand what it really means to work in a field of study, that's the attitude that enables real learning. Teaching classes at Dartmouth is not like teaching at Harvard or Stanford, where some professors regard it as a chore or a burden.
"How competitive is it"
How competitive are you? Everyone acknowledges that they go to a very rigorous school, even the jockiest athletes. There are people who do nothing but studying. There are people who do not study at all, but they are few and far between, and usually have absurd talent in one area where they get A+'s and do badly in everything else. It's an academic environment with many driven students. Everyone at Dartmouth is really really smart, from the ditziest looking sorority president to the dumbest looking hockey player. It's kind of scary to think about, all that brainpower in one place.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:04 pm: Edit|
First, if you are serious about wanting to go to dartmouth I would highly reccomend applying early. I think early applications are considered more seriously at Dartmouth, but that's just my personal feeling. I did not apply early.
Second, I feel very uneasy about telling people what their "chances" are at a given school. The only certainty about college admission is that there are about 10 applicants for every admit. Most admissions officers will say that there are many candidates (usually about the size of their entering class) that they would have been very happy to admit in the abstract. But then someone who was very similar but had one more extracurricular, or who was a minority, or a legacy, or something else, came along. College admissions, sadly, are largely dependant on chance.
What's more, no one really knows exactly how college admissions officers think, but I think I could offer one general suggestion about application. Often when reading applications admissions officers are NOT looking to admit people, rather they are looking for REASONS to reject people. Maybe they've filled their class except for 3 or 4 spots, or maybe they're tired and want a cup of coffee, or maybe they just get so many applicants that they can afford to refuse anyone who is not perfect. So think about your application in those terms: if I were an admissions officer, why would I REJECT this application? And then think of ways you can fix those flaws, or embellish them, or whatever.
Here are some of the things I think you might want to think about in your case:
sat I - consider retaking it, though you are right on the median score I think. If you can do it without too much effort, and if you have the time to improve your score, it might help.
Sat II - consider not sending in writing. I know you studied for and took the test, and the score you got is good. But especially combined with a lower verbal sat, this might create the impression that you are a little weak in English. I also don't think any score below 700 (maybe 720) helps at this level.
Cello - would you be interested in playing for the dartmouth symphony? I have a friend who's actually a cellist and she loves it. That might help? Talk to the conductor? It's connections of that nature which can make your case.
Hockey - Do you want to play for dartmouth? have you talked to the coach? arranged an admissions visit? if so, how good are you? I don't mean to intimidate, but three Dartmouth students were drafted in the NHL this year. The team here is real real good. Definetly put this on your application because it seems like it's been important to you and shows that you've done things besides ec's and study, but don't expect them to fall over in shock. But being the top student athlete will help, that's a good point I think.
I guess with the caveat that you should really not take what I have to say about your case seriously because I am not a Dartmouth Admissions Officer and know very little about our Admissions Office, I'll reluctantly answer your question.
I think that, especially applying early, you have a good chance of admission. If you do get a deferral, don't lose hope. Remain persistant and get good grades senior year as you have throughout high school. Visit the campus maybe, talk to the admissions officers, do all the good standard things.
It's all a game of chance. I know that is not entirely comforting, and I wish I could guarantee the outcome, but I can't.
So, Good Luck! I hope everything turns out for the best.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:09 pm: Edit|
I tried to be careful in what I said about Dartmouth's reputation to avoid blurring that issue with Alumni support, but I guess I should re-iterate:
While Dartmouth may not be as well known to those who did not attend, it's alumni are unusually loyal to the college and to each other. Social networks (some through senior societies and fraternities) are very strong between alumni.
As for the legacy issue, I believe it is a factor in admissions. I think a disproprtionate number of legacies get in because they tend to go to better high schools and be more motivated due to their family situation, but I also know that the admissions department DOES take it into consideration. I have a friend in a similar situation who is at dartmouth now (her great gradnfater, grandfather, father, and brother all attended). I don't know what weight they give it, but I know it is regarded as a positive.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:16 pm: Edit|
"The D Plan"
Ahh, the D plan. Well since all freshman and seniors must be on campus the entire year, it hasn't affected me that much yet. My plan is to go to New Zealand in the Winter Quarter of 2005 (my junior winter), but I am not sure if I will do it through the college-sponsored anthropology program or use my off term at that time and go by myself.
Since I row, I'm hesitant to schedule an off term which would take me away from hanover. I'm considering working for a professor in fall of 2004 (junior fall), depending on how this year goes and how i can schedule my classes. I won't take as much advantage of the flexibility of the D Plan because crew is a year-round sport and training away from the team is difficult. I know the off terms are great if you have an outside interest to explore for 3 months, or want to go travel without dropping out of school. Most people get internships or jobs at different locations (some abroad, some in the US) depending on their interests, or work for a professor doing research.
The last facet of the D-plan is sophomore summer, which I will experience next summer. It's supposed to be a great experience and a key way to get to know you class because it's just the 1000 of you on campus for that quarter.
Hope that was helpful.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 04:59 pm: Edit|
First of all, thank you for posting. It is very important to recognize that Dartmouth is a real place, and like all real places it has problems, difficulties and struggles. I'd like to explain what these have meant to me, because they are good questions, difficult questions that students deal with.
"Two beer or not to beer?"
That is the question. But it is not just Dartmouth's question - from friends at other Ivies and my experience at other ivies, alcohol is a significant part of social scenes everywhere. Whether it's bars in boston, eating clubs at princeton (lets not kid ourselves, the point of those is not eating but drinking) or fraternities in hanover, college students are thrown into a world where they can (finally, for some) get liquor without an absurd amount of difficulty. I know that at dartmouth there is peer pressure to drink if you choose peers who drink excessively all the time. I also know (read my post to Encomium above) that there are social options that do not revolve around drinking because I was not allowed to drink for about 5 months of this past year. Get to know nature, hike, ski, row, paddle, golf, play intramural sports, go to the symphony (yes, there is one), get up at 5 am to drive to a diner in vermont.
All students at Dartmouth can drink. Many do to an extent (I don't know what 'typical' behavior is, but I know that animal house is not typical. Drinking till you puke is not typical.). The heaviest partiers are usually the freshman who have never really drank or partied before college and suddenly have all this opportunity. But even they figure it out, they find a balance. Dartmouth is not lenient about alcohol violations, but if they catch you it's probably for your own safety. You learn quickly what you want to do with yourself and who you want your friends to be. I don't know anyone who's gotten "sucked in" to a situation they didn't want to be in.
Once again, I think what I just wrote above applies here. The system is popular. It is not dominant. It is one culture and one way to spend friday night, but I discovered that there are pretty cool options out there. I think greeks and liquor are pretty intertwined at dartmouth, which is what makes them popular. Whereas in boston or new york you can maybe go to bars or clubs, there aren't really any in hanover. So for that group of people frats are predominant.
That's an important point, worth emphasizing. If you are the kind of person who wants to drink to have a good time, wants to go to parties where alcohol is present, then greeks are your only option unlike in a larger city where there are other venues. But if you are not that type of person, the role of greeks in your life will be diminished. At dartmouth there are a substantial number of people who do not have much to do with the greek system.
One last point about the greeks at dartmouth is that they are all very different. There are 4 or 5 that are pretty typical big party houses. Then there are a few smaller, quieter houses. One emphasizes community service and being a 'balanced man', and as a result its one of the biggest houses on campus (about 100 members instead of the usual 50).
Sororities are ironically very removed from the big-party scene. Many of the houses are actually alcohol-free houses, and are not open regularly for parties. I don't know much about them (being male and all really cuts back on my access), but I know they have a lot less to do with alcohol than the frats.
There are also co-ed houses that are pretty cool alternatives to the traditional frat - one is more like a commune or collective and often houses through-hikers on the appalachian trail.
once again something that i cannot speak to, but i can say that the courses i need to take for my engineering/biology major are offered over the summer. In fact there are *too* many interesting courses that i want to take over the summer, one engineering course and two biology courses plus a psych course and an anthropology course on the politics of lying. note that i can only take 3 classes per term and you see the dilemma.
true. and it should be more publicized because it is an ARTIFICIAL CREATION OF A BACKWARDS ADMINISTRATION THAT SHOULD BE REMOVED. there, i said it. okay so basically despite having an endowment that is larger than it was before, dartmouth's president is bent on cutting some programs (like the swim team). professors and students alike are trying to view the budget figures the administration uses to justify these cuts but they are difficult to obtain. What it means for student life is difficult to say, and thus far student and alumni pressure has been successful when applied (in the case of the swim team). the only certainty is that the students feel frustrated.
Yes, these are important issues at dartmouth. Every college has its problems, even (especially) Hahvahd Yale and Princeton. I agree with rhino, prospective students should have questions. ASK admissions officers these questons and see what they have to say, especially on the budget issue. Educate yourselves, because I think that the more you do, the better a decision you'll be able to make about where you want to spend four (plus) years of your life.
|By Isacc (Isacc) on Friday, September 05, 2003 - 07:28 pm: Edit|
i have learned more from your posting than all my research before..thanks again , isacc
ps what dorms did u stay freshman year?
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 03:26 am: Edit|
I lived in the New Hampshire dorm.
|By Theanswer_Is42 (Theanswer_Is42) on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 06:23 pm: Edit|
Exceptionally informative...I'm still processing a large portion of what I've just read. Visited last spring and *loved* everything about Dartmouth. Reading your take on the college simply confirms my adoration (specifically, I am in awe of the prevalent sense of community). Applying ED this fall...and feeling doubly content w/ my decision to do so having read your posts-thanks.
|By Stanfordhopeful (Stanfordhopeful) on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 10:12 pm: Edit|
Do you know anything about the situation for international students? About admissions and financial aid for internationals? Thanks.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Monday, September 08, 2003 - 02:22 pm: Edit|
I wish I could offer you more information than the Dartmouth Admissions website can (http://www.dartmouth.edu/apply/admissions/international/index.html). The only thing I can say is that there are a number of international students here. One of the potential issues with financial aid, and this is common at most schools, is that admissions is NOT need blind. They do offer full financial aid packages to those students who are admitted, but they do take your families financial status into account. Hope that helps a little.
|By Collegeman (Collegeman) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 01:04 am: Edit|
thanks for giving such great stats. from a rumor i've heard, apparently the NIH conducted a research and showed the dartmouth has more stds per student than any other college? is that true? is it a big topic over there? thanks...
|By Njboy (Njboy) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 12:20 pm: Edit|
2006dartmouth, you obviously know what you're talking about, and i have nowhere near the amount of experience with dartmouth as you do, but I just want to further support some of what you said.
I just returned from a DOC Trip for incoming freshmen, and I had the most amazing time of my life. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. Students who come to dartmouth LOVE dartmouth. They are incredibly chill people who don't care about reputation or prestige. WE don't want to argue over "Dartmouth vs. Harvard" or rankings. It is a very accepting, diverse place where students of all types hang out together, at least as far as I could tell during my DOC trip. I saw varsity lacrosse players going to Ben and Jerry's with math league presidents and having a great time.
The sense of camaraderie permeates the air. It is almost impossible to explain in words the general friendship and ENERGY that swallows Dartmouth. I didn't even care when I had to wake up at 5:45 in the morning to the tune of "5:44, 5:44, you get to sleep / one minute more" and banging pots. Nobody cared. All I knew was that we were a bunch of first-year students having a blast.
GO BIG GREEN!
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 03:45 pm: Edit|
No, it's not a big topic at Dartmouth. From my experience, STDs are uncommon at Dartmouth (I haven't come across any or heard any horror stories from my friends). With that said, knowing exact numbers about STD rates is impossible witout conducting a confidential survey (I mean, you can't just walk across campus and go "If you have an STD raise your hand") and I don't know of any such stuides of Dartmouth. Dartmouth has had outbreaks of pink-eye before, which is really just annoying (the eye or eyes that have been infected swell for 1-2 days, sometimes there is a fever). At any rate, STDs are not a big concern here as far as i know - all of the people that I know that are sexually active (what a terrible phrase ...) are VERY careful about using protection and that may have something to do with it.
Freshman orientation trips and orientation week are some of the best times I had at dartmouth. It's really magical - when some of my friends who are 07s asked about orientation i refused to tell them much because it ruins the surprise. For me that feeling remained through much of freshman year, its an awesome time and I'm glad you are enjoying it.
You only go through freshman fall once, and I would advise you to try as many of the things you'd dreamed about doing as possible, be they hiking, playing a sport, studying, making friends with different people or partying (or all of the above). Dartmouth is your oyster - take advantage of it to the fullest extent you can.
|By Njboy (Njboy) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 04:15 pm: Edit|
thanks 2006dartmouth, i'll definitely keep that in mind
|By Isacc (Isacc) on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 06:56 pm: Edit|
nj boy..great news about the doc trip going so well ..which dorm are you in and how is it?..
good luck your freshman year and thanks for any info you can give the hopeful future students of 2008
|By Njboy (Njboy) on Thursday, September 11, 2003 - 03:06 pm: Edit|
I've a single in the choates. I haven't seen the actual room yet, but it's supposed to be quite roomy for a single.
|By Kimfuge (Kimfuge) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 09:04 am: Edit|
Yale is ranked first in Princeton Review's academic undergraduate expreince...but who would really attend Dartmouth if they were accepted to Yale too? Just curious...no offense for Dartmouth hopefuls..
|By Dmitrypetrovna (Dmitrypetrovna) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 08:50 pm: Edit|
I was torn between whether to apply EA to Yale or ED to Dartmouth. After seeing the campus and meeting the people, I'm set on Dartmouth. If I were accepted to both, I'd take Dartmouth.
My friend's older brother could have gone anywhere: 1600 SAT, 800s on two SAT IIs, 5s on all APs, private school, athlete. He took Dartmouth early and says that he'll never regret it.
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 08:53 pm: Edit|
"Most people pick yale over dartmouth"-
You raise a good point, but I don't think it's what you meant to ask. The claim that most people would pick Yale over Dartmouth just means that the brand of Yale University is more appreciated than the brand of Dartmouth College. That is undeniably true - Dartmouth does not have a strong "brand name". That *DOESN'T* mean that a given student, with all her unique qualities, habits, dreams and interests, would be have a better experience at Yale.
I can think of many reasons why Dartmouth is a great place to go to school and offers some things that no other school can. That's what started this thread, and I won't reiterate those attributes now. Both schools have their advantages and drawbacks - and it's very important to recognize them and not be swayed by the branding. Unless brand names are worth tens of thousands of dollars a year, in which case by all means, don't even investigate the colleges, just go to the highest ranked one you get in to. Except, rankings change, brands are unstable ... and is that what you really want to base the next four years of your life on?
Kimfuge, I think that if I had been admitted to Yale and Dartmouth I honestly don't know which I would have picked at the time. As it was, I was rejected from Yale and admitted to Dartmouth, and that was that. What I can say beyond any doubt is that, knowing what I know now and having had the experiences that I have had at Dartmouth, I am incredibly glad that I didn't go to Princeton, Yale or Harvard, or any other school.
I know for certain that the things I have done and experiences I've had at Dartmouth would not have been possible at either of those three schools. The reason I began this thread is to explain what I've felt at Dartmouth, so that when someone else is in my shoes, they can make their decision with one more opinion than I had, and hopefully glean from that opinion a little bit of knowledge.
|By Kcg (Kcg) on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 10:41 pm: Edit|
Hi. I was wondering if I could get into Dartmouth! It would be a dream come true for me...
Im a junior at a very rigorous high school in northern Cali.
HS GPA: 3.85 unweighted, 4.1 weighted(will go up-im taking 4 AP's senior year)
SAT: n/a (probably around 1350ish)
ACT: n/a (also probably around 28-30)
SAT II's: gonna take them in french and math
AP exams: french, US hist., environmental science, english, and biology. (These are also the AP classes im am taking/will take)
I also took Honors chem. at a community college as well as philosophy and got an A in both.
Jazz band-2 years
CMEA(a music festival thing)-6
Odyssey of the Mind-2(won regional, went to state)
President of French club and model UN(which I started also)-2
Around 200 CS hours at a soup kitchen and a hospital.
oh-and im white, so no minority.
i'm also going to do ED(by the way: does anyone know the percentages for admission to dartmouth w/ ED and w/ out are?)
Thank you so much!
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Saturday, September 20, 2003 - 09:12 pm: Edit|
To echo a few things read here:
I am a Dartmouth freshman. Even though I am just starting out, I am truly amazed by the college. I guess it all started during the DOC trip--not only is their acceptance rate to be an upperclass leader 16%, but the ones that make it are incredible, willing to put in long hours and even food-splattering for the freshman. The freshman aren't the ostracized necessities I hear other colleges treat them as, at Dartmouth the upperclassmen welcome you to the club. Second, I don't drink. And there are a lot of other people who don't. A few days ago, we had an alcohol awareness speaker who asked who among us didn't drink. Easily 30-40% of the hands shot up. Dartmouth may have a wild reputation, but there are many sober kids there too.
The alumni--incredible. There's no other word to describe it. This summer, a reunion class gave over 14 million dollars to the college, the largest gift per person of any college in the country (or so I've heard). And the alumni are willing to go to bat for their applicants and students. When I applied, the Wisconsin Alumni Club constantly checked on the status of my application, invited me to a free luncheon, and even went so far as to personally call the admissions office telling them what a great Dartmouth student I'd make. Other schools beg and plead for their alumni to donate something--Princeton being the most notable example. Here, they can barely stop giving.
The one caveat I would give is to not apply early decision--much more bargaining room. I was able to receive $3000 more per year in grant by appealing the financial aid decision. If I had applied ED, I'm not sure I would have gotten that. I'm going to Dartmouth now for less than $10,000 a year.
|By Isacc (Isacc) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 08:29 am: Edit|
wisconsinguy...thanks so much for posting the good news about dartmouth...i know it is early in the year but can yu let us know how the D plan is working for you..less books?..heavy homework?..short deadlines on assignments?..also did you and many of your friends buy the school computer or bring your own?..i presume you remained on campus right after your doc trip being from so far away, where did you store all your stuff for the dorm?....thanks
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 01:38 pm: Edit|
I'll answer what I can thus far, as classes haven't started yet (Wednesday). But I'll go for the other two questions.
The vast majority of the freshmen I know bought one of the school packages. Not only do they provide you with full technical support, but they set up everything as well. It was a lot easier. Plus, if you have extra scholarship money, as I did, you can get your scholarships to pay for a basic computer package (very nice). I got my computer for free.
Second, I did remain on campus after my DOC trip. My stuff was stored in my room during my trip.
|By Agamemnon314 (Agamemnon314) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 04:02 pm: Edit|
Wisconsonguy, if you don't mind, what was your family's income? Was your aid less than or greater than those predicted by the Dartmouth Finaid calculator?
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 04:57 pm: Edit|
We are solidly middle class--I won't give you a specific figure, I'll merely say we're between $60k and $80k per year. I don't recall ever doing the fin aid calculator online. All told (counting outside scholarships), it was very cheap.
|By Ohmadre (Ohmadre) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 10:47 am: Edit|
This thread has been incredible - enough to prompt me to register. Very, very helpful - thank you all.
You have managed to allay certain concerns I have as the parent of a senior who, among a cast of thousands and thousands, obviously, has declared Dartmouth as her ultimate dream school. I guess you can have an incredible experience at Dartmouth whether or not you fancy the Greek scene, and that you will not be without peers if you opt not.
Just one further aspect of concern that I hope someone can address and that is the general reputation of many of the finest schools in the Northeast as being predominantly composed, to this day and despite diversity and national reputation, of students whose family incomes are higher than median, and/or who have attended private school and who hail from the New England or other Northeast states. More specifically - how comfortable does the student from an urban, lower - middle class, midwest city feel at Dartmouth?
I am quite sure that students of all backgrounds are welcome - but can they feel comfortable if, for example, they don't have the financial means to zip off to the riding stables,the ski slopes or an outing in a big city after they finish paying for their books?
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 11:47 am: Edit|
I'm from berkeley, california (the 2nd most represented state in the class of 2006,not sure about this year's stats). of my best friends, one is from amherst junction, wisconsin (where? exactly ... ) and the other from a tiny town in kentucky (he hunts a lot). they both seem like dartmouth a lot and are thriving here.
about spending money at dartmouth - unlike most other schools there's not an opportunity to spend much money here. there are VERY few stores to shop for clothes at (really, just the gap, maybe another for girls but its really not a big thing), no bars or clubs to run up a tab at, a few moderately priced restaurants (typical dinners are $10 + tip). we were talking about this last night at dinner and decided that a decent paying summer job could cover four YEARS of spending money on campus. the slopes are relatively inexpensive (you can get a season pass), film society passes are like $12 per term and you get to see as many movies as you want (there's at least 3 a week - it's like a quarter a movie if you go to them all), and the library lets you check out dvd's (little known secret - as its obviously free it sure beats paying $5 for a movie). in the past week that i've been here, i've spent $10 at wal-mart buying stuff for our room, $15 at a poster sale, and $10 at dinner last night. that's it - compare it to my friends at other schools who commonly go out for coffee or to clubs or shopping or movies. the beauty of dartmouth is that the college itself offers most things you'd want - most day's i dont even carry a wallet, just my dartmouth ID which is also my dorm key, meal card and library card, and is usable as a charge card at any place in town if you put money on it.
as for the big city - buses are $35 round trip to boston, so that's not too bad but it is an expense.
|By Ohmadre (Ohmadre) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 11:55 am: Edit|
Thanks again - I am getting a better and better picture. The instinct was to love Dartmouth on our visit - then I started reading too many things and became concerned. Gracias!
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 11:57 am: Edit|
Your comment regarding Princeton's alumni giving is incorrect. I wonder how you got your impression of it.
Princeton is one of the top two or three schools in alumni giving. Last year the alumni gave $34.5 million (with a participation rate of 59%) USNews ranks it 1, with Dartmouth at an excellent 4. I think these are based on participation. See the PU history on the following page. I dont know where the similar stats are for Dartmouth or others.
I think the alumni giving index is a very important measure. Darmouth is quite good. So is Princeton.
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 01:46 pm: Edit|
I'm not denigrating Princeton, merely stating a well-known fact that they are notorious for attempting to squeeze percentages out of their alumni. They'll track you down and ask you to give something, anything to keep their percentage up. It's a fact you'll quickly discover if you talk to many Princeton alumni. While I'm not saying that this situation is endemic to Princeton, after talking with many Dartmouth alumni I find that most give not because the college pleads them to, but because they're generally grateful for Dartmouth in their lives.
Secondly, the Princeton figures you refer to here refer to the collected total of all people from all classes donating in a given year. The Dartmouth statistic I cited referred to the giving of one class...the bragging rights come in the amount of said gift that was unrestricted. For the story, check out http://www.dartmouth.edu/%7enews/releases/2003/june/061803.html.
PS--I actually do know where Amherst Junction, Wisconsin is.
|By Dadx (Dadx) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 04:57 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the link
Actually, Princeton's annual giving campaign is well known to be thorough. It inspired a cartoon of an old alum shipwrecked on a small desert island with his wife. He said "Don't worry, there's enough fruit to survive for two months and by then annual giving will have found us."
|By Stanfordhopeful (Stanfordhopeful) on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 11:48 pm: Edit|
Ok, I am thinking of applying ED to Dartmouth, but a concern of mine has to be addressed: is it cliquey?
How do you respond to these comments? (PLEASE answer truthfully, I haven't visited due to financial constraints, but I don't want to be unhappy for the next 4 years...):
Despite administration efforts to diversify the student population, it consists of “a standard mix of marginal, pretentious, and extremely intelligent students.” A disappointed senior psychology major writes, “There is not very much mixing of racial groups on this campus,” and an Asian student adds, “People of different races sit apart from [each] other in [the] food court.”
Two alums I know gave me a similar impression of the place...
Edit: Oh and is the online Financial Aid Calculator accurate? Will they really give you the amount they say in Fin. Aid?
|By Lakerlax (Lakerlax) on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 10:10 pm: Edit|
Wow...dartmouth 06 ur the man! I applied ED to Dartmouth and just cannot stress how much I feel it was the best choice (already!) ha. I was up visiting a lax player I know like 3 weeks ago and it was amazing. We went out to some girls lax party then to the frats and it was like NOBODY questioned you, nobody looked at you funny and everyone was NICE. It is an amazing school and I garnered that impression in just one weekend. I have stayed with friends at p-ton, yale, harvard, and penn. All I can say is the best experience was Dartmouth. Staying with a student gave me an awesome perspecitive and all I can say is I hope i get in! Thanks for confirming my thoughts
|By Patient (Patient) on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 11:48 am: Edit|
Just discovered this thread, it is great. One question: how would a relatively shy, nice, quiet kid do at Dartmouth? Would he/she be completely left out of the fraternity/sorority system?
|By 2006dartmouth (2006dartmouth) on Sunday, November 16, 2003 - 09:31 pm: Edit|
I think there are many social options at Dartmouth. I enjoy the fraternity system, and there are several different types of houses out there. There are a lot of different kinds of people in each house, so while stereotypes exist ('football frat', 'water sports frat', 'rugby frat'), they dont tell the whole tale. What's more, people are constantly surprised at the number of "nice guys" in frats. I wouldnt guarantee that you'll spend tons of time in the frats, because i think that's a choice you get to make as an individual.
Also, don't forget that in college, you get to pick your friends. That can have an effect on who you are as well.
|By Amphionkid06 (Amphionkid06) on Friday, November 21, 2003 - 11:25 pm: Edit|
Dartmouth2006: You mentioned you're a rower on the heavyweight crew team at Dartmouth. I'm on the crew team at my prep school right now, and I was wondering, what kind of erg scores do rowers on your team pull?
|By Usamad (Usamad) on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 03:55 pm: Edit|
do students at dartmouth have to pay to attend athletic and sporting events?
|By Iamthekid (Iamthekid) on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 12:13 am: Edit|
How is the Computer Engineering & Computer Science program there??
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 12:00 pm: Edit|
2006Dartmouth, you should add a post to the person whose inquiry shocked you so much.
I too have misgiving on the "Chances" forum . I think the most important information to give these posters is that though they have a chance--most of the time they do--schools with a selectivity below about 30% are truly lottery tickets and though every student should apply to his dream school and to several reaches if he feels he wants to do so, he should also vary his college list with a range of selectivities.
Darmouth is indeed a fine school. It was my son's first choice and he did not get in even with an athletic hook. Fortunately he applied to many schools with varying selectivities and found himeself with many choices in April. Some of these kids are not doing this. Their list of schools are all long shots and even if their stata are sterling, there is a realistic possibility that they do not end up in any of their schools. Another thing kids do that I feel is detrimental to their choices is just tack a safety school onto their list of all reaches. It takes little time to compile a list of all of the ivies as your top choices, it takes a lot of time and effort in research to compile a list of some less known schools that are true matches in interest and offerings and profile. Anytime I post on the "Chances" threads, I try to get that message across. Many times it is the pressure of the family that has the kid compile these top heavy lists. Or many of these kids are in schools where they are being told that they have a great shot or sure in at some of these schools, and boy, are they wrong. Dartmouth is not a safety school nor is it really much of a match for anyone. I think it is a terrific school and anyone who thinks the same should apply, but they should not count on getting in and they should have other choices that reflect this knowledge. Though I say that if you get into every school where you apply, you did not aim high enough unless you applied to top schools and true first choices, I also so cover all of your options.
It's wonderful that you so like your school. I wish you well, and thanks for sharing the info about Dartmouth with all of us.
|By Getyobadminton (Getyobadminton) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit|
Seeing as 2006dartmouth hasn't responded lately, I will try my best in his stead. I am currently a member of the class of 2007, or stated proudly on campus, "I am an oh-seven." I just stumbled across this weblog and enjoyed reading all of the above.
Amphionkid: I'll try to remember to ask my friend in crew what erg scores are... I haven't the slightest idea... I can tell you the badminton club is excellent, though. It is extremely inclusive, and defies the racial "segregation" mentioned above, though I guarantee this is not true about every place on campus all the time... let us be realistic. The campus is located in the Northeast. This is not a very ethnically diverse region, and I, being caucasian and from Maine, do not have much familiarity with what the situation is like elsewhere. However, I will say that my entire life I have lived in Maine and spent much time in New Hampshire, and this is one of the most diverse communities I've ever been a part of. Diversity thrives here. and the administration is extremely pro-diversity. I have friends that are not of my ethnicity. They go to frats with me and do everything else that I do on campus without a hitch. Discrimination is simply not an issue at Dartmouth as far as I can see. Get back to you on that crew question...
Usamad: Sporting events are free to undergraduate students when your Dartmouth ID is presented at these events. The college reserves a significant amount of seating for undergrads at home events, and I've never heard of anyone who could not get into an event they wanted to. Performances, which occur frequently and are extremely varied in nature, are pretty cheap for undergrads as well... I am attending a music group performance next week for $5, while the ticket sells to non-students for $22. Last term, I attending Lewis Black's comedy routine here, listened to Howard Dean about his presidential campaign (Clark and Kerry have also been here), and watched "Winged Migration" also for $5. These are just a few of the very many events that go on here regularly.
Iamthekid: I am currently on the track for a compsci major, and I'm in my second compsci class right now. I did not take C++ or anything in high school, just came here and started out in the basic course. EXCELLENT PROFESSORS!!! The computer science department is VERY well run, TA's are extremely helpful and useful as resources, but of course if you want your information from the horse's mouth, professors are also very glad to talk with you and generally easy to arrange a meeting with. I have no idea how we rank nationally, but I'll tell you that I applied to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (safety), Williams, Tufts, Bowdoin, and Dartmouth, and after visiting all of those, Dartmouth seemed to have the best computer science department. This suprised me, as Tufts and WPI are noted for their technical savvy, but what can I say? Also on this note, computers are literally ALL OVER CAMPUS, and you can access your "blitzmail" account from all of them (this is your Dartmouth email account... sort of a combination Instant Messenger / Email / Grand Communication Nexus). As for computer engineering, I know very little... I'm going more for the software aspect of computers than the hardware aspect. The Thayer School of Engineering is excellent, and I am taking one engineering course currently (alas, on biomedical informatics), so I wouldn't worry about not finding what you are looking for. However, if you are still concerned, go to the Dartmouth website (very useful for any information) and email someone in the engineering department... if they can't help you, I'm sure they'll point you in the right direction.
Jamimom: First, let me quote my high school college counselor... "college applications are a craps shoot." Now, I know nothing of this card game, but I know that in Vegas, the odds are always with the house. This last year, Dartmouth had the largest applications pool in its history (also the most diverse, according to the literature), and so also made a record for lowest acceptance rate in its history (between 5 and 15%, can't remember). What does this mean: you should apply here if you would enjoy attending this school. If you do not get in, know that the raw statistical odds were against you from the beginning. If you do, however, this means that you'll be studying and partying with some of the best and brightest in the country, at a beautiful campus with a large endowment... your opportunities abound.
Remember, the admissions people do not know who is applying; they have to guess based on simple numbers and out-of-context phrases thrown at them on the common app. This is no way to personally meet somebody, to know what they are all about. That's why the essay matters so much, along with good recommendations: these attach character to the application. If you can schedule an interview with admissions, and you are good at interviews, do it (I didn't). Having umpteen extracurriculars under your belt can help a bit, but make sure what IS sent in to admissions is something that lets them know who you REALLY are (or at least who you want them to think you are .
In short, if you like Dartmouth, apply here. Also apply to other "dream" schools, some "middle-level" schools, and a couple "safety" schools. Something my high school counselor highly recommended was the 1-3-1 system... apply to 1 dream school, 3 middle levels, and 1 safety. I followed this and only got in to my safety and dream school... go figure. If you have the money (I didn't), apply to more colleges/universities than that; I think the friend of mine that applied to the most colleges applied to 11. Anyway, the more variety you get, the larger (hopefully) the pool you will have to choose from after acceptances.
I suggest watching the movie Orange County, then don't do what that kid did and only apply to one school you've been obsessing over since you were an infant. The movie also has some comedic value as a side effect. Really. Jack Black, man...
|By Usamad (Usamad) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 10:43 am: Edit|
getyobadminton...thanks for your reply. i have one more question...what can you tell me about biology majors and premeds at dartmouth? course of study? the quality of the program? how difficult they are? what kind of med schools they go to? or anything else that comes to mind. thanks.
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 03:02 pm: Edit|
I think I'll take this one, as I am a tentative bio major/premed.
The standard bio major is 13 courses. There are also three specialized bio majors (in biochem, genetics/cell/developmental bio, and ecology/evolutionary bio) which I believe require 15. If you're premed, you're in for a tough road. Premed classes are tough; although there's no premed major or even a set in stone premed curriculum (specifically regarding bio lab requirements), no class can truly be "breezed through." Dartmouth has a reputation for having among the most demanding and rigorous biology and (bio)chemistry programs in the country. You don't get easy As, or easy Bs, for that matter. On the plus side, the professors really cram it in. You come to know more bio than you would almost anywhere else. Dartmouth people go to good med schools because they've proven they can work hard; a Dartmouth B is as good in many places as a Harvard/Yale/Princeton A-/A.
Also, as a freshman, consider taking the Bio 19 Honors Placement Test. If you are among the lucky forty to get in, you'll work will one of the best professors in the department, in a lab better than any other undergraduate lab in the country (no joke; let alone for a group of all freshmen) and be uber-prepared for any following bio courses.
Some good sources for bio/premed:
For premed: check out the Nathan Smith Society page on Dartmouth's website.
For bio: Check out the bio department's homepage.
|By Usamad (Usamad) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 04:07 pm: Edit|
thank you wisconsinguy...could u elaborate more on the Bio 19 honors placement test? does that have to something with the AP Bio test (on which i had a 5)? i have actually visited the nathan smith and bio dept websites...i will research them more. i was looking the biology course offerings, and it seemed to me that the variety of class offerings was rather limited. there weren't enough human biology and neuroscience courses. could u explain that also? btw what yr are you at dartmouth?
|By Getyobadminton (Getyobadminton) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 08:42 pm: Edit|
Just a quick reply on my part... I took the Bio 19 honors placement test, and it was extremely difficult. Previously, I had scored a 5 on the bio AP, a 760 or 780 on the Bio SAT II (evolutionary), and had a very strong bio background in general. I did not study for this placement test, however, so I would highly recommend doing that prior to taking it... it is probably because of this that I did not pass the exam (an entire summer can make you forget a lot!).
|By Getyobadminton (Getyobadminton) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 08:48 pm: Edit|
So basically, the bio 19 honors placement test just determines if you are allowed to go directly into an honors introductory class. I still intend to follow the biology route, I'll just have to take a general intro course instead of this honors option. Now, if you're confused about what I'm doing (thought you were a compsci major???), I want to create a biotech major at Dartmouth, but I'm currently on the track for a compsci major... haven't had any bio classes yet.
Anyway, hope this clears up your question. Any other questions should be directed to the head of the biology department; I'm sure contact information can be found on the Dartmouth website if you search for it.
|By Stanfordhopeful (Stanfordhopeful) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit|
Hey, I am a Dartmouth 2008 and I have a couple of questions about the school.
I am looking at a Math + Economics Double Major with a minor in Comp Sci. After having graduated from HS, I will have AP credit in the following courses:
Psychology, Physics B, Calculus BC, US History, Chemistry, English, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Governmentm Computer Science, Physics C Mechanics, Physics C E & M
I currently have a 5/5/5/4 in the first 3 and I am expecting all 5's this year. Also, I will have taken Multivariable Calulus, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra before graduation.
I wanted to know, how hard is it to get into Math 14? Do you know anyone in it? Is the placement test difficult?
Also, is it recommended to take 4 classes during any semester of your freshman year? Will my AP credit get me out of some Dartmouth's "Distribution Requirements"?
Also, I would like to know what the procedure is for the East Wheelock dorms. I've heard that an application and essays are involved. I was wondering if the process was competitive? Are the dorms open to freshmen?
Oh and does anyone know anything about the introductory Honors Physics sequence? Is it recommended? Is it inordinately difficult?
Edit: Do most freshmen get into the first choice classes?
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Thursday, January 15, 2004 - 10:30 pm: Edit|
Yes, the Bio 19 test is difficult, but it's not like you set yourself into some grand sequence of honors science. It's an excellent class to take--most bio will seem easy after it. If you want to do lab work or research, this is the class where you will have the best-equipped undergraduate lab in the country. It's an incredible introduction to lab. And it is difficult. This year, over 200 people had 5s on the Bio AP, and over 150 took the placement test. 40 got invitations; 39 accepted. I can't provide too much insight into the human bio courses, but I can provide some into the neuroscience courses. First off, Dartmouth is one of the best colleges in the country for neuroscience/psych (especially the interaction between the two). The neuroscience profs, particularly professor Velez, are among the most popular and best profs in the bio department.
StanfordHopeful: I can't help you out on the math or physics aspects (more a straight-up bio person myself) but I can say that you will get course credit for your APs (or at least some of them), but they will not let you out of any distributive requirements. You could get out of taking English 5 with a five on the English AP, or out of language requirements w/ a four or five on a language AP, but other than that, you'll still have the distribs. East Wheelock is open to freshmen. Usually about half who apply are accepted. I have not been denied a class--always my first choices. Most professors, if they see you have an interest in the subject, will "bend the rules" to let you in.
BTW, I'm an 07, and have played badminton with getyobadminton.
|By Me2dmouth (Me2dmouth) on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit|
I just wanted to say that I think Dartmouth will be the greatest place to go to school. I went to Dartmouth over Christmas vacation because I was accepted early decision, and then my family took me to Boston for a couple of days. We went over to Harvard to check it out, and after seeing both campuses, I know I made the right choice. Harvard is a great school, and I probably will apply there to grad school, but Dartmouth is going to be the best undergrad experience anyone could hope for!I am so excited, can't wait till next fall!
|By Getyobadminton (Getyobadminton) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 03:08 am: Edit|
Simply put, I have to agree... having the time of my life!
|By Usamad (Usamad) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 10:02 am: Edit|
hey...i have a question for getyobadminton and winsconsinguy or anyone at dartmouth. i know that two of the things in which dartmouth prides itself are the "intimate class sizes" and professor accessibility. and i have heard good things about that from students there too. but i read somewhere that the premed classes have students ranging from 50 to 100. isn't that a bit too big? can someone elaborate on that?
|By Usamad (Usamad) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 10:09 am: Edit|
me2dmouth...can u tell me more about your visit to dartmouth? exactly what things or aspects of dmouth led you to believe that it was the best choice? thanks.
|By Wisconsinguy (Wisconsinguy) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 02:14 pm: Edit|
In reply to usamad, I'd first have to point out that at almost any other school, those premed classes would be over 200, or even more. My six classes thus far (as a freshman) have had enrollments of 39, 19, 45, 100, 14, and 35. I have friends going to school at many other elite colleges, and I can assure you that's not the case elsewhere. Professors are accessible to the average first-year student. Classes will be comparatively larger for the intro classes, but once you get beyond that, most classes will have 10-25 people.
|By Wyoskiguy (Wyoskiguy) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 06:05 pm: Edit|
Hey guys....many of you know that I am an ED '08, so I thought I would tell any of you that care to read this that I am currently at Dartmouth! I came up here thursday after finals (a bit far from Wyoming...yes, but even just a weekend was worth it) and will go back tomorrow (monday) morning. My friends and I went to Boston on Friday to hang out there and to look at Harvard. I came to two conclusions: 1) I should not have been worried about being too far from a city because it literally took us less than 2 hours to get to Boston, and 2) Harvard's campus is kinda---blah. Though there was this event happening while we were there where about 40 naked students ran around Harvard Yard- seriously butt naked. They were just running and pushing things like shopping carts or carrying surf boards. It was VERY interesting. That was hilarious! IT WAS SO COLD! I have lots of pictures to show my family when I get home! But yes, right now the Dartmouth campus is alive with people and I have not had a boring moment yet. Last night we went to a hockey game between Dartmouth and St. Lawrence University- we won 5-3. I was so annoyed with my friend for wanting to go to a hockey game because I don't like watching sports very much and hockey is not really my thing, but the energy of the crowd and the pride in knowing "this is my school" really made it a fantastic experience for me. Then we went to this thing called "Up all night at Collis" or something like that. BAsically it was this event where a lot of the singing groups/dance troupes/ and anything else performed from like 7 pm- 3am. It was awesome. Also, I went to a frat party. It was also very fun, though I didn't know many people there so I just decided to leave. There was all the alcohol that people would expect. I didn't drink any because I didn't stick around long enough- but people looked like they were having a great time! This was the right choice- I'm so happy! I just thought I would express how happy I am to be here to everyone else and also tell the other ED kids....we made the right choice!
|By Arc (Arc) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 06:56 pm: Edit|
hey wysokiguy. i'm on 08 too...it's great to hear that u had fun up at dmouth and it's even cooler that you already have friends there...i'm curious about one thing tho...haha, how do you already have friends there? i mean i've been there a few times, but i was never able to become friends with the students there.
|By Me2dmouth (Me2dmouth) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 09:01 pm: Edit|
Usamad, Dmouth is right for me because of the D-plan and because of their courses. I will be a liberal arts major, so know nothing about your area of study. I want to go to a school that has the true undergrad experience. Fun, social, athletics (but not Duke level) and a quality education. I wanted to go to a school where I will be surrounded by intelligent people who act normal. The Dartmouth students I have met seem so real. They know they are at an Ivy, but the are not stuck-up about it. I visited many colleges and came to the conclusion that I have my life to live in a city, but I only have 4 years to go to undergrad, and Dartmouth fit me the best. It is beautiful, it is close to Boston and Montreal, and it is one of the only colleges that loves for their students to study abroad. It may not be for everyone, but it is for me.
|By Arc (Arc) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 10:03 pm: Edit|
what can current dartmouth students tell me about the social scene at dartmouth? is the cold bearable? i am concerned about the drinking too...because i do not drink. comments?
....also, what about the academic life?
i know my questions are kind of general, but i would just like to know anything and everything that you can tell me.
|By Getyobadminton (Getyobadminton) on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 10:32 pm: Edit|
Um... pretty much all of that is answered in the above, especially concerning drinking and the various social scenes. It's a lot to repeat, so you should go to the top of this page and just start reading.
The cold is bearable. While I'm from Maine and might have a slanted view of this issue, a few people in my residence hall come from much warmer states (Florida, Virginia, and Hawaii). They have adapted easily... basically, just put on more clothes as the temperatures drop, and you'll be fine.
Academia is what you make of it. If you pick courses that really interest you, then the work load will not seem so big. If you pick one you are unsure of, and in the first week decide you dislike it, the process of switching into another class is very simple... I had to do this last term. Do your research before entering a course... check out professor reviews, course reviews, etc. The Student Assembly website at Dartmouth has course and professor reviews for pretty much any course that exists. You can also talk to upperclassmen... they are a valuable resource!
Hope this helps!
|By Wyoskiguy (Wyoskiguy) on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 03:01 am: Edit|
Hey arc, well- I came up for a weekend earlier in the year to look at campus and the college put me up with this kid. we really got along well and he introduced me to his friends and I mean- we really got along, it was pretty crazy actually. So I quickly became friends with his friends and him and then we continued our friendships after I got back home, talking on-line and what have you- and he told me i could come back to stay with him whenever i wanted. So that's why I'm here and why I have friends that go to Dartmouth. Just another proof- Dartmouth is like Disney World, everyone is happy and friendly! And I personally like Keggy the Keg better than Mickey the Mouse!
|By Aisforadmission (Aisforadmission) on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 12:50 am: Edit|
Well gosh, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents, but I'm an "old" alum -- class of '89. I'd like to say that Dartmouth was my first choice then, I loved every moment of my four years, and I spent 4 great years in the admissions office during which time I was lucky enough to be able to audit lots of classes I didn't have time to take. I of course had friends at all the other Ivies, but the neat thing was, almost all of them preferred to visit me (especially my Harvard friends) since Dartmouth was such a fun place to be on the weekend and had so much SPIRIT. There is just something special about Dartmouth -- people there LOVE it and it has one of the highest student satisfaction rates of anywhere. In fact, after 8 years there, even today almost 15 years later, I'd still choose to attend Dartmouth again. The professors were amazing -- at what other college can you study Robert Frost's poems at your seminar professors farmhouse with 8 other kids? Amazing, amazing, amazing. I'm still friendly with several profs even today and can't wait for my 15th year reunion this spring. You have to experience Dartmouth first hand to believe it for yourself. I envy new Dartmouth students.
|By Green07 (Green07) on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 05:10 am: Edit|
Stanfordhopeful - I noticed you had a similar question on another thread about math and physics - if you want to know more about the honors track (which I'm taking now) or Math 13/14("rest of" multivariable), Math 23(Diff Eq) or Math 22/24 (Lin algebra) you can blitz (email) me at VYP@dartmouth.edu.
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