Admissions Facts & Advice

Application Advice

Challenge yourself. Be yourself. 

It’s who you are

When you're thinking about applying to college, it’s not generally useful to pursue activities or study subjects just because you think they will impress an admissions officer. What will impress us is YOU. You, letting your application express some aspect of your own story. You’ve established a great track record. Let your application clearly reflect your interests and motivation.

It’s not who you know

Dartmouth doesn’t designate one application reader to all of the applicants from a particular school or geographic region, so you don’t need to worry about meeting any one member of the admissions staff to improve your chances for admission.

Personal Essay Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t try to summarize your entire life or high school career.
  • Focus on a topic that's of interest to you; choose an experience, a class, a person, an issue that truly matters to you.
  • Make it personal.
  • Don’t write about your awesome grandfather.
  • Do write about how you have changed because of your awesome grandfather.
  • Don't try to be something that you're not. (If you're always funny, that's great. This is probably not the place to start trying to be funny.)
  • Don't forget to proofread. (Really. Spellcheck isn’t sufficient.)


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