12 January 2022
I am excited to share the news that Dartmouth College has expanded its longstanding need-blind admissions policy to include all international citizens. For any international applicant for whom affordability is an essential factor of a U.S. college search, our adoption of universal need-blind admissions means financial need will never limit access to a Dartmouth education. This more inclusive admissions policy is effective immediately and applies to all applicants for Dartmouth's Class of 2026 – including Early Decision candidates who were read and selected via a need-blind process last month as this policy change was anticipated.
Our new admissions policy was made possible by a $40 million anonymous gift to expand global access at the College. The historic donation—the single largest scholarship gift in Dartmouth's 253-year history—capped a $90 million, multi-year fundraising goal to offer need-blind admissions to all non-U.S. citizens. This significant enhancement of our holistic admissions policy underscores our dedication to creating a globally-minded teaching and research community of students and faculty drawn from around the world. In doing so, Dartmouth becomes the sixth college or university in the United States with universal need-blind admissions paired with a commitment to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need. It is a dramatic institutional commitment to access and equity for all students, regardless of citizenship.
In addition to this change in the College's admissions practices, Dartmouth recently announced two financial aid policies that also improve access to a Dartmouth education for all students. The first is the removal of a parent contribution for students from families with $65,000 USD or less in income and typical assets. The second: the guarantee of a full-tuition scholarship without loans for all students from families with incomes and typical assets of $125,000 USD or less. Both financial aid initiatives were adopted during the last few months and apply to all accepted candidates regardless of citizenship.
Current applicants to the Class of 2026 may submit a financial aid application by February 1. Anyone interested in doing so should follow the instructions on how to apply for financial aid. As always, all aid at Dartmouth is based on need.
We are living in the most international moment in human history. Students who are applying to and enrolling at Dartmouth today will have lives and careers that stretch to the 2070s and beyond, and our new admissions policy celebrates that global reality. International citizens are full and equal members of our applicant pool and, ultimately, our student body.
It has been a career highlight as well as a personal honor to help frame this initiative at Dartmouth and to see its implementation today.
Lee A. Coffin
Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid
February 1, 2021
As the high school class of 2022 begins its college search amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Dartmouth College is continuing its optional testing policy through the 2021-22 admissions cycle. College Board and ACT have advised "flexibility" in standardized testing requirements during the pandemic, and Dartmouth's extended test optional policy follows that advice.
The initial pause in Dartmouth's testing requirement acknowledged the lack of universal access to SAT and ACT test administrations around the world as the pandemic escalated last summer. Sadly, that situation remains true. While standardized testing offers a useful statistical context in our holistic evaluation of each student's academic record—as well as in our assessment of each student's preparation for the curriculum we offer—it is untenable to restore the testing requirement while many high schools remain in a remote learning mode and while access to testing sites poses a health risk for students. Our requirements, our priorities, and our focus must continue to adjust to the reality we face.
As we stated last summer, the choice to include a test score or not is each student's choice to make and that decision will be honored at Dartmouth without prejudice. Each application will be evaluated by what's in the file rather than what is missing from it. For students who wish to submit testing as part of next year's application, no preference is given between the SAT or ACT. Consistent with our previous announcement of the standardized testing policy pause, Dartmouth will not report testing profiles or testing-related data for the classes accepted and enrolled during this test optional period.
Dartmouth will continue to follow the guidance and policies of the Ivy League regarding testing requirements for applicants who expect to participate in the varsity athletic program. In addition, international applicants and students for whom English is not the home language nor the language of instructive should refer to Dartmouth's proficiency testing requirements, which remain unchanged.
We strongly advise students to focus on the many holistic elements of the application that showcase academic excellence and a personal narrative albeit it in more qualitative ways. Dartmouth has practiced holistic admissions review for 100 years, and that ancient ideal of the whole person continues to guide our application review during these unprecedented days.