Students think of a "Dean" as a signature on a letter, someone like the Wizard of Oz: an idea more than a person. I'm emerging from behind my proverbial curtain to share insights informed by my actual experience: I was a first-generation college student, and need-based financial aid opened my door to opportunity. Not many students from my large high school went on to selective colleges, so advice was thin. I was largely on my own. My platform here helps me reach those of you in a similar place.

— Lee Coffin, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid



12 JANUARY 2022

Overture: Your College Search Begins

In the opening episode of the third season of "Admissions Beat," host Lee Coffin of Dartmouth College turns his attention to high school juniors and those who support them in a college search. And just as the opening bars of an overture herald the beginning of a Broadway musical, Dean Coffin encourages students to start the college search on a note of self discovery. To look within, at what they value and prioritize, before looking outward and assembling a list of colleges that might fit the bill. It's a process he likens to taking an "existential selfie," adding: "You need to focus on you, before you focus on us." Dean Coffin is joined by Meredith Reynolds, a former admissions officer at Tufts University and currently the Associate Director of College Guidance at the Roxbury Latin School in Massachusetts, and Jacques Steinberg, co-author of The College Conversation: A Practical Companion for Parents to Guide Their Children Along the Path to Higher Education.

Overture: Your College Search Begins


First Hand with Dean Lee Coffin

In each issue of 3D, Dartmouth's undergraduate admissions magazine that celebrates our vibrant community framed by nature, Dean Coffin shares advice and insights on the admissions process.

Read 3D Magazine