Last Minute Advice from Our Dean: Things You Don't Need to Stress AboutYou're almost there! If you find yourself worrying about every little thing, take a deep breath, exhale, and then read on for a few last minute pointers about things you really don't need to stress about.
- No. 1
The looming deadline is for you, not the people who will recommend you.
In other words, you must press “submit” on the Common Application by 11:59PM on January 2. That action creates your admissions “record” on Dartmouth’s system: it lets us know you’re there and that we should start collecting all the required elements about you.
Your teacher, guidance counselor, and optional peer recommendations, as well as mid-year grades, can arrive after January 2nd. This also applies to an alumni interview report (your application triggers the referral to your local interviewing committee) and any late-breaking standardized testing.
If something is missing, we’ll let you know.
- No. 2
Speaking of the moments immediately after you submit your application: you are not sending a text.
Your application is a (very) large document that gets processed through a high-volume server before it gets uploaded to us. That technical transfer is not instantaneous, especially when literally thousands of you usually hit “send” at the same moment on or about January 2. (Tip 2A: Avoid the rush, submit early if you can. Procrastination causes technical gridlock.)
This point is important: do not panic when/if you check your status and your application hasn’t been processed. Give the surge a few days to work its way through the server…or submit your application before January 1. (I seem to be repeating myself. I’ve become your parent…)
- No. 3
A peer recommendation and an alumni interview are recommended rather than required elements of Dartmouth’s application.
If, in your judgment, either enhances the personal narrative you hope to share with us through your application and supplement, each is a vehicle to do so. But neither is required. (I see a pattern.)
2.5 Admissions Tips from Our DeanHere's a deanly gift as you cross the Ts & dot the Is on your applications.
- No. 1
First: It's okay to brag about yourself.
Your application is your story. It's your way of introducing yourself to the colleges on your list, and the goal is to share your personal narrative in a confident, clear, and compelling way. Years from now, you'll do something similar as you apply for jobs and write a cover letter that accompanies your resume. What might feel like "bragging" is really your first opportunity to showcase your interests and talents to someone who does not know you.
- No. 2
Second: the Dartmouth Writing Supplement helps us get to know you better.
We can read your transcripts and your recommendations, but reading your supplemental essays helps us understand those intangibles that can't be easily reflected in a resume. We enjoy getting to know your sense of humor, your passion, your intellectual curiosity, your self-awareness, your social awareness, perhaps a mix of a few of these. Your writing helps us get to know you and we do read every word you choose.
- No. 3
The half: If you applied early somewhere, make sure you update your documents and remove the name of the early institution from the application you will send everywhere else.
Remind your teachers, too.
We hope you consider joining Dartmouth's next 250 years of intellectual discovery!
Dartmouth's Writing Supplement: Celebrate Your Voice
Let’s flash forward a few weeks.