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Class of 2021 Profile

College application season is upon us!

As you continue to polish your essays, ask for recommendations, and complete any outstanding standardized tests, you'll also be considering a myriad of key factors while choosing the university where you want to spend the next four years. Curriculum, location, diversity, recreation opportunities…to name a few.  

As an international student, affordability was perhaps among the most important factors in my college search. Dartmouth meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students—including international students. In order to apply, we must complete the CSS profile, an online application to determine eligibility for non-federal aid, and submit standard documentation such as tax returns and bank statements.

My biggest advice for prospective international students would be to reach out to Dartmouth's Financial Aid Office early in the process. Each country employs different types of terminology and official forms which can be confusing to translate in the CSS application. Reaching out to the Financial Aid Office can really help you get a better sense of what information you should provide and what it means. Be proactive and speak to a financial aid officer or an admissions officer with your questions! Don't hesitate to provide additional details as well if you feel that your financial circumstances are not accurately represented through the application.


EducationUSA college fair
One of the many workshops hosted by EducationUSA in Myanmar! From offering advising on the college application and financial aid process to connecting US universities to students in Myanmar, EducationUSA is a goldmine of resources!

Another key resource I found helpful while applying was contacting the EducationUSA office in my country. EducationUSA is a global network by the U.S Department of State that offers free international student advising and workshops for students interested in studying in the U.S. Often, you can access their services at U.S embassies or partner institutions in your respective countries. Speaking with an officer at EducationUSA and hearing from alumni from my country gave me more direction and plenty of tips about the process.

Opportunities for financial assistance at Dartmouth are not only limited to your financial aid package. One of the first ways I learned this was through first-year DOC trips, Dartmouth's iconic pre-orientation outdoor program. The DOC (Dartmouth Outing Club) offers significant financial assistance to cover the cost of the program, meals, and even travel equipment to ensure each and every student can participate!

Over the past year, perhaps the best way Dartmouth has helped make my college experience affordable was by the opportunity to easily reach out to my undergraduate dean. Whether I'm looking for transportation to go to West Lebanon or requesting financial assistance due to unexpected travel plans during the pandemic, the dean's office has consistently been my go-to. The International Student Advising team at OPAL (Office of Pluralism and Leadership) is also incredible in working with international students' needs. Throughout the term, various clubs and organizations on-campus host fun events as well where you can win Dartmouth Coach tickets or coupons for local restaurants!

For a lot of students including myself, cost and affordability is often the determining factor in our college search. International students often miss out on opportunities for financial support because 1) we're unaware of financial resources, 2) the application process can be complex, or 3) a mix of both. Applying and enrolling in a school in the U.S is challenging. But, costliness really doesn't have be the reason why it is unattainable. And, from my experience, I can wholeheartedly say that Dartmouth wants to work with you as much as you want to work with them.

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