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Page 1 and 2: Applicant, Future Plans, Demographics, Family
- The first two pages of the applicant's portion of the Common Application provide the Admissions Office with information that helps us begin to understand the context from which you are applying: where you were born, what language(s) you speak at home, where you live, with whom you live, how many people are in your family, etc.
- On Page 1 under "Future Plans," the Common Application also asks you to provide information about your academic interests and whether or not you intend to apply for financial aid. Since Dartmouth admits students on a "need blind" basis and we do not admit student into a major, this information is used simply to help organize our communication with you.
- The information on the first two pages of the Common Application can help the people who read your application understand something about the opportunities and resources available to you. It can better inform our perspective as we read more about you. We are careful, though, not to pre-judge applicants based on the very limited information the first part of the application provides, and to never jump to any conclusions based on it.
Page 3: Academics and Tests
- The First-Year Application is also where you have the chance to let us know about school changes, special programs you've attended, college or university courses you've completed, and tests you have taken or may be planning to take.
- We'll also receive official reports about your schooling and standardized testing in other parts of the application, but page 3 of the First-Year application is a place where you can highlight information you want to be sure that we know.
Page 4: Honors and Activities
Most importantly, the First-Year Application is where you can tell the Admissions Committee about your interests and accomplishments.
- The Honors, Extracurricular and Work Experience sections on page 4 are designed to provide ample room for applicants to tell Admissions Officers about their most significant achievements and pursuits beyond the classroom. You should not feel as if you need to fill in every line provided, but you should be sure to share with us those awards and honors that are meaningful to you and the activities and work experiences to which you have been committed during high school. If you choose to enclose a resume with your application (you certainly don't need to do this), you should still be sure to complete the sections on page 4 of the First year Application.
- When we review the information on page 4, we are not looking for a specific type of award, a certain number of activities, or a total amount of time that you should be spending on activities beyond the classroom. We want to understand how you have pursued the obligations and opportunities available to you beyond the classroom, the influence these pursuits may have had on you, and the impact that they may have on your college experience. What matters is not so much what you do, but how you do it.
Page 5: Writing
The final page of the First-Year Application is where you share more detailed information about one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences, offer explanation for any disciplinary infractions, and provide additional information related to any special or unusual circumstances.
- For the short answer response on page 5, focus on the activity that has been most significant to you or a pursuit that has had an impact on your interests. Be sure to let us know not just what you did but also what you learned and how you grew from your experiences.
- Many students worry that reporting a disciplinary violation will automatically disqualify them from being admitted to Dartmouth. Just as one grade in one class will not determine the outcome of a student's application, one mistake made during a secondary school year will not automatically result in a "deny" decision. We review students' responses to the "Disciplinary History" section of the application carefully, and we consider these responses in the context of a student's entire application.
- When considering whether or not to complete the "Additional Information" section of the application, it's worth asking if the information you plan to provide is important to helping us understand your experiences and your potential to thrive in college. If the answer is "yes," then please include this information under "Additional Information."
- The final piece that a student will include in their First-Year Application is the Personal Statement.