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Frequently Asked Questions

INTERVIEWING

How can I submit my Alumni Interview Report?

The most efficient way to submit the interview evaluation form is though I-Track, the Admissions Office's interview tracking tool for alumni interviewers, which you can access at https://itrack.dartmouth.edu/. You will be linked to the interview report form and when you click “submit,” your report will be sent to the Admissions Office.

How long should an interview be?

Interviews are typically between 30 and 45 minutes in length.

Should interviews be done individually or with teams?

If you feel inclined to interview in teams, please remember that a team should consist of no more than 2 individuals. Interviewing teams should be composed of graduates representing different classes, and different interests. In recent years, some districts have had difficulty finding enough interviewers, so individuals often conduct the interview by themselves. "One on one" interviews can be quite effective, but interviewers should be aware that parents and student may sometimes express concern over a student meeting alone with an alumna or alumnus. Teams larger than 2 are not recommended, as the candidates might feel overpowered.

What is discussed in a typical interview?

Interviews typically cover academics, extracurricular activities, and personal qualities. The student's application provides the Admissions Office with test scores, transcripts, and lists of activities. The interview should provide insight into the student's intellectual curiosity and passion, motivation, commitment, leadership, character, initiative, integrity, and maturity. Please see the interviewing worksheet and sample interview reports in the last section of this guide for more suggestions.

Should I ask the candidate about SAT scores, GPA, and class rank?

The Admissions Office already has this information. Please do not ask for the candidate’s test scores or grades.

What are the most important qualities the Admissions Office is looking for?

It’s hard to do justice to this question in a short answer. However, the Admissions Committee reviews applications in the hopes of admitting bright and engaging young people who will take full advantage of what the College offers in and out of the classroom. Intellectually-engaged, open-minded, community-oriented students are drawn to the College and do well at Dartmouth. However, Dartmouth receives many times more qualified applicants than can be admitted, so the process is one of choosing from among many very qualified applicants. Admissions Officers spend a great deal of time reading every component of each candidate's application. Personal information and essays are important. Admissions Officers also look for strong faculty recommendations and a high school transcript that shows consistently high achievement. Interviewers should realize that Dartmouth must turn down thousands of candidates who are fully qualified and would be excellent students at Dartmouth.

What do the ratings mean?

Most applicants to Dartmouth are among the top 5% of all high school students so nearly all of them are "outstanding" when compared to a typical high school student. In order for the ratings on the evaluation/ Alumni Interview Report to be useful, interviewers need to make very fine distinctions. A significant majority of candidates should fall in the "Acceptable" and "Desirable" categories. The top two categories are for students with exceptional talents, accomplishments, and potential. As the form suggests, only about the top 1% of candidates should be rated "outstanding".

What should I tell a candidate about probability of admission?

Never tell a candidate that he or she is sure to be admitted, or even if you feel that there is a high probability. Compliment the student on his/her outstanding record and relay something encouraging like, "I really think you would love Dartmouth, and I hope you make it!" But you should also advise them that the competition is difficult and that approximately 10 percent of those who apply are admitted.

How should I handle candidates who are friends of mine?

Be well advised to make it clear to the candidate or parent that interviewers do not have the power to get applicants admitted, but that interviewers certainly want to help applicants gain a better understanding of Dartmouth. Help applicants plan a visit, or advise them to contact Admissions to get specific information. When the time for the interview comes, you may conduct it yourself, but it might be wise to ask another interviewer—who does not know the candidate—to take part as well. All alumni are welcome to send a supplemental letter of recommendation for an applicant they know. Applicants are welcome to invite alumni to write letters of support on their behalf by utilizing Dartmouth’s Online Additional Reference Request form. This form is available to all applicants when they check their application status on our web site. If this is not a viable option, alumni may send recommendations to admissions.processing@dartmouth.edu.

Can I do anything special for the really top candidates?

Write a comprehensive interview report and fell free to send a note to the Admissions Office if you think there is additional information that is not covered in the application. Be careful not to make promises that are beyond your power to keep or to predict the outcome of the admissions decision. Once a candidate has been admitted, get in touch with the admitted student. Many districts have receptions or "admit parties" shortly after decisions are mailed out. Encourage accepted candidates to attend.

How will I find out about the Admissions Office decisions?

Decisions are loaded directly into I-Track, and interviewers may view the decision for any applicant who has been assigned to them.

What should I do if one of my best candidates is turned down?

Unfortunately Dartmouth must turn down thousands of qualified applicants every year. Each year, about 40% of applicants interviewed are rated as “Outstanding” or “Highly Desirable.” In an admissions process that admits less than 10% of applicants, many qualified students are denied admission because of the selectivity of the process rather than because of weaknesses in their candidacies. Once the decisions are made applicants and their families may contact the Admissions Office.

What should I tell a parent or candidate who asks about reconsideration?

The Admissions Office will not reconsider its decisions. If the Admissions Office decided to reconsider one application, they would, in fairness, have to reconsider thousands of others.

Is an interview required?

An interview is not required, although we do encourage applicants to take advantage of the opportunity to have a conversation with a Dartmouth alum in their area. The interview process is automatic once you have applied; your name and contact information will be sent to a local alum who will get in touch with you to arrange a meeting. Sometimes our applicant volume outnumbers our alumni interviewer resources, so we never hold the absence of an interview against you when considering your application.

Do you have any further questions?

Call us at 603-646-3368 or email us at Adm.Enrollment@Dartmouth.EDU.


GENERAL ADMISSIONS

How important are SAT scores?

SAT scores are just one of many components of each student's application. The Admissions Committee reviews each application carefully, regardless of test scores, and we consider testing in the context of the entire application. The impact that testing may have on an admissions decision will depend on the strengths and weaknesses of the particular case under review. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/testing.html

Can candidates submit supplementary material?

Yes. Students who have outstanding talents may choose to send art supplement materials through slideroom.com in the Common App. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/first-year/additional.html

When will candidates be notified?

The Admissions Office will notify candidates of early decisions by mid-December. The Admissions Office will notify candidates of regular decisions in the first week of April. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/checklists/

What is a "Likely Letter"?

A likely letter informs the student that his/her application has been reviewed and the probability of acceptance in April is very high. Likely Letters are used by all Ivy institutions as a way to reassure highly recruited athletes of the likelihood of their admission when those students are facing pressure to commit to other colleges and universities. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/fineprint/ivy-agreement.html

Are there secondary school/high school course requirements for admission to Dartmouth?

Dartmouth has no specific subject requirements for prospective students. We do, however, encourage students to undertake the strongest course of study available at their secondary schools. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/thinking/courses.html

I changed high schools; do I need to submit anything from my former school?

Yes, we need transcripts from every school where you have taken 9th-12th grade classes. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/index.html#change-school

What is the minimum GPA and/or standardized test scores required for admission?

Dartmouth has no minimum GPA or standardized test scores for consideration, nor maximum above which admission is guaranteed. Test scores are always considered in conjunction with the student’s academic record. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/thinking.html

What is the average GPA for students admitted to Dartmouth?

Because schools present such different grading scales and programs, we do not calculate average GPAs for our admitted students. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/admissions.html

What are the average SAT scores? ACT score?

The full testing statistics are available on the Facts section of our website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/test-stats.html

If a student takes the required tests more than once, which results does Dartmouth consider?

For specific information on testing and scores, please see our general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/testing.html

How do you consider AP and IB courses? Is course credit given on the basis of test scores?

Beginning with the Class of 2018, Dartmouth will no longer offer credit for AP or IB exams. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/thinking/credit.html

What is the peer recommendation?

The peer recommendation is a required part of the Dartmouth application. We ask every student applying to Dartmouth to get a letter of recommendation from a “peer” (who we define loosely as someone your age who knows you well). Your brother, sister, best friend, cousin, or classmate can all write a peer recommendation, as long as it is someone about your age. The peer recommendation helps us to see how you would add to the Dartmouth community. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/first-year/peer.html

What is your policy on the submission of supplementary materials, and may an applicant submit an artistic portfolio or a tape/CD of my musical performance?

In general, applicants should include any information that they'd like to bring to the attention of the Admissions Committee in their application. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/first-year/additional.html

May an applicant submit supplementary recommendations?

They may submit additional recommendations and we will consider them as we review their file. However, additional recommendations should be submitted only if they will add new and relevant information to our understanding of you. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/actions/submit.html

Does Dartmouth have quotas for a particular region or school?

While we do seek to build a class that is geographically diverse, our applicant pool is large enough that we do not need to give preference to particular states or regions in order to achieve that diversity. Conversely, applying from schools or areas we typically see many applicants from does not hurt your chances of admission. Our review process focuses on you as an individual, so applicants are never directly compared against other students from your school or state. They are always evaluated based on their own credentials and qualities. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/index.html

Is there really an advantage to applying ED?

Very slightly. Early decision is much like a brownie point at Dartmouth. We recognize that you want to commit to us, and that is always viewed as a positive attribute. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/early.html#early-defer

What happens with financial aid if an applicant applies ED?

Financial aid awards are the same whether a student applies early or regular. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/apply/finaid.html

Does Dartmouth show preference in the admissions process for students who have demonstrated interest by visiting, calling and emailing?

No. Demonstrated interest is not a factor in our process. We are happy to answer questions through the Contact Us form on our website, but there is no need to establish contact with a regional Admissions Officer. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/answers/apply/index.html#preference

What is the student-faculty ratio at Dartmouth?

The student-faculty ratio at Dartmouth is 8:1. 63% of classes have fewer than 20 students. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/faculty-students.html

What percentage of classes at Dartmouth are taught by professors?

99.9% of classes are taught by members of the faculty, with only 2 specially supervised math classes taught by graduate students. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/academics.html

How many majors does Dartmouth offer?

Dartmouth offers 57 majors and programs, and students can also design their own major or "modify" a standard major by combing more than one area of interest. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/academics.html

What are the most popular majors?

For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/academics.html

Can I double major at Dartmouth? Can a student complete a major and a minor?

Yes. Approximately 15 - 20 % of students graduate with a double major, and almost 30% of students complete a major and a minor. A small number of students (about 1%) even triple major. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/facts/academics.html

Do students apply to specific academic departments or schools? Does the applicant need to declare a major when I apply to Dartmouth?

Students are not required to declare a major until their sophomore year and do not apply to a particular major or school, regardless of academic interest. A student’s intended area of study has no bearing on their candidacy to Dartmouth. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage:  http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/learn/academics/majors.html

How does the liberal arts curriculum work? What are the requirements at Dartmouth?

Dartmouth's liberal arts curriculum lets you explore big ideas and pursue your particular passions. It's structured to maximize your understanding of the world in ways that enable you to be a leader in your future work. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/learn/academics/liberal.html

What is the advising system at Dartmouth?

Each first-year student is assigned a faculty advisor, whose work starts with helping students select their classes before the start of fall term. Students can also go to their Class Dean, to the Community Director of their residence hall, or to one of several other academic advisors. They will also be assigned an Undergraduate Advisor in your residence hall. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/learn/academics/advising.html

What is the pre-med program like at Dartmouth?

At Dartmouth, students do not major in pre-med, but they can take all the courses they need to be ready for medical school. Dartmouth has a number of noteworthy resources for pre-med students. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/learn/academics/pre-law.html

Can I be Pre-Law?

Your transcript won't say "Pre-Law" for your major, but your Dartmouth transcript will speak volumes when you apply for law school. The liberal arts curriculum at Dartmouth ensures you'll have the analytical and critical thinking skills law schools are looking for. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/learn/academics/pre-law.html

How is the-Business program at Dartmouth?

Undergraduates at Dartmouth have the opportunity to take classes in various aspects of business, including accounting and marketing, from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business. Though business can't be a major, with Dartmouth connections it can lead to exciting career opportunities. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/admissions/learn/academics/pre-law.html

How does Engineering work at Dartmouth?

If a student chooses to study engineering at Dartmouth—the smallest school in the Ivy League—they will experience unparalleled personal attention. And because engineering at Dartmouth is part of the liberal arts, you'll gain the skills and knowledge that distinguish Dartmouth engineers as a breed apart. They will know how to communicate. They will know how to see the big picture. And they will know how to get things done. For more information, please see the following link to the general admissions webpage: http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/academics/undergraduate

Last Updated: 2/4/14