The alumni/ae interview is both informative and evaluative. It is an opportunity for an applicant to learn about Dartmouth from a graduate of the College and it provides the Admissions Committee with an additional perspective from someone who has met with the candidate in person.
Interviewers are valuable sources of information, providing a local contact to applicants and their families and serving as an invaluable resource for the Admissions Office. Interviewers often help put a candidate’s achievements "into context" for the Admissions Committee.
Interviews are often conducted at a local coffee shop or library, if those locations are convenient for the applicant. If you are having difficulty finding a public space in which to interview, you could ask a high school counselor for permission to conduct an interview at the school. Sometimes, interviewers and candidates will meet at an office or home. If using a private home, please set aside an area for parents who may accompany their son/daughter to the interview. It is not common nor recommended that you travel to the candidates' homes.
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/home/login.
Please visit http://www.dartmouth.edu/~interviewers/interviewing/theform6.html to download the Form 6. 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/home/login. You may also email completed evaluation forms to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax them to 603-646-1216, or mail them to 6016 McNutt Hall; Dartmouth College; Hanover, NH 03755.
Interviews are generally 45 minutes to one hour in length.
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.
We encourage you to include alumni/ae of color on your interviewing teams whenever possible, as it is important for all candidates to become aware of the variety of perspectives that compose the Dartmouth experience. Although this is especially helpful when interviewing students of color, please note that alumni/ae of color should not be limited to interviewing students of color and vice versa. The important thing is that students are exposed to alumni/ae with a range of experiences and backgrounds.
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.
The Admissions Office already has this information. You should not ask about it early in the interview. If you wish, you can ask about it later to help you assess how this candidate compares with others.
SAT scores are just one of many components of each student's application. Median SAT 1 scores for students admitted to Dartmouth tend to fall between 720 and 730 on any one of the three components of the test (Critical Reading, Math and Writing). The Admissions Committee reviews each application carefully, regardless of test scores, and we consider testing in the context of the entire application. This is not to say that testing is not an important part of the application. Rather, the impact that testing may have on an admissions decision will depend on the strengths and weakness of the particular case under review.
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.
Yes. Students who have outstanding talents may choose to send slides of original artwork, tapes or CDs of solo musical performances, or other evidence of specific accomplishment to the Admissions Office. In most cases, materials will be then sent to the appropriate department for evaluation.
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/Form 6 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".
Never tell a candidate that he or she is sure to be admitted, or even 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 15 percent of those who apply are admitted.
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.
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.
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. In addition, the Dartmouth Admissions Office sends out letters each year to a small number of very strong candidates in February and/or early March. Candidates might call to ask if this letter is legitimate. It is, and safely offer your congratulations.
"Squeeze Play" is the colloquial term for what the Ivy League schools officially call Forced Commitments. Usually, but not always, Forced Commitments involve recruited athletes and scholarship awards. Candidates facing a deadline for a commitment may, through their guidance counselors, petition for an early review from the Dartmouth Admissions Office. Applicants involved in a Squeeze Play or seeking a likely letter must have already submitted a completed application to the College. If a likely letter is issued in response to a squeeze play, a copy will be directed to the appropriate DED. The topic of "Squeeze Plays" may certainly arise subsequent to or during interview situations. Questions concerning the desirability of scheduling or conducting alumni/ae interviews in cases of applicants involved in forced commitments should be directed to the Admissions Office.
Decisions are loaded directly into I-Track, and interviewers may view the decision for any applicant who has been assigned to them.
Unfortunately Dartmouth must turn down thousands of qualified applicants every year. Once the decisions are made applicants and their families may contact the Admissions Office. Due to the competitiveness of the admissions process, many qualified students are denied admission because of the selectivity of the process rather than because of weaknesses in their candidacies.
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.
Call us at 603-646-3368 or email us at Adm.Enrollment@Dartmouth.EDU.
Last Updated: 2/7/13