Ten years ago, I started my Dartmouth experience. I quickly found a home in the history department, and was extremely impressed by the rigor of the courses, the thoughtfulness of the professors, and the diversity of my peers. Everyone at Dartmouth has his or her own story about what sets them apart and what brought them to Dartmouth, but one who truly stands out in my memory as someone who taught me so much during my time here as an undergraduate was a military veteran. Fast forward to the present, and I have the privilege of working with military veterans who are thinking about a transition to higher education. This has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job…and speaking of my job, let me introduce myself.
My Name is Will Corbett and I am a senior assistant director of admissions, in addition to being a Dartmouth alum (shout out to the Class of 2010).
Dartmouth has a rich history of military veterans on our campus. In the early 2000s, Dartmouth President James Wright, a Marine Corps veteran, helped write an updated version of the GI Bill. President Wright noticed the lack of military veterans at Dartmouth and other top schools, and in partnership with Walter Reed Hospital, visited wounded veterans, letting them know that the most selective schools in the country wanted them as students.
Since President Wright’s retirement in 2008, Dartmouth has continued its commitment to educating veterans. Veterans have come to Dartmouth predominately through the transfer process. Our transfer veterans often have found that taking a year at a community college or local institution is helpful in preparing them for the application process, as many have not been in a classroom since high school.
As an admissions officer, I can tell you that we look at the whole picture, and take care to understand the student’s academic and personal trajectory. In our experience, some veterans think they would not be competitive applicants to Dartmouth based on their high school transcripts, but we understand that there is often important personal development that happens during a military experience. We are looking to admit the student who you are now, informed by your past experiences.
Not all of our veterans are transfer students, however. Last year, Dartmouth joined Vassar and Wesleyan to become the third school to join the Posse Veterans Program. Through this program, each year cohorts of ten military veterans start at Dartmouth as first year students. The process of applying via Posse Veterans is slightly different–students apply or are nominated to the Program, they then participate in three rounds of in-person interviews, including a final interview with both Posse and Dartmouth staff.
Veterans are well represented throughout the College. Currently, Dartmouth has 23 veterans enrolled at the undergraduate level, we’ve graduated 26 veterans since 2009, and our veterans come from all branches of the military. The Undergraduate Veterans Association provides a social home for our veterans, and engages the broader Dartmouth community about veterans’ issues through film screenings, fundraisers and other events. It also provides short-term monetary support for veterans who need it. Dartmouth alumni are also leaders in military fields. Current Army secretary Eric Fanning graduated from Dartmouth in 1990, and Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni (DUSA) has over 454 members.
Dartmouth is committed to making sure it is affordable for all students to attend the College. We guarantee to meet 100% of each student’s demonstrated need, and also have an unlimited number of Yellow Ribbon spots.
If you are a military veteran or are advising one through the application process, please do not hesitate to reach out.