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A Student's Guide to Dartmouth College

Welcome to Light on the Heart's College Review Series! High school students share their thoughts on colleges around America to help you make that final decision when the time students have been waiting for their entire lives roles around.

"The Green" features a vast expense of open space available for students with free Wi-Fi, school-wide activities, and freshman-year welcome rituals, amongst other activities.

This liberal arts college promotes "critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration" with its unique core curriculum, the D-Plan. Let's explore some of the main draws of Dartmouth for its large 25,000 applicant pool, which only continues to rise each year.

Undergraduate Focus

Compared to most other Ivy League colleges, Dartmouth is relatively remote in small-town Hanover, New Hampshire. But, don't be dismayed because these small class sizes allow for more opportunities to form meaningful bonds with your peers, professors, and researchers. This R1 research school thrives on the basis of professors being the leaders of their own fields of research. There are constant internship and research programs that are relatively easy to get involved in within freshman year. A small community of graduate schools encourages researchers to look towards undergraduate students to conduct research in their labs.


Dartmouth students refer to themselves by graduation year rather than by traditional titles of "sophomore" or "senior", which creates meaningful bonds between current students and alumni. Imagine coming home from your semester abroad in Spain and sitting next to someone with a Dartmouth sweatshirt; "I'm an '85, what about you?" Dartmouth students share a love and enthusiasm for their school that runs deeper than their 4, maybe more, years at college. Your peers are not just talented and smart, but they are genuinely kind and passionate people.

Dartmouth's commitment to a Liberal Arts structured education, strong alumni network, top research endeavors, and inclusive community explain why so many students are drawn to this college.

My thoughts

I was instantly encapsulated by the sheer and expansive green beauty of the Dartmouth campus. There are plentiful resources and people willing to help you out, making me feel included in the community within my first 5 minutes of being on the campus. The atmosphere makes it quite obvious that students are truly excited to be there. Here are a few of my own pros and cons after visiting the campus and speaking to several current students:


  1. A connection to nature through the campus and the Outing Club. You can also join a new sport as a beginner!

  2. The ability to form life-long connections

  3. The Women's Science Organization is a key club and there are more than 180 others

  4. It's very easy to find and execute meaningful research

  5. The D-plan is personal and customizable, making it easy to travel abroad and gain experiences in the real world

  6. It is close to home, as a student from Massachusetts

  7. They meet 100% demonstrated financial need and have a very comprehensive financial aid guide

  8. Dorming is flexible and similar to Hogwarts in a way (you get put into houses that stay constant throughout your time there)

  9. Small class sizes allow you to form closer connections with your peers and professors

  10. Dartmouth has the first student newspaper in America


  1. You must take 13 liberal arts classes over your 4 years. Some may not be of interest to people who want to work in highly specialized fields, but current students report greatly enjoying these classes

  2. There are no nearby hospitals to volunteer in, but there is Hitchcock Medical Center

  3. The student body is less diverse than most other Ivy League colleges

  4. The medical centers (if you are interested in the pre-med track or want to volunteer), are further north from the undergraduate campuses

  5. It will be quite cold for most of the year, so come prepared!

I hope my views on this college were of some help in your admissions journey-- stay connected to read similar articles!


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