What does an Independent College Counselor do in New Hampshire when she’s been sidelined from skiing? Visit Dartmouth College of course! (Truth be told, I did some reading, shopping and lots of eating too!)
It’s hard not to fall instantly in love with Dartmouth’s picture perfect campus. It radiates the quintessential, elite college aura in everyway. The large Dartmouth “Green” is the center of campus activity and is where I saw students gathering, even on a15-degree day in February!
A Dartmouth education is personal and flexible. The nearly 4,000 undergraduates can choose from one of its 57 majors or design an individual independent study program. Although there are no core requirements, students must complete writing, quantitative and distribution requirements. Students who want to study engineering need not apply directly to the Thayer Engineering School or a particular program but rather the college itself. Engineering is usually a five-year program. Fun fact, Dartmouth now graduates more women engineers than men.
The college is on the quarter system, known as the “D Plan.” The quarter system offers students more flexibility in mapping out their academic path. Second year students must study on campus during the summer, which affords students the opportunity to take a quarter off during the year to hold an internship or study abroad.
Our tour guide was a second year from Seattle, Washington studying Quantitative Social Science. In her spare time she is captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team. She told us that the typical student at Dartmouth is athletic and many are outdoors enthusiasts too. Most students I saw were dressed in Canada Goose, Uggs, Northface, and Patagonia.
There’s plenty to do on campus and students are uber involved. Nearly 60-percent of students join sororities and fraternities. Seventy-percent of all students participate in club, intramural or varsity athletics, and varsity athletes compete in the Ivy League. Attending home hockey games is popular. Tradition has it that students throw tennis balls onto the ice after Dartmouth scores its first goal. There are three festivals a year. Campus was preparing for the upcoming Winter Carnival weekend when I was there. The ice rink was already in place for broomball and ice blocks were being trucked in for the ice sculpture competition. Apparently the human “dogsled” competition is a big hit too. The on-campus Hopkins Center for the Arts and Hood Museum of Art are utilized by students, faculty, alumni, and of course residents of the community as well.
At Dartmouth nearly 90-percent of students live on campus. Beginning in fall of 2016, all first years are assigned to one of the six residential colleges. Upperclassmen can choose to live in dorms, living and learning communities or Greek houses down on “Fraternity Row.” Just 10-percent of upperclassmen choose to live in off-campus apartments.
I had lunch at a cute farm to table restaurant in a quaint downtown restaurant in the center of Hanover. The downtown area borders the campus. The Hanover Inn, upscale shops, restaurants, and movie theaters are just steps away from campus. If you like skiing or snow boarding, you’ll be happy to know that there are several popular Vermont and New Hampshire ski resorts only an hour away. Buses run to Boston and other major Northeast cities.
Admissions and Financial Aid
Students apply to the college rather than a particular program. Admissions requires a peer recommendation as part of the admissions process. Dartmouth is need blind and meets full demonstrated need. Dartmouth does not award merit scholarships.
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