There is a place for everyone at Dartmouth, and that includes both some of the greatest people I've ever known and a lot of corporate tools who are more interested in their resumes than anything that goes on in class. There are a number of incredible professors here, who are really dedicated to teaching, above all else, and sharing their passions with their students, but there are also a few lackluster ones. The fraternity scene tends to dominate social life if you let it (and a lot of people do). There's a lot of amazing stuff going on at Dartmouth, including some incredibly helpful resources, but to find them, you will have to seek them out. I have undergone immense personal growth and fulfillment while here, and I can't imagine having gone to any other school, but what I will remember about this school are the wonderful individual relationships I formed- I have no love for the institution. Many people love everything about the school when they first arrive, but find themselves growing dissatisfied with aspects of Dartmouth as they find out more. The problem with this is that a lot of people on campus are pretending to be happier and more self-reliant than they really are. People are scared to ask for help, because they're so used to doing well on their own, and people are afraid to be unhappy, because Dartmouth is supposed to be this wonderful community where everyone is supposed to be getting what they want out of the experience. And I have found wonderful communities within Dartmouth, but the important thing to know is that if you are unhappy, or struggling, or both, you are not alone, and you do have a niche here, but you do need to make the effort.
Dartmouth is an incredibly diverse school. Very rarely will you see groups of friends that are purely homogeneous. There are lots of racial minorities (esp. Native Americans) as well as people of varying sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, there is a huge amount of political diversity and financial diversity as well. Granted, there are a good amount of rich students, but these amount to only about half of the school’s population. Being a gay student, I can say that my experience has been very positive. Not once have I dealt with blatant discrimination or harassment. I have only encountered tolerance, and very often acceptance, from my peers. My only problem is that a lot of other LGBT students don’t feel the same way. I feel like sometimes Dartmouth breeds a large amount of semi-closeted LGBT students because of the (slightly) intimidating Greek scene. Not to say there isn’t a substantial amount of out LGBT students here; they just aren’t all extremely vocal. Overall, Dartmouth is a very open-minded and progressive school and the environment is overwhelmingly tolerant and accepting.
Fairly diverse. Sometimes I feel like there are people here who just shouldn't be here, because they're not comfortable with the rural New England location and they don't like snow. You really have to embrace the small town feel of the campus to be happy, and some kids just aren't willing to do that, which puzzles me. However, the diversity is generally a good thing. We've got people from all over the country (from LA to Miami, Seattle to New York, Houston to D.C.), and not as many people from the northeast as you would expect (although that is still the most heavily represented area within the student body). There are plenty of international students, who really add a lot to the school in terms of their perspectives and opinions. Everyone gets along really well. In the dining hall, you usually can't identify the people sitting at one table from the people sitting at another table, unless there's a whole sports team sitting together!
I'd say the one word to describe Dartmouth's student body is "chill". No one really cares if you're more into the DOC than the frats, the frats than your classes, or if the library is your second home. Getting ready in the morning is not a big deal either, especially in the winter when you're going to be hidden by so many layers no one really is going to care what you're wearing. I would say that a significant percentage of the student body comes from upper-middle to upper class backgrounds, but that the only type of person who would feel out of place here is one who is close minded. If you arrive for your freshman DOC trip and judge the antics of the flair-wearing H-Croo, rather than join in, Dartmouth isn't for you.
I think the closed-minded (AND one who is unwilling to open their mind) student would feel out of place at Dartmouth. Dartmouth is fabulous because the student body has such diverse backgrounds and genuinely love engaging with other students to learn more about their experiences. Most students are also athletes because we are a smaller sized school, yet still Division 1. If students aren't athletes, most love being active in some outdoor/indoor physical activity.
Everyone here is very different, but at the same time everyone here is so nice. Yes, people can be petty or be jerks, but over all everyone is generally kind. People come from all over and do so many different things, but if you leave here and you run into someone who went to dartmouth 10, 15, 50 years ago I garuntee you will talk a get to know that person better than anyone else in the room. A Dartmouth bond is very strong.
Dartmouth is so diverse that I think any kind of student would feel comfortable at Dartmouth. Most students wear either jeans or sweats to class. Everyone interacts with everyone; there are the different 'groups' or 'stereotypes' of people but people go beyond those superficial walls and make friends with all different kinds of people that they otherwise probably wouldn't have talked to.
I think the type of student who would feel most out of place at Dartmouth might be described as follows: the socially adept, frat-hating, non-drinker. There are many social people here, and many people who abstain from drinking and stay away from frats, but I think its probably hard for people who fall into both of these categories to find others like them. But maybe I'm wrong.
Pretty diverse although a lot of people DO come from prep/boarding schools. People take academics seriously, obviously, but it's not really that apparent outside of the library and the classroom.