Dartmouth College Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

moonshine

Given that Dartmouth's alumni giving rate is always one of the top, it's pretty obvious that the vast majority of students love their time here. Because Dartmouth is located in the middle of the woods in Hanover, NH, students here really live in the Dartmouth bubble and get to become very close with each other. I think having just around 4000 undergrads is a great size--big enough that there are plenty of people you don't know, but not so large you need a bus to shuttle around campus. Hanover itself is beautiful in the fall, although winters here tend to be rough. That's the one thing I would change about the school. One of the most unique things is the freshmen "Trips" that around 90% of incoming freshmen attend. Groups of around 8-10 kids are lead by upperclassmen on a variety of outdoors trips and instantly fall in love with the school. Freshmen floors themselves tend to be very close. Quality of housing is quite good, and as much as we may complain abou the food, the quality is actually decent. Also, every term (we're on the quarter system), we have a giant party weekend that's always lots of fun. Pong here is better than beirut played at every other campus

Eric

Dartmouth is the best. I cannot imagine myself anywhere else. The campus is beautiful and the professors are extremely accessible during office hours. Classes are very small so you get to experience very engaging classes. Hanover itself is a small town and there is very little to do, but you can find many things to do on campus through clubs or just with friends. I myself am from Los Angeles and I thought I would hate being in a small town, but I love it.

Kelly

I think the best tool that will give anyone an idea of what Dartmouth is like is The Dartmouth: http://thedartmouth.com/ Although the News and Sports are obviously unbiased, the Opinion section, "The Mirror" Section, and the Comics section really represent the unique Dartmouth culture, be it receiving fifty blitzes about lost jackets or depicting the frat scene and rushing.

Royce

Dartmouth is the perfect size. You often see familiar faces as you walk around campus, but it's not like you'll know all of your classmates by the end of your four years here. Because of the D-Plan, only 3/4 of the student body is on campus during any given term. And Hanover is the quintessential college town! There are plenty of cozy cafes to sit at and study, and a variety of decent restaurants and retailers. Although Dartmouth's location is really out of the way, it's a beautiful part of the country and you grow to appreciate it. Boston is only 2 hours away and there are buses going back and forth from there and NYC all the time. It's easy to "live to good life" at Dartmouth. Spend 10 hours or less in class each week, play frisbee on the green, eat yummy organic food (but don't worry, we've got classic college dining hall junk food, too!), watch the leaves change colors in the fall, be surrounded by smart and funny and ambitious people, develop close relationships with your professors, and party to your heart's content every other night.

Abhishek

I'm the last heir from a very distinguished family from India. I like posting thoughts on the World Wide Web. My interests include Culinary Arts, Economics, Movies, and Christianity. Dartmouth College was a good fit for me. The school is neo-classical and gives people like me an opportunity to question aspirations. My college major was Cognitive Science which is interdisciplinary (Math, Psychology, Computer Science, Neurobiology). If I won the lottery, I would donate a sum to Dartmouth College, because I am grateful for the education gained, the friendship memories, and the interest in American politics and life I acquired. Dartmouth College is a small school with a personal community that thrives on intellectual curiosity and service. Its student party scene is thrilling if managed properly. The campus itself is very scenic (and the food is great).

Corey

Dartmouth has all of the resources of a world-class research university and the personal touch (and close-knit intellectual environment) of a small liberal arts college.

Jerry

Just an amazing place with amazing opportunities. It's very hard to answer this question without writing a book, so read my responses to the more specific questions.

Laura

The greatest thing about Dartmouth is that so many who go there people feel the same way about it; it's a wonderful, unique place and one of the best to spend your college years at. There's a great sense of school pride and love for all things Dartmouth. I never thought a love or miss a place so much, but it's true... there will be always be a warm spot in my heart for it and the memories I've had there. This probably explains the very high retention rate and the very high alumni giving rate. The size of the student body, for me, was perfect. It wasn't so small that you knew everyone and everybody was in everybody else's business, but it wasn't so large that you'd always see people you knew around. If you hooked up with someone over the weekend, you'd be sure to see them walking to class or in foodcourt (the dining hall) that week. Dartmouth lives by the "work hard, play hard" mentality, which I suppose isn't different from many colleges. Classes are fairly rigorous and students take work seriously, but they always manage to go out on weekends and Wednesdays (when Greek "meetings" are held which are really just an excuse to get sh**faced.) The student body is also overwhelmingly unique and accomplished. It seems like everyone you meet is super-smart, has either published a book or founded a clinic in Uganda after graduation, and also is pretty cool to hang out with. Even that guy in the ratty cap and tshirt who sleeps through your math class and is stoned every weekend probably knows everything about string theory and has a 3.99 GPA. When I tell other people I went to Dartmouth, they either say, "Oooh Dartmouth... Ivy League... you must be really smart", or ask, "Is that like UMASS Dartmouth?" Either way, I tell them how much I loved going there and don't often bother to try to explain how awesome it is, since there is just something "Dartmouth" about it that I can't quite put into words.

Kate

Dartmouth is AMAZING, period. The campus is gorgeous and the tiny town of Hanover is adorable. Dartmouth is known for its academics and its focus on undergraduates, and I feel completely at home and welcomed here. I'm proud to go to Dartmouth, and when I tell people where I go to school, they are either impressed, or they don't even know where Dartmouth is. The way most students are introduced to Dartmouth is through Dimensions, when accepted students come to Dartmouth, and the college tries to convince them to come. It's ALWAYS gorgeous weather that weekend, and there are so many fun activities. Now, I could not go to Dimensions, so my first experience at Dartmouth was DOC trips, camping trips at the very beginning of the year. It's an INCREDIBLE experience. It's where you meet your first friends, realize how much fun Dartmouth can be, and see how techno music and flair are kind of a big deal.

Elena

When my father helped me move in this September after DOC trips, he best articulated Dartmouth's sense of community, “I can see where Dr. Seuss got his inspiration. Walking around campus and seeing all of your class together on the Green is like being amongst the Who’s in Whoville,” which in my opinion, is so true. We’re an odd bunch, Dartmouth students, but our unique community is extremely close-knit. The second aspect of Dartmouth is hard to put into words. It is the view of Dartmouth as a “world of its own.” The only way I can describe it is that when I arrive in Hanover on the Dartmouth Coach I feel alive and in true form; and as soon as I board the bus to leave for break, I immediately feel homesick and long to return. I literally feel as though everything about me changes when I’m here. While at Dartmouth, I feel invincible in a way. Nothing is out of my reach, and everyone is open-minded. I feel separated from the harsh realities of being an adult, but at the same time feel free to reap the benefits of living on my own. In high school, I was always told my goals were too lofty and that I needed to put things in perspective; and because of this, I was not able to truly enjoy the time I spent there. But at Dartmouth, the “perspective” is always ambitious. In fact, dreaming big and thinking out of the box are expected. On top of that, I’m encouraged to live these next four years of intellectual and social exploration to the fullest. Dartmouth has become my safe haven; a separate place where I’m free to aspire and take pleasure in what education has to offer. I know this isn’t a concrete idea, more ideological than anything, but is truly what I feel is the most defining aspect of Dartmouth College.

Matt

Dartmouth is such a dense school that it's really hard to just sum it up. Safety: I can't think of another school where I'd feel comfortable leaving my computer unattended in the library for several hours. Things rarely get stolen (unless you bring a Northface jacket to a frat and someone mistakes it for their own) and there is no serious crime that goes on (our newspaper publishes descriptions of the "crimes" that go on in Hanover, which are humorous due to their tame nature. Students: A good mix and a good social group for everyone. Lots of school pride both on campus and off. Also, the townfolk have a lot of pride for us too! Atmosphere: The campus is beautiful, especially when it's warm out (and by warm I mean 45+ degrees and sunny...trust me, you'll get used to 50 degrees being hot). The town is quaint. Very clean and super nice people. Pretty pricy and not diverse at all. Food: The food is much better than your average college food (which isn't saying much). There are places to eat in town, but no fast food restaurants for quite a distance. Dorms

Nick

Yea, people are smart here and did incredible things in high school like any other top-tier college. The thing that sets people apart at Dartmouth is the dynamic energy they have. People don't lock themselves in their room to study, they're out on the green enjoying the sun with a book and some friends. Maybe they're throwing a frisbee while talking about humanitarian microfinance projects in equador. Or maybe it's the weekend, and instead of just "going out" they get decked on in the most outrageous costumes you've ever seen because "We just like to wear a little Flair."

Erik

The location is something that few other colleges of its caliber offer. That said, it is difficult for people who are accustomed to spending their time in Manhattan boutiques and clubs. Hanover, New Hampshire is far from metropolis. The town proper is really one main street, and it feels a lot like a gilmore-girlsy quiet New England town. There's a cute family breakfast diner, a few bookstores, a few clothing stores, the Gap, CVS, and a coffee shop or two - all within 5 minutes walking distance from the college green. But that's the end of town. The small-town aspect of Dartmouth does a lot to the social structure. Everyone talks about how there is a definite sense of community - the focus of all 4000 undergrads is directed towards the school itself and the people around them, rather than the city. So by the end of four years spent in the middle of nowhere with awesome people, the personal bonds are intense, a sense that is tougher to create when the school scatters off into the city each weekend. But, that's definitely a matter of personal preference. Some people will nonetheless feel restricted by the size of the town. Being small and undergraduate focused has a big impact upon life at Dartmouth. I was personally looking at places like UCLA and USC as well as Dartmouth, and have been surprised that the size has been one of my favorite parts of the school. It's a wonderful feeling to know that if you're feeling lonely, you can just walk to the campus center (it's nicely organized around a large green, the library, the theater/arts center, and food) and be guaranteed to run into someone you know. But at the same time, it's unlikely that in 4,000 people you wont find SOME people you click well with, and you'll never be able to get to know everyone. Size changes things a lot; if you meet someone one day at an a capella show, you're quite likely to run into them on multiple occasions again, so it's entirely possible to get to know people thoroughly, without having to live next door to them. The students are friendly and not at all competetive. Honestly, the people are probably the best resource. If you dont understand math, there are 5 people who live a few doors down in either direction who are brilliant at it and willing to help. But even with an overwhelming number of friendly people, Dartmouth is real, and you will run into the occasional person you dont like. Also, Blitzmail (email) instead of cell-phones dominate life, and we write emails like crazypeople. Nobody owns a cell phone. I told you, unique.

Derek

I think the most amazing thing about Dartmouth is its dedication to fostering passion in its students. It does this through the plethora of opportunities- studying abroad, research, publications, clubs, etc. I love being on campus. Dartmouth is very much a community. They take care of you here, and really pamper you too! During the first week of school, all freshman get a free lobster dinner, while a string quartet plays live in the background, of course. We are very pampered here! Our alumni also take care of us. Alumni of one of the singing groups, for example, just rented a villa in Tuscany for current student members and flew them to Italy for spring break.

Anna

Small town with not much to do but go to frats. There seems to be defacto segregation, but not as bad as some schools. Professors are really here to help.

Abby

I cannot say enough good things about Dartmouth. I completely loved my experience there. As an alum, Dartmouth remains a huge part of your life. The alumni are very active and loyal. It is like joining a private cult. I think it is unlike any other college in that you always feel like you are a part of the school.

Molly

Dartmouth is such an awesome place, so much so that an outsider would never get it. Coming from the west some people don't even know what school I'm talking about. I'm like "ahhh its an ivey league school". Princeton and Harvard definitely are way better known. The campus is so special. Everything from the Green to the town make me happy just thinking about them when I'm away. I have yet to be on another college campus that makes me feel this way!

Adam

This is a small school with a big world-view and world-class elite facilities. Most people from the Northeast know what Dartmouth is, but elsewhere we have to tell people it's part of the Ivy League, then they sort of get it. I wish this place wasn't so privileged. I wish we didn't have gender and race issues. It seems like other, more urban or larger Ivies have moved beyond these issues more. Sometimes this place is a place of great despair for people, for the same people it is a place of great joy and pride. We struggle here. I'm not sure if we work any harder, but things come at a cost here it seems, and the worst part is feeling alone. But we are stronger for it, and the legacy of Dartmouth is a retinue of proud, principled alums who do good in the world (next to others we aren't that proud of). The granite of New Hampshire, as the song goes, is imbued in our muscles and our brains, but on a windy peak admissions is loath to tell you about. As far as the town, Hanover's history is the history of the college, and the town doesn't offer much that the college hasn't created in its vast legacy here and around the world.

Amanda

Being the smallest of the Ivies, Dartmouth is a fairly good size. It's small enough where you're not just a number, and yet large enough that there are always new faces. It's location is another story, located in middle of no where, there's not much to do unless you're a big nature person.

Matthew

Dartmouth is really remote, hard to get to, and totally removed from 'civilization.' But that said, it is an extremely vibrant campus with things to do all the time, and never enough time to do all the things that one would like. Campus is a great size; its not too big that it takes forever to get anywhere, but not too small that you feel trapped. The same is true of the student body size, as you can always see someone you know, but there are enough new faces to keep things fresh.

Blake

Dartmouth is amazing. First it is a fairytale land of love, and then after Homecoming the freshmen are loathed. Then it is up to every schmuck to make it. If you are coming you'll love it for its intensity. The resources stay plentiful and it is up to you to find and access them. Everything is competition so get ready to get better at whatever it is that you want most. You are in for a surprise if you think you are the best singer... for instance. The people are friendly as ever. Come, I'll show you the ropes.

Jay

The one complaint I have about Dartmouth is Hanover, the town itself. There is no place to shop and it's pretty secluded. There is, however, a lot of school pride which is a huge plus. Everyone here loves the college. It is the perfect size: not too big or too small so that you run into a lot of people you know while still having the opportunity to meet a lot of new people as well. Dartmouth's D-Plan is pretty unusual, but really cool because it allows for students to take any term off in the year rather than just summer. And staying on for sophomore summer allows for class bonding. We are also on a quarter system, which is pretty unusual. It's great in that we get more opportunities to take a variety of different classes and makes things seem to be moving along faster. The major drawback is that everything is moving long faster so that it seems like finals are just around the corner from midterms.

Cameron

Dartmouth has amazing professors who are incredibly accessible. You will fall in love with them and they will open your eyes to academic subjects you never would have thought you'd find interesting. You will also find it really easy to get to know your professors on a personal level, to take them out to lunch, to be their research assistants (no grad student competition!), etc. The size of the school is pretty good. It keeps class sizes down and gives the school an intimate feel. If there were more students, then extracurricular student groups would have higher membership/meeting attendance, but that's really the only downside to a small school in my opinion. There are some really fucking awesome students here, whose ability to juggle difficult classes while saving the world will blow your mind away. Overall, everyone has a love/hate relationship with this school. There are things about it that suck --winter, Hanover, the fact that friends leave campus for off terms. But then again, there's winter carnival, the cuteness of all of the mom and pop stores in Hanover, and the fact that the "D-plan" (Google it) allows us to have amazing internship and study abroad opportunities all over the world.

Sonia

I love my school and right now I don't think there is anything I would change. If life was perfect all the time, then I wouldn't look forward to the good things or appreciate them. And the troubles bring me closer to people because we can help each other through them. At the start of the term, there seems to be a lot of school pride, with people wearing clothing that has the Dartmouth insignia on it. It's quite amazing and I don't think anyone wouldn't be happy to go to Dartmouth.

Greta

The best thing about Dartmouth is the atmosphere and the people who go here. The one thin that I would change is the language requirement. I think the school size is just right. When I tell people that I go to Dartmouth, they are generally like "wow that is a really good school" and they think that I have to be a genius to go here. I spend most of my time in class or on the field/doing anything that involves lacrosse. I think the administration at Dartmouth is great. The biggest controversy lately has been the return of Beta and kicking out the sorority that was in their house. One experience that I will always remember is going off of the rope swing into the river in the fall. most frequent student complaints are about the difficulty of the class.

Frances

The best thing about Dartmouth is all the awesome students. Everyone has done something incredible and is brilliant in a different way. Plus, students care about each other- there's no competition. Students are incredibly proud of Dartmouth and are very loyal to the school and other Dartmouth alums/students. I think the size is just right, maybe a tiny bit small.

Jordan

The best thing about Dartmouth is the sense of community. Unless, for some reason, you hate Dartmouth -- then the sense of community becomes a constant irritation. But in my opinion, it's this sense of community, fostered by the remote (but beautiful) location, the relatively small size, and unique traditions that makes Dartmouth so awesome. We're like a little self-contained society with its own unique slang/lingo, games (pong), and inside jokes that only Dartmouth students understand (mostly built on DOC trip traditions). And most of the students do enjoy it. There's a ton of school pride and you hear about alumni "bleeding green" until they die. Very hard core.

broghan

the best thing about dartmouth is the school spirit. there's just the right amount of people. people are dartmouth are really down to earth. I spend most of my time in foodcourt. the small town is perfect because it has everything one needs, but nothing extra.

Blake

Dartmouth is a wonderful college located in THE PERFECT college town. Local restaurants with a few bars, and small shops line the main street of Hanover which is set just beyond the campus' central meeting place in beautiful weather, "the Green". That being said, the social life truly is on Frat Row - don't be turned off if you think you aren't the stereotypical "sorority girl" or "frat dude". The Dartmouth students pride ourselves on offering inclusive, creative and, yes, wild parties. I never would have predicted that I would become a member of a local sorority (less restrictions imposed on you because you're not affiliated with national organizations), but I've met really great women as a result! The surrounding community loves its students and the students as well as the many organizations they are involved in are very tapped into serving the community.

kelly

best thing about dartmouth is my friends and the campus. I would change the river dorms. they are TERRIBLE (far away, not nice at all). The school is just right i think with any more people it would be way to crowded. People are taken back when i tell them that I go to dartmouth. they are always like wow. i spend most of my time either in my dorm or on the lacrosse field (includes floren, field, locker room etc) hanover is a cute college town, the only thing i would change is i would put a chipotle in it. the administration tries to support everyone as best as they can. recent controversy is an athlete cheating on a test. there is definitely a lot of school pride.

Paige

Definitely a college town. I'd say the best thing about Dartmouth definitely the people and the environment. From the moment I arrived on campus my freshman fall I felt welcomed and like I just became part of a family.

Kelsey

The best thing about Dartmouth is by far the people that go to school here. Everyone is an amazing individual and there are very few people who are not nice and genuine. If I could change one thing it would definitely be the location. I mean sometimes the rural New Hampshire wilderness is beautiful and I really enjoy it, I just wish we were a little closer to Boston or New York.

Evan

I love Dartmouth because everyone is so friendly and I constantly feel like I am part of a big, happy family (sort of like Barney except not G-rated). It's just the right size. There are days when I see twenty people I know just on my way to lunch, and there are days when I might not see a single familiar face unless I plan to meet up with someone. Dartmouth has the least pretentious students of all the Ivies, but I still get an awed reaction from people when I tell them I go here. Of course, there will always be that annoying freshman who thinks that if you don't go to an Ivy League than you might as well not go to college. I usually ignore these students, because they are soulless creatures that never see the light of day. I divide my time between relaxing in my room, studying in the library, and partying on frat row. I hardly ever spend time in Hanover proper because it is tiny and lacks vitality. The tourism board might call it charming, though, and I would probably agree. The only problem I have with Dartmouth is the board of Alumni. It’s nice that they donate money to the school, but sometimes I feel like they need to get a life. So many of them complain about how Dartmouth should go back to the “old days.” Unfortunately, this means when there were no women at Dartmouth and most of the school’s money went into training the football team. Other than that, Dartmouth is a pretty progressive school and there is a tremendous amount of school pride.

Royce

Dartmouth is Hanover. The town was created because of the college, but it is a very nice place even though it doesn't have much.

Jesse

The best thing about Dartmouth is definitely the feeling that everyone is so happy to be here. While people talk about the "Dartmouth Bubble" as though it were a negative, I think its a positive. Yes, its easy to completely lose track of whats going on outside of about a five mile radius from where you are, but what the bubble does provide is a sense of togetherness that I think a lot of people miss at larger schools. Since about a quarter of the student body is off-campus on any one term because of the D-plan, Dartmouth has an effective student body size of about 3000: big enough so that you don't feel like you know everyone after a month, but definitely small enough to create a tight community atmosphere. I wouldn't really call Hanover a town... its more like a few streets with some shops and restaurants. Fortunately, that's totally irrelevant, because Dartmouth provides plenty of opportunities for its students. The Hop, our arts center, holds concerts, shows, art exhibitions, and movies; the Tucker Foundation coordinates community service; student clubs and performance groups blitz (Blitz = Dartmouth email, which is checked by students approximately 100 times a day) out about activities and meetings; frats and sororities provide the parties. If you're apprehensive about coming here because of its location, don't worry - you won't be bored. One word of caution - the frats dominate the mainstream social scene. Unlike at other schools, frat basements are always open, and open to all, but they are where the parties are. Obviously not everyone chooses to frequent them, and there are always other things to do on weekends, but the majority of the student body goes Greek.

Sean

Best thing about Dartmouth - People. They're smart, open-minded, active, and loaded with talents. For instance, most people speak at least two languages and play at least one instrument. Thing I'd change - Cost. I've been out for nearly 10 years and I'm still paying for it. They do make it affordable for everyone but it's still so expensive. School size - Just right. 1,100 students per class. It gradually increases (used to be like 40 per graduating class in 1770s) but the rate of increase is acceptable. I like graduating and at least recognizing 75%+ of the names being announced at graduation. People's reaction when I tell them I went to Dartmouth - Impressed. They know Dartmouth is a smart school and, perhaps, didn't think I was that smart. Most of my time on campus - Student Centers. Whether it was dining hall (most students are on centralized meal plans), performance spaces (like the Hopkins Center or Collis Commonground), or meeting areas for clubs/radio station/tv (like Robinson Hall), I tended to be where other students were. College town - Yes. Dartmouth is the epitome of a "college town" Dartmouth's administration - Love to hate them. It's a unifying thing, us (students) vs. them but really they're fantastic. They truly care about everyone and want the school to survive and thrive. Biggest recent controversy on campus - Greek vs. Non-Greek. The Greek (frat) system was a very key component of campus life in Dartmouth's past but, in an effort to take more control, Administration is offering more alternatives to becoming a part and harsher penalties for Greek misbehavior. School pride - Yes. Tons of it. I still have five shirts, a calendar, a facebook application, an email account, countless address labels, an improv troupe, and several bumper stickers with "Dartmouth" on it...and I don't even have a car! Also, I don't think I'm alone. I'm in touch with several other alums with similar paraphernalia. Anything unusual about Dartmouth - There's a graveyard surrounding about 1/3 of the campus. One experience I'll always remember - Late Night Food Court. Meeting some friends just before the dining hall closed (~1am) and eating mediocre food and chatting about everything. It felt like we owned the campus. These were the seeds of inside jokes that I still share with my friends 9 years after graduation. After the dining hall would close we'd return in a blizzard to our respective dorm rooms and blitz (Dartmouth for "email") each other until the server went down at 3am (which I'm told doesn't happen any more). The most frequent student complaints - Lack of diversity. It's true. It would be nice to have a more diverse campus. I feel that the Administration is moving that direction.

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