I am an admitted student interested in deferring my admission for a year – how do I request a deferral?


Admitted students who would like to defer their enrollment at Dartmouth for a year can do so by doing the following:

1) Accept our offer of admission by May 1st, 2010.

2) E-mail Assistant to the Dean of Admissions Peg Chase at by July 1, 2010. Your e-mail should outline your reasons for deferring for a year, and your plans for your Gap Year.

Your request will be processed and you will receive a response via email to let you know if we need any additional information. You will then receive an official response from Maria Laskaris, Dean of Admissions by email and paper mailing granting your request. Please allow approximately 2 weeks for the processing of deferral requests.

3) We require that you write to our office as soon as possible after January 1, 2011, to reaffirm your commitment to join the Class of 2015. This e-mail should also describe your experiences and undertakings during the 2010 – 2011 academic year.

Please note the following policies regarding deferred enrollment:

1) Admitted students who defer their enrollment must withdraw all applications to other institutions, and they may not apply to any other colleges or universities during their gap year.

2) Students who defer enrollment do not need to reapply to Dartmouth in 2011 or complete any new admissions forms, but students who qualify for Financial Aid must reapply for Financial Aid for the 2011-2012 academic year. You must file the CSS PROFILE Application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The CSS Profile will be available in October 2010 and the FAFSA will be available January 1, 2011 for the 2011 - 2012 academic year.

Please be advised that, beginning with the Class of 2015, students applying for Financial Aid with family incomes above $75,000 will receive financial aid awards that include loans. Students who defer for a year and enroll with the Class of 2015 will be packaged using the same financial aid guidelines as the rest of their classmates. Visit the Financial Aid website for application instructions and requirements.

3) The Admissions Committee reserves the right to review the status of any admitted student and to rescind the offer of admission if a student's academic or personal record does not remain satisfactory in all respects.


I am a Transfer applicant. Do I need to submit a mid-term report?


No. Transfer applicants must submit official transcripts for all college level work completed to date along with their secondary school transcripts, but we do not require a mid-term update. Some applicants do submit them, but this is not necessary.


I have materials I want to add to my application. Will you accept them?


Some students will mail, email, or fax additional materials to the admissions office after their application has become complete. We will happily accept these materials, providing they supplement your application with NEW information.

If you have an updated transcript, a change in your application, a new award or honor, or a change in curriculum, please feel free to send that new information directly to the admissions office.

Please do not send newspaper clippings, emails, recommendations, resumes, or certificates which are repetitive. (For example, please don't send us newspaper clippings regarding your Eagle Scout project if you have already written about your Eagle Scout project in your short answer.)

Also, please refrain from sending "announcements" regarding the status of your additional material. You do not need to email us to let us know that your updated transcript is on the way.

We want to make sure we have as complete a candidacy for each applicant as possible, but we do not want to weigh down your application file with information that isn't necessary.

Is it too late to send in a Peer Reference?


No, it's not too late. You can still submit the peer reference to us. My suggestion at this point is that you fax it to 603-646-1216.

Please note: It will be helpful to us if you only send it once. We're finding that some peers fax the reference (or email it) and then follow up with a second submission via regular mail. This slows down our processing of the application material.


What last-minute financial aid advice do you have?


Please note the sound may have issues for the first few minutes of the video. I apologize for the technical problems.

Useful links:

Key Pieces of Advice:
  • CSS & FAFSA are due February 1 for regular decision applicants. Please get these forms in as close to the deadline as possible.
  • We are NEED-BLIND for all applicants, which means the decision to admit you to Dartmouth is not based on the ability to afford Dartmouth. Don't confuse this with Dartmouth's NEED-BASED Financial Aid policy, which means we only offer need-based financial aid and NO merit-based aid.
  • We do guarantee to meet 100% of a family's demonstrated financial need.
  • If you do not have full financial information available for 2009, please estimate for the most recent year and submit final documents when requested.
  • For International financial aid applicants we prefer official income statements over tax-returns.


I was admitted Early Decision. Is it okay if I change my academic schedule this spring?


Yes, but we expect you will continue to challenge yourself and be successful. We do have a post-acceptance review at the end of the year to check on this. We want future Dartmouth students to continue to grow intellectually, academically, and personally during the senior year. We also want you to enjoy your final year of high school.

If changing your course load is going to allow you to really engage your academic and extracurricular interests more significantly over the remainder of your senior year, we see no harm in doing so. Your schedule should not be determined by what we want, it should be determined by what you find challenging and meaningful. We follow the advice of your secondary school counselor for determining a reasonable schedule for you to proceed with for the remainder of your senior year.


How many times is each application reviewed? How much time is devoted to reviewing an application?


Most applications are reviewed two or three times, with each review completed by a different member of the Admissions Committee (some applications will be reviewed more than three times - see below).

The total time spent reviewing each candidacy varies from one application to the next

  • The "first read" of an application typically takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete, while the length of a "second read" will vary from case to case.
  • Often, the second read of the application will take less time than the first read because the second reviewer does not have to record as many notes as the first reader.
  • In other circumstances, a second read may take as much or more time than the first read due to the complexity of the case or due to the fact that the second reader may want to point out new issues for the Admissions Committee to consider.
  • The first two reviews of a candidacy are usually comprehensive reviews of the entire application, and each reviewer takes notes summarizing the case for admission. The second reader does not look at the first reader's notes until after completing their own review of the application.
  • Additional reviews may be by an individual reader or may involve a group (or "committee") review of the candidacy. Some candidacies will be reviewed multiple times as the selection process moves forward.
  • One of my earlier blog posts explains who reads applications files.


The Deadline is Today, and I've Got a Question That I Really Need an Answer To Before Submitting My Application. What Should I Do?


Three things:

1) See our last minute tips blog post and video.

2) Check our website. Pages you may want to visit include:

3) Hang on until Monday.

If you get through items 1 and 2 and still aren't ready to submit your application, you can contact us on Monday when the office will be open again. It will be okay with us if you do not submit your application until then.


Last Minute Application Tips Video


Thank you for all your great questions from the Application Tips video chat. We do our best below to categorize the breadth of questions you asked. Visit the following links for more information about each topic. A number of specific questions are addressed under each "blog posts" link.

We will do our best to add more of your questions to this blog. You may also submit your own question.

When is the last time I can take the SAT or ACT and still be considered for Admission?


Applying Early Decision (application deadline: November 1st):
Last test date for SAT/Subject Test: November
Last test date for ACT: October

Applying Regular Decision (application deadline: January 1st):
Last test date for SAT/Subject Test: January
Last test date for ACT: December

Visit CollegeBoard for more info about SAT and Subject Tests preparation, registration or the exam itself. Visit ACT for more info about ACT preparation, registration or the exam itself.

  • Speak with your counselor about obtaining a testing fee-waiver if appropriate.
  • If you are taking an exam after the application deadline (ED: November 1; RD: January 1) please make a quick note in your application under additional information to let us know to anticipate new scores.
  • If you wish to REtake the ACT or SAT after the final test date, you may in February. However, please understand that we cannot guarantee that scores will arrive in time for consideration with your file. We must have scores from the final test date or before if you are taking any exams in February.


Is it okay if a relative writes my Peer Reference?


Yes. For example, I recently read an application that contained a peer reference from a close sibling. Remember, it is a peer reference; if you're thinking about a relative make sure it is someone close to you who knows you well.


I received a packet with fee waivers in it from "Expanding College Opportunities". Is this legitimate and can I use a waiver for Dartmouth?


Yes it is and yes you can. We welcome fee waivers from students participating in the Expanding College Opportunities project.

Should I submit my IB Extended Essay or another research paper with my application?


Generally speaking, it would not do a lot of good for you to submit an entire IB extended essay or an additional research paper with your application. The demands of reviewing over 18,000 applications in just 10-12 weeks do not allow us the time to review lengthy supplemental materials. It is understandable that you are very proud of your work on these projects, and if you are convinced that you would not be putting your best foot forward on the application without submitting them, then you should limit yourself to submitting a one-page abstract summarizing the paper or project. A multi-page research paper or presentation will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee or forwarded to the faculty for evaluation.

My peer recommender does not speak English as her first language. Will you judge my application based on her writing?


No. We'll evaluate your candidacy based on many factors, including what we learn from your references.

Choosing a peer who does not speak English as a first language or who may not be a highly accomplished writer won't reflect poorly on your candidacy. However, you do want to be sure that the person who writes your peer evaluation can write at a level that will allow her to clearly express the strengths and qualities that you have to share with others. If she can do that, then having her write the peer recommendation will be fine.


I was not offered an alumni interview at Early Decision and my application was deferred. Will I be able to have an interview during Regular Decision?



As explained in other posts, the alumni interviewing program is an optional part of the application, and the Admissions Committee recognizes that both applicant volume and geography will prevent us from offering alumni interviews to every candidate. It is probably that one of these two factors - not enough (or any) alumni volunteers in your area or a high volume of candidates from your area - prevented us from offering you an interview at Early Decision.

The short answer is that applicants who were deferred at Early Decision do remain "eligible" for interviews, in that your name is already on the list of candidates we have provided to local alumni volunteers in your area. If you are contacted, it should be between January 1 and mid-February. As described elsewhere, there is nothing you need to do to initiate the alumni interview process, and you should not contact the Admissions Office about scheduling an interview. You also should not worry if no interview offer comes. All deferred candidates should follow the advice offered here about keeping their application up to date.

If you were interviewed during Early Decision and were deferred, you will not be offered a second alumni interview.

Will it hurt my chances for admission, if I switch from not applying for aid to applying for aid?


No, it will not hurt your chances for admission.

Dartmouth is need-blind in its admissions process, which means that whether or not you apply for aid will have no bearing on your admission decision.

When I first submitted my application, I did not plan to apply for financial aid. Now, it looks like I will need to apply. Can I still apply?


Yes. You can still apply for financial aid. You can find their deadline information here.


I want my best friend to write my Peer Recommendation, but she is also applying to Dartmouth. Is it okay for her to write it?


The "Dartmouth Peer Recommendation" is a letter written from someone who knows you well. Peer recommendations can be written by siblings, best friends, boyfriends, co-workers, teammates, pen-pals, etc. If your friend is applying to Dartmouth and he/she is the person who can write the best peer recommendation, then you should let him/her write the letter. In a similar way, some current Dartmouth students will write recommendations for students from their hometown or siblings who are applying.

The bottom line is that we don't care who writes the recommendation, as long as this person is able to provide us with context about who you are, and what you could bring to a college community.


May I re-apply under Regular Decision if I was denied at Early Decision?


No. Students can only apply once per admissions cycle.

What percentage of students deferred in Early Decision are eventually admitted in Regular Decision?


In the past few years, we have admitted between 5 to 10 percent of candidates deferred in Early Decision in our Regular Decision process.