If one of my recommendations isn't sent until after the deadline, will you still review my application?


Yes. If a letter or recommendation or other piece of your application arrives after the deadline we will still do our best to read your application.

Please do your best to get us all required materials as close to the deadline as possible. If we do not have everything we need to review your file, you will receive an email from the Admissions Office (after all materials we have are processed) notifying you of what we need.

Please do not call our office to check what materials we have received. Instead, please just use the online applicant system. Most importantly, please be patient as we process the thousands of materials we receive.

I missed the chat. Is it posted online somwhere?



You can find it on the web site here.


November 1 is a Sunday this year. Can I submit my material on November 2 instead?



Two quick points:

1) Our deadline is a postmark deadline. In other words, it is a date by which material must be submitted (see my earlier post for specifics of what must be submitted) not a date by which material must be received.

2) If you're planning to mail material to us and can't get to a post office on Saturday, or if you're in a pinch and need to see your guidance counselor (and, of course, won't be able to see him/her over the weekend) it is okay to wait to submit your material until November 2.

Can the CSS Profile be replaced by the Foreign Student Financial Aid Profile?


If you are able to submit the CSS Profile then that is the form you are required to submit. We are well aware that in some circumstances and in some countries the CSS Profile is not possible.

We are using the College Scholarship Service PROFILE Form to collect accurate, consistent information and to minimize the possibility for data entry errors.

If the cost associated with the PROFILE Form is going to present a significant financial burden for your family, you may request permission to use an alternative form. Please send an email to Financial.Aid@Dartmouth.EDU that provides the following information:

  • Your country of residency
  • The number of family members who live in your parents' household
  • Your family's total 2009 income from all sources in US dollars
  • The equity (value minus debt) of your family's assets in US dollars
  • The exchange rate that you used to convert your currency to US dollars

We will review the information and respond to you by email.

Please visit the Financial Aid International Applicant web page for more information.

When will I be contacted for an interview?


Depends when you get your application materials submitted and when our alumni can interview you.

For Early Decision, you will be contacted by mid-November if the local alumni are able to offer you an interview.

For Regular Decision, you will be contacted by mid-February if the local alumni are able to offer you an interview.

Please do not call the Admissions Office (or our alumni) about an interview. Dartmouth alumni in your area will contact you directly if they are able to offer you an interview. We do not offer on-campus interviews.

What if I don't get contacted for an interview?


Don't worry about it.

Our wonderful volunteer alumni interviews do their very best to interview every candidate possible, but given the volume of applications, they are simply unable to interview every applicant. About half of our applicants get interviewed. If you are not contacted about an interview, all it means is that the alumni in your community could not get to you.

The interview is optional and provides for one more way for the admissions committee to get to know you. The interview is also a great time for you to learn more about the College from Dartmouth alumni. There is no reason to stress about the interview or worry that you weren't contacted for one.

There is no way to request an interview. All the applicant needs to do is submit her/his application materials to Dartmouth Admissions and we will pass along the contact information to alumni in the applicant's area.

Please do not call the Admissions Office to request an interview. Also, we do not offer on-campus interviews.

Can I and should I submit additional letters of recommendation, beyond the required 2 teacher recs, peer eval, and counselor rec?


Can you? Yes. Should you? Depends.

You may submit additional recommendations and we will consider them as we review your file. However, additional recommendations should be submitted only if they will add new and relevant information to our understanding of you.

If you are considering submitting additional recommendations, they should only come from individuals who know you in different and meaningful ways from your other recommendation-writers. There is a difference between a helpful recommendation and a positive recommendation. Essentially every recommendation we receive is positive; however, often times extra recs may not be helpful because they only reiterate points we already know.

Is there any specific prompt for the Personal Statement?


No, not exactly. The Common App proposes the following topics and any of them are fine (including a "Topic of your choice"):

My advice to you is to make sure that whatever your topic, your writing style and content is personal. Everything you say should help the readers of your file get to know you as real person, especially those intangible qualities that can't be easily understood elsewhere, including creativity, leadership, sense of humor, passion, compassion, intellectual curiosity, self-awareness, social-awareness, and more. Your personal statement is not just an essay or writing sample, it's our way of getting to know you and what you'll bring to Dartmouth.

Do I need to take the SAT Subject Tests related to my academic interest or intended major?



Take the Subject Tests for the subjects you're most interested in. That may very well relate to your intended major, but not necessarily.

What test scores will you look at if I have taken the SAT, Subject Tests, or ACT multiple times?


We look at your best scores. This said, please remember testing is just one of many things we look at and you should not get yourself worked up over testing.

SAT: We will consider your top Critical Reasoning, top Math, and top Writing score
ACT: We will consider your top composite score
SAT Subject Tests: We will consider your top 2 Subject Test scores from different subject tests

If you take the SAT and ACT, we will look at whichever total score is higher.

If you need to take the TOEFL or iELTS, we will consider your best score.

Please look at our testing page for more details.

How long should my Personal Essay be?


As long as it needs to be and no longer.

There is no determined maximum length or word count, but 1 to 2 pages single spaced, or 2 to 3 pages double spaced seems about the typical length. This is probably about 500 to 750 words, but again, it should be as long as it needs to be and no longer.

As for a minimum, the Common Application suggests 250 words.


Do I need to rush my SAT or ACT scores from the October test date if I am applying to Dartmouth ED?



Please just be sure the College Board or ACT knows you're applying to Dartmouth so we receive your scores when they're ready.


Can I upload my Art Instructor's recommendation with my Art Supplement?


Yes. If you are submitting an art supplement via, you may follow the instructions on the Art Supplement submission page and upload an instructor's recommendation.

We do not require the Art Supplement nor do we require an Art instructor's recommendation, though if you would like to submit either or both, you are welcome to via the Common Application website or by email or fax to (603) 646-1216.

What SAT Subject Test scores should I submit?


Ideally, all.

We only consider your highest two SAT Subject Test scores (so long as they are from 2 different Subject Tests). We do not value any particular SAT Subject Tests higher than others. So whatever your two highest scores are, that's what we consider.

Does Dartmouth require more than one admissions essay?



We ask for only the Personal Statement based on any of the topics (including, a topic of your choice) on the Common Application.

The only required supplements are the First-Year supplement and the Peer Evaluation.

Can I email the ED agreement to you?



You can email it, fax it to 603-646-1216, send it via regular mail, or hand deliver it (though I do not recommend traveling to Hanover just to drop off the form). There is no preferred method of submission, so whatever works for you will work for us.

Does my entire Early Decision application have to be submitted by November 1?


No, but we will need the following:

  • your portion of the Common Application,
  • the Supplement to the Common Application,
  • the Early Decision Agreement,
  • your test scores.
Your school's portion of the application and your letters of recommendation do not need to be submitted by November 1. If these items are submitted after the deadline, we will simply add them to your application file as we receive them. Once we have all the material we need to begin evaluating your candidacy, we will get started with the review of your application.


If I am applying to Dartmouth, but do not require financial aid, do I need to submit the CSS Profile?



If you are not applying for financial aid, you do not need to complete the CSS Profile or FAFSA.

Every applicant applying for financial aid will need to complete the CSS Profile (complete the profile for the year you will be enrolled in college, so for the College Class of 2014, that would be the 2010-2011 Profile). US applicants will also need to submit the FAFSA. Visit the Dartmouth Financial Aid website for more information.


I am very interested in Dartmouth, but I am not 100% sure right now. I was wondering what "advantage" there is if I apply Early Decision?


For an applicant, the "advantage" to applying under Dartmouth's binding Early Decision plan is that you will learn of the outcome of your application in December rather than April. If admitted, you will not have to file other applications. If denied admission or deferred to the Regular Decision round, you'll have an "early read" on your application to Dartmouth that can help as you apply to other Colleges.

Since Dartmouth's Early Decision program is binding, an applicant for Early Decision really needs to know that Dartmouth is their clear first choice. It would be a mistake to apply to Dartmouth under the Early Decision plan as a "strategy" for increasing your chances for admission.

For most applicants, the rate of admission during Early Decision as compared to Regular Decision will be similar. The rate of admission during Early Decision is in fact higher than the overall rate of admission to Dartmouth, but the higher rate of admission during Early Decision is a bit misleading.

Why is the higher rate of admission during Early Decision somewhat misleading? Most highly recruited Division 1 athletes who apply to Dartmouth do so under the Early Decision plan, and these recruited student athletes typically do not file an application to Dartmouth unless their credentials have been reviewed in advance by members of the Admission Committee. Many student athletes who communicate with Dartmouth's coaches are encouraged not to apply to the College or are informed that the coaching staff has not identified them as a "priority recruit" and as a result those who do end up applying to Dartmouth are admitted at a higher rate (having already been "pre-screened").

With highly recruited Division 1 athletes removed from the Early Decision applicant pool, the rate of admission during Early Decision falls back to a level that is more comparable, although slightly higher, than the overall rate of admission.

So, there is a small statistical advantage to applying to Dartmouth under the Early Decision plan, but the advantage is not so great that it should be the "driving force" behind an applicant's decision to apply early.


As a home-schooled student, who should write my recommendations?


We encourage home-schooled applicants to request teacher recommendations from two instructor(s), academic tutor(s), or academic mentor(s) with whom they do not have a family-relationship. If you have not worked directly with individuals outside of your home, a brief statement from your "home-school supervisor" will be acceptable.

Parents or guardians who serve as the "home-school supervisor" may complete the Home-School supplement.

How do you read applications from Home-Schooled students?


We read every application in the context of each applicant's community and opportunities. Just as every community, high school, and family is unique, we recognize that the opportunities for each home-schooled student is unique. Dartmouth receives a number of applications from home-schooled students each year, so there is no need to worry that we are not accustomed to home-schooled applicants.

As with every applicant, please just make sure your application represents the academic and extracurricular opportunities available to you and what you did with those opportunities. Home-schooled students need to submit the home-school supplement, which helps us understand the context of the academic and extracurricular opportunities available. If you are enrolled in a home-schooling consortium, online courses, or other academic programs, you should submit all course results from these programs to help us confirm your academic strengths.

Home-school applicants should complete the rest of the application just like other first-year applicants, including testing. Visit our FAQ for more insight.


How should I send in the Peer Evaluation?


The best way to submit a Peer Evaluation is by emailing an attached PDF version of a completed evaluation to with "Peer Eval" in the Subject line of the email. It's best if the Peer Eval is typed. You can simply type all the info required on the Peer Evaluation form into a new document and then save it as a PDF (just visit and signup to create a free PDF online or print to PDF).

If you have trouble creating or emailing a PDF you or your peer may mail the completed evaluation (preferably typed by creating a new document with all the required information; or a hand completed first page and typed statement added) to:

Dartmouth College
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
6016 McNutt Hall
Hanover, NH 03755

The Peer Evaluation should be submitted as soon as possible and post-marked before the deadline--though we will read an application even if the Peer Evaluation has not yet arrived.


Do you grant credit for CLEP?


No, we do not grant credit for CLEP.


How do you use the information we provide in the "Family" and "Demographics" parts of the Common Application?


Bio-demographic information- your family background, what your parents do, information on your school and much more- helps the Admissions Committee form a picture of each applicant's context. Context refers to the unique opportunities, resources and challenges an applicant has had in his or her life. We look at a student's goals, interests and ambitions are and how a student has taken advantage of the resources available to him or her to achieve those goals or to explore those interests. Thus, context forms the framework by which we interpret the things we see in your application.

That said, the "Family" and "Demographics" sections of the Common Application are by no means the only place we gather contextual information; we look at school profiles which tell us what kind of curriculum a student’s school offers; we read the information students provide in the "Additional Information" section about any extenuating circumstances we should take into account; we take note of the listing of part-time jobs on an application. This kind of information helps us get an idea of your day-to-day life. Keeping what we know about your context in mind, we look at each student's interests and goals. We then ask whether, given the student's circumstances, he or she has gone above and beyond in pursuing academic, intellectual, personal, and/or extracurricular opportunities that have been available. We look for evidence that a student has pushed him or herself beyond his or her circumstances.

Following on this note, I would like to take this opportunity to debunk the myth that being from a particular background, socioeconomic class, racial group, etc. confers an advantage to an applicant - this is not true. Rather, it is how an applicant has met the unique opportunities and challenges in his or her life that make a student compelling in our applicant pool.


How will you notify applicants of decisions?


All applicants can check decisions online. We send paper letters to admitted students only.