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Dartmouth vs. Princeton

XCotterXCotter Posts: 108Registered User Junior Member
edited April 2008 in Dartmouth College
I posted this in the Princeton thread as well, but I also would like to hear some alternative points of view from all of you folks who know Dartmouth well. The two schools are similar in many aspects, which makes me very confused and makes my decision harder than I thought.
Post edited by XCotter on
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Replies to: Dartmouth vs. Princeton

  • rightnotleftrightnotleft Posts: 434Registered User Member
    princeton's in new jersey

    dartmouth's in new hampshire.

    that's a BIG difference...and at least to me, you shouldn't ignore it.

    In non-academic comparisons, this is HUGE. the outing club at D is fantastic, so if you're into that type of thing, then I think the comparison is a no-brainer.

    Dartmouth definitely has really good study abroad/off campus opportunities - I really don't know much about Princeton to really compare them. The D-plan is a plus in some ways (internships during non-summer off terms, more opportunities for offcampus/study abroad) but a detractor in others (late beginning and end makes for a lot of time alone at home, and breaks sometimes don't overlap with other schools'). I think it's overall a plus, but that's just me.

    Also, based on my friends there and my visits there, Princeton and Dartmouth students are pretty different in the way they carry and present themselves. Sure, that's not really much to go by, but I think Dartmouth's a lot more laid back.

    I don't know. Either way you're going to get a great education ... I would suggest spending time at both places and see where you'd rather be.

    I hope this was somewhat helpful.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Posts: 4,484Registered User Senior Member
    S attends Dartmouth, but we live close to Princeton and know kids there. This is a big generalization, but here goes: Are you a humanitarian, want-to-change-the-world kind of person? Are you politically liberal? If so, I think you might feel more comfortable at Princeton. If you see yourself as businesslike in your attitudes about life, and are not so liberal, then Dartmouth might be a better fit.
  • icy9ff8icy9ff8 Posts: 1,605- Senior Member
    I think that the above post slightly overstates the political leanings of Princeton students who have for decades been viewed as more conservative than liberal. The current president of Princeton University wants to attract more liberal students--in all senses of the word. The environments at the two schools are somewhat different. If you picture yourself at fraternity parties and enjoying nature in an environment of brilliant & social students, then consider Dartmouth College. If less conspicuous & more toned down alcohol consumption appeals to you, then ,socially speaking, Princeton University is the better option. Again, I think that the portrayal of Princeton University as liberal is a bit unfair, just as a blanket characterization of Dartmouth as conservative would be undeserved. Your decision, however, depends upon more than the social & political aspects of either campus and you have not offered enough info. for anyone to really make a reasonable recommendation. In the battle of cross admits, 81% select Princeton University over Dartmouth College.
  • Ephemeral2Ephemeral2 Posts: 817User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    Go to dartmouth! I visited it this week and loved everything about it: Hanover, the people, the campus, etc. And I've heard the social life at Princeton is deplorable.

    BUT I got a copy of The Dartmouth (the campus newspaper) and one of the police reports is of a "large pig blocking a road"... just so you get a sense of how small and isolated the town is, though it really doesn't feel isolated. It's a nice community.
  • Ephemeral2Ephemeral2 Posts: 817User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    Btw here is a weather.com comparison of the two locations: Climatology Comparison for Princeton, NJ - weather.com

    If you click the 'compare record low' option, it is quite the difference... -40 to -16
  • Ephemeral2Ephemeral2 Posts: 817User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    sry, double post.
  • nainai Posts: 89Registered User Junior Member
    -40 would be crazy...doubt I'll ever see that in my life, and I doubt you will either, so that's probably not a number to base a decision off. This winter I'd say a morning in the teens was about average. It did get in the high singles occasionally.

    I think the most telling statistic is: "Hanover, NH on average is cooler than Princeton, NJ by 7°F."

    In my opinion, 7 degrees does NOT constitute a huge difference in life. To prove a point, I didn't wear a jacket all of this winter, and I am not a wintry/outdoorsy person. The cold is certainly manageable.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Posts: 4,484Registered User Senior Member
    Dartmouth is not exactly conservative either--most colleges aren't. But, it has the reputation for being a bit more balanced politically than some of the other Ivies.

    Princeton really seems to like to publicize all the humanitarian efforts of its incoming freshmen (last year someone posted a bunch of those articles on CC), is now pushing for a gap year for community service, and the community events I've attended seem to have a socially liberal bent. Dartmouth is a good place if you want a career in finance, banking, law, etc.
  • nainai Posts: 89Registered User Junior Member
    To be sure though, Dartmouth has great community service programs through the Tucker Foundation and you can hardly write it off an not being humanitarian. Student involvement seems very prevalent, and for what it's worth they have an entire building to themselves (it's not just a small program). As an example: my roommate spent spring break in Biloxi, Miss. doing Katrina work on Dartmouth's dime. There are even internship/postgrad job opportunities that can be gotten through Tucker, if that's what you're interested in.
  • ohmadreohmadre Posts: 587Registered User Member
    Was posting at the same time as NAI and in full agreement. My post read:
    Regarding the humanitarian point, that is not an accurate generalization. A lot of what Dartmouth is all about is promoting the public good. Dartmouth very much encourages and promotes humanitarian pursuit and makes funds toward that end very accessible, not simply volunteering with established organizations but rather responding creatively and effectively of their own intiative.

    William Jewett Tucker Foundation
    Highlights
    Fellowships and Internships
    Educational Service Trips
    Seniors Are USA Today Academic All Stars

    Dartmouth News - Dartmouth is Praised by Princeton Review and Campus Compact for its Public Service in Colleges with a Conscience - 06/23/05

    HELP Contact Information
    Dartmouth News - Dartmouth named number one in Peace Corps participation in the small schools category - 01/30/06

    Even the Business School is known for its level of committment to non-profit/public sectors:

    Dartmouth News - UPS Foundation grant facilitates training for future nonprofit leaders at Tuck School of Business - 07/25/05
    Tuck News and Events - Tuck Nonprofit Fellows Program
    Allwin Initiative for Corporate Citizenship
    TheDartmouth.com | Latest U.S. News grad rankings place Tuck 9th
  • ohmadreohmadre Posts: 587Registered User Member
    Just as you cannot generalize Dartmouth Conservative/Princeton Liberal, you cannot generalize that Princeton social life is deplorable. Both schools have a very bright, engaged student body who bring a lot of variant interests to the table. You probably have to visit both to get a better sense.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Posts: 4,484Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, of course that's true. Ivy League schools are the best of the best. They have it all!!! Dartmouth and Princeton, like the other Ivies, both offer a multitude of fabulous opportunities for every kind of student. That's why it's so hard to choose among these excellent schools. However, I think you'd agree that schools do have their distinct personalities. Defining that personality is next to impossible, because it's complex and there are always going to be exceptions. But, having said that, people at our NJ high school have gotten pretty good at predicting which top students Princeton will accept. I was trying to put a finger on the difference, but apparently I haven't succeeded.

    What IS the difference in ambience then?
  • ohmadreohmadre Posts: 587Registered User Member
    Hmm, well maybe D is up against old stereotype because they certainly try to build a diverse student body, and they certainly encourage, with measureable success, the social responsiblity ethic. I do know what you mean - people need to tease out the essence of institutional personality. But, it is complex, Dartmouth's committement to social good is more than passing, and the interest of the student body in making a difference more than occasional.
  • StrawboyStrawboy Posts: 251- Junior Member
    Haha. Well the pig in the road really takes it a bit far. I work for the D and it really is a very thorough paper.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Posts: 4,484Registered User Senior Member
    ohmadre, think back to when your D visited the colleges she was interested in, and you sat through the information sessions and went on the tours. Weren't there colleges that you could encapsulate in a sentence or two? Here's an example of one of ours: "This is a school for smart, rich kids who have the freedom to study whatever they fancy and it won't matter because their future is already assured."
    Now, the moment our son were to decide to go there, we would have invalidated our own stereotype because that isn't S's situation, but that doesn't mean there wasn't an essence to the place that we sensed.
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