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Would you turn down MIT for Dartmouth?

thebakerthebaker Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
edited May 2010 in Dartmouth College
I committed to Dartmouth, pretty much fell in love with it after Dimensions and was super excited, but still had a few qualms (rural location, i don't drink but am pretty social, etc.). Out of no where, MIT admits me from their waitlist - and now i'm not really sure what to do.

I'm thinking of going into econ/management but this isn't very firm, as I've been a math/science person for most of my life, but I also want a fairly well-rounded education, as I enjoy humanities courses and writing. Any opinions? Would you turn MIT down for dartmouth? Or know of anyone who has? and why?

have yet to visit MIT campus, but planning to do so - hopefully this will make my decision a lot easier

Thanks!
Post edited by thebaker on
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Replies to: Would you turn down MIT for Dartmouth?

  • Rtgrove123Rtgrove123 Registered User Posts: 1,798 Senior Member
    Yes, I would absolutely turn down MIT for Dartmouth for the following reasons:

    1. Tuck at Dartmouth and Sloan at MIT are basically equals for finance/management. So, the education/prestige levels at both schools are pritty much equal (despite the greater lay prestige of MIT).

    2. MIT's grading system is INTENSIVE. I have friends going there now who are busting their butts off trying to just get Bs and Cs. Btw..these are brilliant people who scored 2400s and never had to do much in HS to get As. I have two equally intelligent friends at Dartmouth who are doing great, love the laid back atmosphere, and are just having a great four years. I want to enjoy my college experience.

    3. The D-plan is amazing. Because of it, getting top internships is a breeze. Plus, you can avoid the cold, NH winters if you want to. Now, I'm not sure what system MIT has (I'm guessing its the semester system). So, you'll have 2 compete with everyone at the other ivies for internships there.

    4. This one is a bit more personal, but I love the dartmouth campus. Its idyllic, in the woods, and safe. Plus, its colonial and has priceless antiquity to it. MIT is a bit more urban, and I just wasn't a fan of the school. Though, you do have Boston and all its resources right in front of you at MIT, so that is a plus.

    Its of course your decision to make, but I would definately go DARTMOUTH.
  • big dreamerbig dreamer Registered User Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Well, I'm only a junior in high school, but I would choose Dartmouth over MIT. I mean Dartmouth is great for econ/management, and as you mentioned, you'd get an awesome well-rounded education there. Not to knock MIT (love it still), but I think that you might be more likely to be happier @ Dartmouth, that is if you come to like the rural locale and large Greek scene. I have heard that you don't have to drink every weekend to feel included and involved @ Dartmouth, and apparently MIT has some of the very best frat parties in the entire nation (read that on CC, but can't find the thread atm).

    I think after visiting both schools, you will see which one "feels" right. Personally, coming from a rather scenic area, I'd feel more at home @ Dartmouth, and there is a wider spectrum of top departments (I think) @ Dartmouth. Congrats for getting into awesome schools :)
  • speechie92speechie92 Registered User Posts: 136 Junior Member
    Keep in mind that you're asking this on the Dartmouth forum, so you may get a few biased opinions. Still, though, you have to realize that this is the kind of choice where the schools you're looking at really are astoundingly different in terms of atmosphere (boston vs. hanover), focus (math/sci vs. liberal arts), and especially student body. Visit MIT, see what you think, and then go with your gut.
  • immortaliximmortalix Registered User Posts: 676 Member
    I will give you a brief recount of my MIT interview. I basically asked my interviewer 3 questions at the end.

    1. What was the best aspect of MIT?
    -lots of research opportunities, i did intel in h.s., so that was cool, blah blah

    2. What was the worst aspect of MIT?
    -loads of work. On friday night's i would be in my dorm doing math problem sets while my harvard friends were out partying

    3. In retrospect, would you go back to MIT?
    -definitely not. MIT is not for everyone. It's super math/science intense, so unless you're absolutely sure that's you passion, then don't go to MIT...etc etc.


    That was by far the most brutally honest response I got from an interviewer. I finished my interview sort of disliking MIT. Lol, I got deferred then rejected anyway.

    Though, this is just one person's experience, I think it is safe to say that in general that most students at Dartmouth are happy while many students are MIT are "happy", a majority of them are probably not so much.
  • DmouthGrad2014DmouthGrad2014 Registered User Posts: 103 Junior Member
    First and foremost, congratulations on your admission to both schools! They're both absolutely fantastic, and few have the privilege of facing your dilemma. So, no matter how stressful this time may be for you, try to remember that you should be excited about the opportunity to make this decision.

    Now, on to your question. Rtgrove123's post is excellent. I'd just like to add a few things:

    (1) The MIT fans will undoubtedly argue that MIT is much stronger in math and science. This is indeed true at the graduate level, but at the undergraduate level, the two schools are the same. You won't learn enough as an undergraduate for there to be any meaningful difference between the caliber of a Dartmouth and MIT education in the maths/sciences.

    (2) MIT touts its UROP program, but understand that research opportunities abound at Dartmouth too. Because there are very few graduate students on Dartmouth's campus, the professors are open to taking on undergraduate -- even freshman! -- research assistants. You'll have lots of opportunities to explore research at Dartmouth.

    (3) Dartmouth's student body is more academically well-rounded. You'll find people with more diverse intellectual interests at Dartmouth, and I think that will enrich your experience.

    (4) Dartmouth has its own ski slopes. As a Southerner who rarely sees snow, I think that's awesome! :)

    Anyway, best of luck with your decision. Think long and hard, and when you come to a final decision, don't look back.
  • slipper1234slipper1234 Registered User Posts: 9,084 Senior Member
    I would choose Dartmouth. For someone looking at finance they're equals and I think the Dartmouth experience is much more balanced overall.
  • spunauglespunaugle Registered User Posts: 804 Member
    I actually know someone here who has a sibling at MIT, and I'll put it this way, when they decide to spend a weekend together, the sibling comes to Dartmouth. I've often heard about MIT that the alums appreciate the education, dislike the school. Often because the courses of very competitive, the atmosphere is very focused on science/engineering with little room for sway, and the workload leaves you with little time for other events. However, Dartmouth alums are some of the most crazy, in love with, dedicated alums I've ever experienced. They appreciate the education, yes, but they also fall in love with the school. My advice would be unless you're looking at going into engineering, or if you have any doubts you may change your mind about major in college and want the flexibility of a full range of academic offerings (remember MIT has combined all their humanities and arts into 1, yes 1, department), then I would pick Dartmouth.

    If you have any further questions about the school let me know!

    -Spunaugle
  • collegealum314collegealum314 Registered User Posts: 6,768 Senior Member
    I'm thinking of going into econ/management but this isn't very firm, as I've been a math/science person for most of my life, but I also want a fairly well-rounded education, as I enjoy humanities courses and writing. Any opinions? Would you turn MIT down for dartmouth? Or know of anyone who has? and why?

    If you want a liberal arts education, you are better off at Dartmouth. It's also more of a typical college experience. MIT people will tell you that there are good humanities classes at MIT and that is true, but it doesn't feel like a liberal arts environment. Like, if you imagine your college experience as reading Kant in the grass under a tree, you should go to Dartmouth. It's one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.

    Go visit both schools and go with your gut.
  • standrewsstandrews Registered User Posts: 1,365 Senior Member
    Why did you choose to remain of MIT's wait list after you clicked the button for Dartmouth? Did you already decide the D vs MIT question or are you revisiting that decision? If you just forgot to take yourself off the WL, stick with Dartmouth. If you just wanted to see if MIT admitted you, then stick with Dartmouth. If you are revisiting, what has changed?
  • ImitationImitation Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    @standrews, MIT sends their regular admissions decisions on March 14th, way before the Ivies do, and probably even more before he committed to Dartmouth (Dimensions was on April 22-24, after all). It's perfectly valid that the topic creator decided to put himself on the waitlist after receiving his MIT decision, and then decide on Dartmouth pending his status at MIT.

    Anyway, as someone who made a similar tough decision, I went with my gut feeling. There was just something ineffable at one of my prospective colleges from visiting that made me unable to turn it down. I understand that MIT and Dartmouth are very different schools, however, so this might not apply. Nevertheless, from your post about wanting a liberal-arts education, it seems that Dartmouth has won you over. If it's worth anything, it's ranked above MIT in undergraduate education (and in median salary after 10 years!). I can't really bash MIT though, partly because I was rejected, but also because I honestly can't speak about its programs and quality of life. It's my opinion that, in the end, it's your gut response that will play the big factor in your decision. Good luck, you can't really lose in this decision - congratulations on your acceptances!
  • Joc2014Joc2014 Registered User Posts: 53 Junior Member
    I got into MIT and Dartmouth as well. At one point while still waiting for decisions from both schools, they were both tied at the top of my list, but ultimately, I ended up choosing Dartmouth and have not regretted the choice at all.

    There were a number of things I really liked about MIT, so I'll list a few:
    My older brother went there (he'll be graduating in a few weeks), and he loved it.
    I'm very interested in science and math, and obviously, few schools are better than MIT in those departments.
    Boston is a great city.
    I would have been able to play on the varsity tennis team at MIT.
    MIT has more prestigious professors (however, Dartmouth was rated as having the best teaching for undergrads)

    Despite the things I liked about MIT, I ultimately chose Dartmouth for the following reasons:
    More well-rounded student body (even though I'm planning on majoring in a science, I really want to study other subjects too).
    Dartmouth has a great language program, and fantastic study abroad opportunities, which MIT really doesn't have.
    Dartmouth is much more focused on undergrads. So although more top-notch research is probably going on at MIT, I think it's much easier for undergrads to get involved in research at Dartmouth.
    When I visited the campuses, the students at Dartmouth seemed much happier and more excited about their school.
    I love outdoors activities, and Dartmouth is in a perfect and beautiful outdoorsy location and also has the greatest outing club ever.
    I really like the flexibility that the D-plan offers. I was talking to my Dartmouth interviewer about the D-plan, and he mentioned that one big advantage of the plan is that Dartmouth students have much less competition when applying for internships in the fall, winter, and spring, when most other college students are in school.
    When I first visited Dartmouth, I fell in love with it.
    There are a bunch of other reasons too, but these were the main things that factored into my decision.

    I hope this helps you make your choice. I'm really excited about Dartmouth, and I think that it will be the perfect place for me. Both schools are great though and will give you amazing educations and opportunities, so just follow your heart and go to the school that you think you will be happier at.
  • omarkhanomarkhan Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    I think you should go to MIT. And no, I'm not saying that because I was waitlisted at Dartmouth... :)
  • MasterFox72MasterFox72 Registered User Posts: 186 Junior Member
    The education you would receive at both institutions is amazing and either one would be a great choice, but it depends on the atmosphere you want.

    MIT is more intensive I would say, but it has it's payoffs in prestige and recognition. I know it's superficial, but more random people on the street would have heard of MIT than they would have Dartmouth. If recognition and prestige are top priorities then I'd go to MIT.

    Dartmouth is also pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so you have to consider that too. MIT gives you access to Boston which is a great plus for college life and internships.
  • DmouthGrad2014DmouthGrad2014 Registered User Posts: 103 Junior Member
    Dartmouth is also pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so you have to consider that too. MIT gives you access to Boston which is a great plus for college life and internships.

    MIT's location in Boston doesn't improve your chances of securing an internship at all. You'll be way too busy studying your ass off to work an internship outside of MIT during the school year. People do internships over the summer, so you can feel free to travel anywhere to do those; you don't have to stay in Hanover.

    In fact, if you care about internships, Dartmouth has a leg up over virtually every other school because of the D-Plan. The D-Plan requires that you stay on campus during your sophomore summer, which therefore means that you get to take some other random term off. For example, you could take your junior spring term, and link it in with your summer term, giving you a really long block of time to work an internship. Not only would you get more time at the internship, but you'd have a better shot of getting it since there will be very few applicants for a spring slot. This will prove to be a tremendous advantage for really competitive internships, like those at NIH or NASA.

    On the topic of college life, it's debatable whether or not Boston improves college life. I like Dartmouth's rural setting because it makes the campus life way more vibrant.

    (Also, just a note: MIT is in Cambridge, not Boston. There's a difference.)
  • thebakerthebaker Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    @standrews: Imitation is absolutely right - found out MIT decision on Pi Day, sent in the postcard. Then, wasn't sure about Dartmouth until AFTER dimensions, which was when i committed.

    Thanks everyone for the responses! I really do appreciate the help, advice, and support. I'm visiting MIT for the first time soon and revisiting Dartmouth shortly after to have a more comprehensive comparison - 1.5 weeks left to decide!!! hope my gut knows what it's doing :P
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