Current Student Debunking Dartmouth Myths: ASK ME ANYTHING!

Rohan attended school in India (although he is an American citizen) and applied to college without taking a single tour. He is currently a freshman at Dartmouth College (and loves it) having gotten in ED for the Class of 2023.

@Gogreen19 is happy to answer questions about student life at his college and/or the college admissions process. He is our Guest Student of the Week, so make sure to ask him all your questions!

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Does frat culture actually dominate at Dartmouth?

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Hey @penguin2! That’s a very frequent question I’ve gotten. The answer is, on the whole, no. There is a party culture that is alive and well at Dartmouth, but it is by no means the dominant culture, or the only social sphere available. There are a TON of things happening all the time here on any given night, including trivia nights, movie screenings, concerts, various club socials etc. And these are all very well-attended.

However, a large proportion of Dartmouth students do rush. But the term “greek life” as it is understood by most people applies loosely to much of what we have here.

For one, pretty much all greek society events are open to all students, very much unlike a lot of other colleges in which you need to know someone in the society to get in. That makes these spaces a lot more diverse, and certainly less intense than one might expect. They are pretty much all just chill social spaces. A number of these societies are gender-neutral as well, so even membership of them is diverse.

There are also a variety of frats, many of which are unlike the stereotypical party hard frats. Some are more social justice oriented. Some just play video games the whole time. One is populated largely by theater kids, and their events are primarily milk-and-cookie nights, and sunday night sundaes rather than traditional partying.

Furthermore, for most people, being part of a greek society is a smaller part of their social life. Most affiliated students still live in the regular residence halls, for example. They participate in many other social spaces besides their society, very much opposed to the insular idea of greek societies that is the stereotype, and present in actuality and many schools (i.e. that you really only spend time with the other people in your society).

I don’t plan to rush, largely because I don’t feel the need to and am not drawn towards any society in particular. And I am happy with where I am now, given that I know that I am not restricting myself socially, and can freely participate in greek social spaces and events should I want to.

This is a long response to simple question, but I hope that I was able to help you, and anyone with similar concerns who saw this message.


One of the many things that people tend not to know about the college, @Gogreen19, is that the fraternities and sororities have many more members than could possibly live in the houses. The house is more of a headquarters [and party scene and meeting area and even, gasp, study place]; as you adverted to, members will live all over Hanover and have as much [if not more] contact with people outside their house as with other members. Another good answer on your part.

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Four years ago, my daughter was admitted to Dartmouth but declined – we were nervous about the remoteness of the campus. Now, after she has gone off, that isn’t as much a worry with our second. What do you think about the remote campus?

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Hey @luckymama64, I’m going to need a little bit more information to be able to answer your question. What is it about the remoteness you are worried about? Is it social opportunities? Is it accessibility? I think I will be able to answer you better once I understand what your primary concerns are, in regards to the remoteness of our campus.

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Is Dartmouth just as hard to get into as these schools like Harvard? I want to go to Dartmouth but if it’s anything like the applicants to Harvard I have no chance (I think). If you wouldn’t mind checking my single thread it explains my background if you want to give me your idea on if I could get in.

Also what is the main reason you applied to Dartmouth early action?

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@tadibiebe Dartmouth is slightly easier to get into than Harvard. I wouldn’t say the difference is really significant, I believe the primary reasons people get into these colleges are a combination of fit, having “spikes” (having high level of interest/experience/achievement in your fields of interest), and a luck factor based on the changing needs of the school.

It also depends on what you want out of a school. For its undergrad focus and many other factors which will be elaborated on below, Dartmouth was well above Harvard on my list. In fact, I ended up eliminating Harvard from my list shortly before I had to submit my list of RD colleges to my counselor. It would not be a good idea to apply to Dartmouth because you think it’s easier to get into than Harvard, in my opinion.

I briefly looked over your stats and achievements. If, as I assume, your UW gpa is out of 4, then you are certainly qualified for this level of school, including Harvard and Dartmouth. You have a definite spike in politics (which would be Government at Dartmouth) (you can also play your leadership of the religious society into this), and some experience in other fields which is good for applying to a lib arts college.

You only seem lacking in the APs. I would recommend self-studying and doing at least 2-3 if you can. If you are applying before you can take any, that may not look great for your course rigor.

There are a few reasons I applied ED to Dartmouth. One is the undergraduate focus. As Dartmouth has a much higher undergrad to postgrad ration relative to other elite institutions, small class sizes, close relationships with professors and participation in research while an undergrad are easier to come by at Dartmouth than at many other top schools.

I also thought I was a good fit for the school. I grew up and went to boarding school in small towns. The one I went to boarding school in is quite isolated to boot. And I loved it. I was also part of a smaller tight-knit community at my boarding school, which I think kind of spoke to the Dartmouth experience, and which I wanted going forward. This is not to say you need these experiences to fit in at Dartmouth, but these are why I felt like I was a good fit for the school.

In addition, Dartmouth has an very flexible schedule with the quarter system and more and more foreign study options than I saw at miost other schools. The reason I mention both of these together is that, seeing both of these, I realized I could quite easily go on multiple study-abroads for more than one of my fields of interest.

Another reason was that Dartmouth had a high preference for ED applicants relative to RD applicants. When considering schools to apply early. Dartmouth being at the top of my list (along with another school) and this fact made my decision clear. I felt applying early to Dartmouth made the most sense for me.


Thank you so much that means a lot to me for the insights you gave!

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Hi, I’m a US citizen living in India too. But I go to a CBSE school (I’m in 12th grade now). I was wondering whether you went to a CBSE school as well, and if it puts me at a significant disadvantage.

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Hey @abhijat, I did not go to a CBSE school. I attended an ICSE school till grade 10, then swtiched to an AP school. I don’t think you are at a significant disadvantage at a CBSE school, but it is a small disadvantage.

I do know that at least two Indians in the class of 2023 were in the CBSE system, so it is certainly possible. Have you taken any APs? That may help you.

It will definitely not be the biggest factor in your admission decision though. I think you should take the time to research schools and determine which elite schools fit you, and the kind of academic experience you want. I think that will be more important in gaining admissions to these schools than the system you came from.

Your grades, SAT/ACT score, and extracurriculars matter more than anything else.

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what were your ECs like?

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@exoblast I was. editor-in-chief of my school newspaper, ran two independent research projects as an environmental science intern at my school, was the leader of a community engagement project connecting farmers in our local region with education programs in certain farming practices to improve their livelihoods, and formed and headed a student committee to organize the outdoors and cultural festival in my boarding school’s locale.

I also interned for the Times of India, doing editing.and interviewing work, and volunteered for the WWF working on social engagement programs.

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This is more of a personal question rather than Dartmouth myths, but what cultural differences did you face from studying in the US in comparison to India?

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@ind3fatigable since that is not a Dartmouth-related or admissions related question, I will PM you about that later, if that’s alright.

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Class of 2021
Am I going to have a chance of getting in
GPA: 4.0 UW 4.1 W

  1. Human Geography
  2. Accelerated Algebra
  3. Biology
  4. Tech for Success
  5. English 1
  6. Health
  7. PE Freshman
  8. Geometry
  9. Physical E Science
  10. Beginning Drafting and Design
  11. Personal Finance
  12. African American History
  13. PE/ Driver Ed
  14. English II
  15. US History
  16. English III
  17. Chemistry
  18. Algebra II/Trig or Algebra II
  19. Honors Microbiology
  20. Health Occupation
  21. PE Strength Training/Adv Ed(required)
    Summer Dual Credits
  22. General Psychology
  23. BIO101 for Science majors
  24. Hon/AP Gov
  25. Hon/ AP Chem II
  26. Physics
  27. Trig/Analytic Geometry
  28. English 4/English 4 Technical Writing Dual Credit
  29. PE Team Sport (required)

Participated in the Math Team for two years
Participated in History Fair for Two years
Participated in Science Club for Two years
I Did volunteer for Special Occasion for the Muslim community such preparing them foods and giving them donations
I Did Job shadowed in Memorial Hospital for 3 days for a Project in Health Occupations in the departments of Same Day Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Orthopedics
I did tutor people online if they need help in their Academics
4 years of high honor rule
Academic Achievement
Congress Global Good Award of Excellence
I was selected for National Youth Forum of Advanced Medicine and Healthcare for my outstanding Academic Achievement
NHS reward Hopefully in Senior Year (but not sure) I’m trying to earn a leadership
Planning to add some sort of club such as Key Club or team senior year (that I’m enjoying I was wanted to participate in volunteering for the special Olympiad’s but the seats were full and it was held at a local college but the college is closed due to cases of covid-19

Could you share your academic stats?

Hey @Omar909, you seem qualified to get in to these schools. Good standardized test scores will help, as will taking a bunch of APs. One thing you may want to work on is expressing yourself in english for your essays (i.e. eloquence, grammatical correctness etc., as that is a major thing for college admissions. That’s especially important for non-native speakers.

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SAT: 1500 (770 ERW, 730 M)
SATII: 770 English Lit, 720 Biology (E)
GPA: 4.24/4.3

My standardizes test scores were good, but not superb. My SAT in particular is below the Dartmouth median. I do nor that it is my test scores that granted me admission.

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*My school did not weight GPAs so 4.24/4.3 is UW.

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