Transfer out of Dart

Transfer applications typically have a later deadline.


Yes of course I remember- is this comment nice? I think not. I’m saying THIS YEAR - 2021 the school chose NOT TO INCLUDE class of 24 in any bonding activities- just the class of 25 which has made it harder socially as I am not a “freshman” D25 but a “sophomore” D24

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We have seen dozens of posts just like yours. We may not be students who have transferred out, but we all know kids who have transferred out. No doubt what you have experienced so far makes you feel like you don’t belong there, but I can also tell you that there are others there who you can connect with. You just haven’t found them yet.

The experience of someone else transferring doesn’t change the fact that if you decide you can only transfer to a highly selective school, you will need to recs and the activities. You can try another website too and see if there are some students who transferred out, but I guarantee you that anyone transferring out of one highly selective college into another will have those things at a minimum. Remember, just like high school, ECs don’t have to just be clubs. Volunteer and volunteer some more. Get a job. Look at announcements for stuff going on and go to whatever is open to all. Just go, even if you literally know no one. At least you will be doing something and knowing no one, instead of being in your dorm room knowing no one.


Do the applications so you don’t feel trapped.

-find a one to one counselor (and ask about groups if they happen)
-talk to an advisor, RA, use whatever support resources there are
-join a hiking club (are they all competitive?)
-go to a church of your choosing, can be off campus- great way to meet people (you don’t need religious affiliation groups)
-go to office hours and get to know professor
-Hanover is wealthy but there is a lot of poverty in the area, get involved?
-volunteer in the hospital?

Again, don’t know your interests. Ivy League schools do sometimes have competitive EC’s but not all are hard to get into and not all involve “comps.”

I am assuming that COVID is still affecting group formation and meetings and that things will loosen up. You are in an area that is pretty safe in that regard.


Please explain how you are a sophomore? You didn’t attend college last year at all. So…what would make you a sophomore. Where did the “freshman credits” come from?

The school assigns you to your class. Yes, I didn’t attend dart last year but I didn’t defer- I took a “leave” so I stayed with my original class year. They assume you will “catch up” before graduation or something like that. So while I am a freshman as far as credits go (zero) I am still part of the class OF D24… which basically has been miserable because I am not part of the freshman class and I don’t know anyone in the sophomore class …. The school has not included D24 or really done much to fold us into the larger school community so it’s been hard to navigate or feel great about this college. I am wanting to transfer as I see this as a trend of the admin and don’t feel connected to school in any way. I am wondering options for transferring out.


I also don’t understand how you are considered class of 2024 if you didn’t take classes last year.

Regardless, transfer apps won’t be due until March. You have lots of good advice on how to make the best of what time you do have at Dartmouth…get good grades, build relationships with profs, put yourself out there to meet people.

For transfer apps, start with other schools that accepted you as an incoming freshman. Do any of those appeal? Do any of those allow transfers to start second semester? What do you want in your transfer school, knowing you may have to step it down in ‘prestige’? Do you need financial aid?

I have never heard Dartmouth described this way, but it’s been extra difficult for HSers over the last two years to really take deep dives and/or in-person visits, and understand what any school is like.

I’ve met several people over the years who’ve had miserable times at Dartmouth. So, I sympathize with you.

I think you might qualify as a non-traditional student at Wesleyan:

Non-traditional Students

Applicants who have significant interruptions in their schooling, either in high school or during college, or who were home schooled should provide a thorough explanation of their educational situation, background and chronology in the personal statement or in an additional essay. Competitive applicants will need to have enrolled recently in a full-time course of study to demonstrate a record of success in such a program.< Transfer Students, Wesleyan University - Wesleyan University

I’d give them a call because I think Wesleyan (or, a place like it) would be a good alternative to Hanover. And, yes. It is overenrolled at the moment, but there’s no telling how things might shake out by next Spring.


Data point / anecdote of one here…

… I did meet a friend of my eldest at Alabama, who had transferred there from a NESCAC school. This kinda blew me away, and she was surprised I had heard of it!

Her story: wanted the NE LAC bucolic rural campus thing, recruited athlete, got injured, some drama with coach / team. Plus as she was from a southern state, and had not quite understood a winter in the NE.

Part of her culture was big state schools with football and sororities, so her family were more surprised about her wanting the NE LAC lifestyle… so when she transferred back it made sense to her people.

Acc to D, this young woman is majoring in business/ finance and has a job lined up at a firm in Atlanta upon graduation. I guess you can call that successful? even thought it’s not Wall Street or MBB consulting?!

Worked out well here where the fit wasn’t right at the first school.

But you are NOT her, so your situation might be really different?


Thank you for this. Yes, correct I am not her but I am from a warm climate & wanted a small school with heavily outdoor focused activities and highly motivated / bright students. I am finding that not to be the case here … the curtains have been pulled back. Lots of privilege. Lots of legacy kids that aren’t interested in anything but Greek life and hierarchy HS BS… I am over all
that and had high hopes for this college. It’s nothing like I thought and I want to transfer to a better fit.


Well, there are lots of school in warmer parts of the country, with bright kids and outdoor activities, who would love to have you. Some random ideas…(as I have no idea of your budget/location/major)

Eckerd in Florida is on the water
U of Utah for skiing
Sewanee TN
Hendrix AR
App State or UNC Ashville in NC
U of New Mexico
Humboldt State in CA
Northern Arizona
Fort Lewis College, CO
Trinity U TX
South-western U TX

In the meantime, go to counseling, keep up your school work, and follow other suggestions by posters above.

Good luck


Is cost going to be a factor? What are your instate public options?

Davidson? Duke, UVA, Chapel Hill? Goucher? Georgetown? Don’t know the financial situation.

I suspected you were from a warm climate from your comments about winter!

You should talk to someone at the school. Your situation is a bit of an anomaly, taking a leave rather than deferring. You don’t really belong to a class and missed out on orientations. They need to take care of you. This is from the unique COVID situation and most deferred.

The urge to flee is strong. I just hope you can make a decision based on a little more experience, and not that strong urge to flee that comes from initial misery at college.


Thank you

The pandemic has really affected entering college students in a negative fashion. It is neither your fault nor the school’s fault for the repercussions.

Dartmouth College is an outstanding school with a strong personality. It is not for everyone.

If active dominant Greek social life & a preppy student body is not of interest to you, then you may be at the wrong school for you.

If your brief experience at Dartmouth College has helped you to better define your likes & dislikes regarding campus culture, then that is valuable insight.

What do you want to study ?

Are you in need of significant financial aid ?

What schools are you now considering ?


OP- you can start- today-- figuring out how to create a social life which is fun and satisfying. You may need to go out of your comfort zone though.

Bridge- do you play or want to learn? Post that you’re looking for a partner/instructor.
Chess- ditto.
Swing dancing, folk dancing, Zumba.
Bird watching and identifying, an environmental project being sponsored by a professor?
A table in the dining hall where you only speak French/Mandarin/to(either a language you’ve learned or are studying)
Email one of the chaplains (denomination doesn’t matter) and announce that you’d like to spearhead a coat donation program, ask who in town you should speak to.
Knitting lessons- yarn or crafts store in town? Call and find out if someone will come to campus one evening a week and teach basic stitching. Many small towns already have a “stitch and Bi^&*” group which meets in a coffee shop, one member who is an expert helps the novices while everyone socializes.
Show up at the International Students office and announce you’d like to volunteer. Imagine how out of place kids from overseas are feeling right now? And depending on where they are from, they may not have gone home this summer, may not be able to go home at winter break? Covid has shut down many countries.
Reach out to someone at the hospital about volunteering.

If your efforts to create a social group don’t work-- then you can honestly say you gave Dartmouth a chance. But trust me- you are going to find it hard parachuting anywhere as a transfer, since very few colleges offer the same kind of social support after freshman year. So start flexing your muscles now and learn how to connect with like-minded people.

Hugs. I’ve known kids at Dartmouth who were the stereotypical frat/preppies, and kids who were deep intellectuals and poets and dance enthusiasts, and kids who were avid environmentalists and sustainability geeks. You will find your niche!


Cost isn’t much of a factor. In state options are not anything of interest. Wanting to find a good fit as I feel like I was sold something that was defective. I didn’t read the warranty / label so to speak… which I acknowledge is my fault but it was CoVid and I don’t think I knew any better …. I do now tho.i feel as HS College counselor misrepresented this school. I thought it was everything I wanted in a school. Failed to realize that Greek life here is EVERYTHING and the kids and general vibe of the school is elite and less alternative culture then I’d like. Even tho I’m a not part of any alt group and much more a typical student that would “thrive” here I’m not feeling any love by admin / students or just generally speaking. Exploring what would be a better fit for a transfer which is what prompted me to come on this forum. I did get great suggestions- most, if not all I have tried or am familiar with. I’m not a shy person, I’m social & outgoing but have felt lonely, isolated and the kids I’m meeting I can’t really relate or are too busy trying to gain social status for Greek life… which I had no idea was so ALL CONSUMING…just expected kids to grow up and outgrow the need for all this nonsense.


FWIW Dartmouth College was among a son’s top choices for college. After a visit and after discussing revelations in a book about Dartmouth College with several friends attending Dartmouth College, it fell off of his list completely. Did not even apply even though he fits the profile & joined a frat at his university. My point is that Dartmouth or any college may seem like a great match on paper,but the reality might show otherwise.

If it is not a fit for you, then apply elsewhere as a transfer candidate while making the best of your current situation. When transfer acceptances arrive, you may have adjusted to life at Dartmouth College and decide to stay, or you may choose to transfer. You need options, in my view. Sometimes just completing transfer apps can be a cathartic experience.


Keep in mind fraternity and sorority pledging is a short period of time, and then it’s over. It’s very time consuming and pledges have to do what they’re told.

So 60% if Dartmouth students participate in Greek Life. That is a lot!

I really wonder if Dartmouth could reclassify you as a freshman and you could access more support that way. By now, sophomores tend to already have social networks formed, Greek or not.

I would apply for transfer and stay if things change at Dartmouth.

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