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What's New in 2022/23
What Are Dartmouth's Essay Prompts
Why Dartmouth Question
Dartmouth's Deep Dive Questions
Dartmouth's "Exploratory" Questions
Dartmouth is an Ivy League research university in Hanover, New Hampshire. It has an acceptance rate of around 6%, making it one of the most prestigious and selective schools in the United States. The Supplemental Essays offer you a unique opportunity to showcase your motivations for being a Dartmouth student. These essays are also a great opportunity to provide insights into your journey of self-awareness, your values, and aspirations. This blog serves as a comprehensive guide to each of the prompts in the Dartmouth Writing Supplement for 2023/24. Use the tips and insights below to craft strong responses that will help you stand out from other applicants.
How Julian Got Into Dartmouth
Gaining admission into Dartmouth College, an Ivy League institution with an illustrious history, is no small feat. Among the diverse components of the college application, the supplemental essays play a pivotal role in presenting your unique story and illustrating how you resonate with Dartmouth's values.
Elite universities like Dartmouth continually adapt their application requirements each year, seeking a holistic grasp of their potential students' backgrounds, aspirations, and values.
This year, similar to last year, Dartmouth applicants have three required “writing supplements” to complete. For the 2023/24 admissions cycle Dartmouth has made some limited but notable modifications to essay prompts.
The foundational prompt about Dartmouth's distinctive sense of place and purpose remains largely unchanged, with minor tweaks in phrasing for clarity.
Dartmouth's second required essay now offers a choice between introducing oneself, in line with Oscar Wilde's famous quotation, or describing the environment in which one was raised, inspired by a Quaker saying. This presents applicants with the opportunity to either present a personal introduction or delve deeper into their upbringing and its influence.
Previously, Dartmouth gave applicants five options to choose from for their third essay. This has been expanded to six, including a chance for applicants to "celebrate their nerdy side", discuss embracing differences, or share about their promise and potential in line with Dartmouth's mission statement. These additions seek richer insights into applicants' personalities, values, and potential contributions to the Dartmouth community.
Several of the essay options have been reworded to invite deeper reflection. For instance, the Dolores Huerta inspired prompt now adds "Why? How?" to drive applicants to think more about their motivations and methods.
The newly introduced prompts encompass diverse themes like embracing differences and individual promise, showcasing Dartmouth's commitment to nurturing a varied and dynamic student body.
These alterations underline Dartmouth's ever-evolving admissions perspective, spotlighting a more profound comprehension of applicants' diverse experiences, aspirations, and the intrinsic values they might bring to its vibrant academic community.
For the 2023/24 application cycle, Dartmouth College has thoughtfully designed supplemental essay prompts that delve deeply into the perspectives, backgrounds, and aspirations of its applicants. These prompts aim to illuminate your personal growth, understanding of Dartmouth's ethos, individuality, and potential contributions to the Dartmouth community.
This prompt revolves around the institution's essence and its impact on your educational pursuits. Note, this first supplementary essay is only 100 words or fewer, making it shorter than the remaining two essays.
Dartmouth's Unique Ethos: Dartmouth celebrates the ways in which its profound sense of place informs its profound sense of purpose. As you seek admission to Dartmouth's Class of 2028, what aspects of the College's academic program, community, and/or campus environment attract your interest? In short, why Dartmouth? (100 words or fewer)
For the remaining two essays (each 250 words or fewer), Dartmouth offers several creative prompts. Choose ONE from each list.
Pick one prompt from two offered. These essay options are crafted to provide a window into your character, upbringing, and thought processes.
Pick one prompt from the six offered. These prompts are diverse, encouraging you to showcase various facets of your personality, aspirations, and beliefs:
Ensure your response to the initial question does not exceed 100 words. For the deep dive and exploratory questions, maintain a word count of 250 words or fewer.
Dartmouth's admissions process is exceptionally competitive, but these essay prompts offer candidates a golden chance to shed light on their unique experiences, aspirations, and the richness they'd contribute to the Dartmouth mosaic.
This prompt seeks to understand your motivations behind choosing Dartmouth. It's an invitation to dive deep into your reasons and showcase how Dartmouth aligns with your academic and personal aspirations.
Think about the distinct attributes of Dartmouth that appeal to you.
What combination of features like these, and others, make Dartmouth appealing to you and why?
Avoid vague statements. Instead of saying you're attracted to Dartmouth's "strong academic reputation," mention a particular program, research opportunity, or professor that aligns with your interests.
What personal experiences or goals make Dartmouth the right fit for you? Maybe you're drawn to Dartmouth's unique D-Plan or its emphasis on undergraduate teaching. Relate these aspects back to your own journey and aspirations with authentic and genuine insights into your unique interests, aspirations, and values and how they fit with specific campus attributes.
With only 100 words, every sentence must be purposeful. Ensure each word contributes meaningfully to your response, and avoid redundancy.
Dartmouth's first essay prompt provides a canvas to illustrate your unique connection with the college. By being specific, personal, and concise, you can effectively convey why Dartmouth's academic program, community, and environment align seamlessly with your aspirations.
Dartmouth, like many elite institutions, values a diverse student body, recognizing that every individual's background shapes their perspectives, values, and contributions. This prompt is an avenue to shed light on the influences that have shaped your character, beliefs, and aspirations.
Begin by painting a vivid picture of your upbringing:
Moving beyond mere description, analyze how these elements of your background molded your beliefs, values, and aspirations:
While 250 words might seem restrictive, focus on weaving a concise yet impactful story that encapsulates your upbringing and its influence on you.
Dartmouth's first "Deep Dive" prompt seeks to understand the fabric of your background and how it has sculpted your character and aspirations. Dive deep, be introspective, and craft a narrative that offers a genuine glimpse into your world.
Dartmouth's prompt resonates with the essence of individuality. Every student brings their unique narrative, beliefs, experiences, and quirks. Through this prompt, Dartmouth seeks to understand *you*, beyond academic achievements and extracurriculars.
While it's tempting to present an idealized version of oneself, Dartmouth is looking for authenticity. Reflect on:
Avoid reiterating what's already in your application. This is a chance to share aspects of your life and personality that don't fit neatly into traditional application boxes.
While keeping your introduction relevant and the tone appropriately formal, consider how you can also incorporate some touches of intimacy and vulnerability with some deeper introspection and with some authentic and genuine sharing about who you are.
Sometimes an introduction is formal. But for this essay, also consider using elements of your authentic personal voice to help convey unique features of your personality. Be it a streak of humility or a sense of humor, use an authentic voice to reveal meaningful insights into your individuality.
Given the brevity of the prompt, every word should contribute to your narrative. Be concise yet compelling, ensuring the introduction offers a genuine reflection of who you are.
Dartmouth's second "Deep Dive" prompt is a canvas for you to paint a portrait of yourself. This isn't about showcasing achievements but about presenting an authentic, holistic image of who you are. Dive deep into introspection, embrace your uniqueness, and introduce yourself in a way that remains memorable and genuine.
Navigating Dartmouth's exploratory essay prompts requires a blend of introspection and a clear understanding of what the college values. While each question is a chance to spotlight a distinct facet of your character, they collectively serve to convey your fit for Dartmouth's vibrant community.
Share what genuinely excites you, not what you think Dartmouth wants to hear.
Don't only skim the surface or introduce sources of excitement that are superficial in nature. Connect what excites you with deeper passions and aspirations.
Maybe there's a Dartmouth program or club that aligns with your passion or with what excites you. Showing that connection can demonstrate both your genuine interest and how you'd immerse yourself on campus. Reveal how what excites you will shape your contributions to campus life and specific goals or aspirations you have for college and beyond.
The first "Exploratory" prompt is very open ended. Try to home in on a source of excitement that offers insights into your more profound passions, motivations, and perspectives on life. Be genuine and be sure to connect what excites you with larger aspirations.
This prompt calls for a profound understanding of your own commitment to betterment and change. Dartmouth values students who are not just achievers in the academic sense but also those who aspire to make a meaningful impact on society through commitment, conviction, and courage.
Deeply reflect upon the driving forces behind your actions. What inspires you to create change? Whether it's a personal experience, someone you look up to, or a broader vision for society, share the root of your motivations.
Show that your vision aligns with Dartmouth's ethos. Perhaps there's a Dartmouth initiative, club, or program that corresponds with your efforts to create positive change.
Use storytelling to bring your experiences to life. Instead of simply stating facts, walk the reader through your journey, the challenges you faced, and the lessons learned.
Expand on how Dartmouth can be the platform for furthering your initiatives or supporting your drive for societal improvement.
Dartmouth's second "Exploratory" prompt offers an avenue to express your genuine commitment to pursuing a purpose-driven life and enacting positive change. Through a combination of personal storytelling and a forward-looking mindset, this is your chance to showcase how your life's purpose aligns with Dartmouth's values. Share how you can contribute positively to campus life and reflect on how Dartmouth can help you further your impact on the world.
This unique prompt from Dartmouth encourages you to introspect and share your musings, highlighting how deep reflection forms an integral part of your character. It offers a window into your mindset, showcasing how you engage with the world around you.
While it might be tempting to discuss a recent event or popular topic, delve deeper. Reflect on those bigger questions or thoughts that linger in your mind. It could be something philosophical, societal, or even a personal revelation.
Given the mention of Theodor Geisel, an illustrious Dartmouth alumnus, consider ways in which your reflections might connect to Dartmouth’s storied history, its emphasis on liberal arts, or its commitment to fostering critical thinkers.
Just as with the previous prompt, storytelling can be a powerful tool here. Walk the reader through your thought process, the genesis of your musings, and the conclusions or further questions they led to.
Dartmouth's unique setting, amidst the serene landscapes of Hanover, provides the perfect backdrop for reflection. Consider weaving in how such an environment can further fuel your introspection and quest for answers.
Dartmouth’s third “Exploratory” prompt is an opportunity to provide insights into your deeper reflections and how you process the world around you. By delving into genuine thoughts and connecting them with Dartmouth's ethos and environment, you can craft a compelling narrative that underscores your fit for the institution.
Dartmouth recognizes that it's often our quirks, those distinctive characteristics and passions, that make us uniquely interesting. This prompt invites you to showcase a side of yourself that might not be immediately evident but is an intrinsic part of who you are.
It's vital to ensure your response is genuine. Highlighting an authentic quirk or passion can create a more memorable and personal essay. Whether it's a hobby, a talent, or a particular mindset, delve into something you truly identify with.
Consider using anecdotes or personal stories to illustrate your point. A short narrative about a time when your "nerdy side" played a significant role can effectively showcase your personality and make your essay more engaging.
While discussing your quirks, find a way to connect it to Dartmouth's environment or ethos. Perhaps there's a club, organization, or course at Dartmouth that aligns with your quirky side. Demonstrating how your unique traits would fit into and benefit the Dartmouth community can add depth to your essay.
Go beyond just describing your quirks. Reflect on why they matter to you, how they've shaped your perspectives, and the role they've played in your life.
Dartmouth's fourth "Exploratory" prompt offers a chance for applicants with a passion for, or obsession with, a particular intellectual or academic interest, or other kind of interest that captivates them, to embrace it and share it in an essay that is compelling and memorable. By focusing on genuine characteristics and weaving a narrative that connects to Dartmouth's values and offerings, you can create a standout essay. Highlight an important area of personal fascination while helping Dartmouth understand how this might shape your aspirations and participation in college life.
Dartmouth acknowledges and celebrates the diverse backgrounds and experiences of its students. This prompt provides an avenue to discuss how you've encountered, processed, and embraced differences in your life, be it in terms of race, culture, beliefs, or personal experiences. It’s an opportunity to highlight your unique journey — and perhaps exceptional resilience or insights shaped by this journey — while foreshadowing the positive ways you’ll impact the college community.
Begin by introspecting on moments in your life when you felt different or stood out. Was it due to cultural, racial, personal beliefs, or perhaps a unique experience? Share these genuine stories to give a deeper insight into your journey.
Being different often comes with challenges. Discuss how you navigated them, the insights gained, and how these experiences contributed to personal growth. Show how these challenges strengthened your character and shaped your worldview.
Highlight how you see Dartmouth's diverse community as an extension or complement to your experiences. Maybe there are student groups, initiatives, or programs at Dartmouth that align with your journey. This connection can underscore your fit within the Dartmouth community.
Rather than merely discussing the challenges, celebrate the advantages and strengths that come from embracing diversity. How has it made you a more empathetic, open-minded, or resilient individual?
Dartmouth's fifth "Exploratory" prompt offers an opportunity to reflect on your personal journey and how it's shaped by the differences you've encountered or embraced. By intertwining personal narratives with Dartmouth's ethos and values, you can create an impactful essay that showcases your understanding and appreciation of diversity in its many forms.
Dartmouth is seeking students who not only excel academically but also exhibit promise in their endeavors and potential to impact the world. This prompt is your opportunity to showcase your capabilities, determination, and the promise you hold for the future.
Recall instances where your potential was evident, be it through academic accomplishments, extracurricular leadership, or personal growth moments. Choose stories that capture your drive, ambition, and the qualities that set you apart.
Dartmouth's mission emphasizes both lifelong learning and responsible leadership. Ensure your essay reflects these aspects. Discuss how Dartmouth's programs, values, or opportunities align with your potential and how they can further amplify it.
Rather than just stating your achievements, reflect on your journey. How did you overcome challenges? What did you learn? Demonstrating growth gives depth to your potential and makes it more tangible.
Project into the future. How do you see your potential evolving at Dartmouth? In what ways do you hope to contribute to the community and eventually make an impact in your chosen field or the broader world?
Dartmouth's sixth "Exploratory" prompt is an open canvas for you to highlight your strengths, journey, and vision for the future. By weaving in authentic experiences with Dartmouth's values and offerings, you can craft a compelling narrative that showcases not just who you are, but who you aspire to be in the Dartmouth community and beyond.
Dartmouth's prompts allow you to demonstrate your affinity with the college's ethos and community.
Dartmouth highly values self-aware learners. When discussing personal experiences or academic interests, always loop back to the personal growth, insights, or lessons you've absorbed over time.
Dartmouth is proud of its diverse and inclusive student community.
Honesty resonates deeply. Craft responses that echo your true passions, hurdles, and aspirations, rather than what you feel the admissions committee wants to hear.
The word limits mean precision is crucial. Opt for depth over breadth, delving into a few points in detail rather than skimming over many.
Craft your essays in a compelling narrative format. An evocative story or reflection often remains etched in the reader's mind longer than mere facts. Use relevant narrative or storytelling techniques and vivid description, with an emphasis on showing, not telling, to help make introspective elements and reflections more natural, convincing, compelling, and memorable.
Ensure your essays are impeccable. Beyond checking for grammatical errors, ensure your narrative flows smoothly and communicates your main points effectively. Consider getting feedback from peers or mentors for fresh insights.
Position your answers in the broader context of your potential contributions to Dartmouth.
Remember, these essays offer a unique opportunity to showcase facets of yourself beyond academics. Relish this chance to illustrate why Dartmouth and you could be the ideal fit.
Armed with these guidelines, you're poised to craft compelling responses that not only answer Dartmouth's supplemental questions but also resonate with the spirit of the institution.
What Makes Crimson Different
Dartmouth doesn’t shy away from creative supplemental essay prompts. Nor do they want you to shy away from embracing and celebrating what most makes you, you — whether something deep and purposeful, something quirky, something that’s complex and laced with vulnerability, or an exciting passion…
When multiple prompts are offered, choose the prompt that resonates best with you and will allow you to probe qualities of your personality, life journey, and college aspirations that will play a central role shaping your contributions and achievements at Dartmouth.
Dartmouth wants to get to know you better. Be authentic to your personality. If you’re unsure if the essay sounds like you, have someone close to you read it and tell you if it sounds like you. While grammar and spelling are important, showcasing the unique qualities that make you perfect for Dartmouth are equally important.
Need help with your supplemental essays? Crimson Education is the world’s leading university admission consulting company. Our expert admission strategist can help you narrow down your ideas and word choice to help you craft the perfect essay prompt response. Get your essay reviewed today!