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How To Answer Dartmouth's Supplemental Essay Prompts 2023/24

11/10/202333 minute read
How To Answer Dartmouth's Supplemental Essay Prompts 2023/24

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

Dartmouth College's 2023/24 Supplemental Essay Updates: What's Changed?

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.

1. Modification of Existing Prompts

The foundational prompt about Dartmouth's distinctive sense of place and purpose remains largely unchanged, with minor tweaks in phrasing for clarity.

2. Introduction of New Topics

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.

3. Expanded Choices for the Third Prompt

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.

4. Rephrased Prompts for Clarity and Depth

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.

5. Inclusion of Diverse Themes

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.

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What Are Dartmouth's Supplemental Essay Prompts for 2023/24?

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.

1. Dartmouth's initial prompt is the “Why Dartmouth” prompt.

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.

2. Deep Dive Questions

Pick one prompt from two offered. These essay options are crafted to provide a window into your character, upbringing, and thought processes.

  • Personal Background and Upbringing: There is a Quaker saying: Let your life speak. Describe the environment in which you were raised and the impact it has had on the person you are today.” (250 words or fewer)
  • Introducing You: "Be yourself," Oscar Wilde advised. "Everyone else is taken." Introduce yourself. (250 words or fewer)

3. Exploratory Prompts

Pick one prompt from the six offered. These prompts are diverse, encouraging you to showcase various facets of your personality, aspirations, and beliefs:

  • Passions and Interests: What excites you? (250 words or fewer)
  • Purposeful Living: Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. "We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things," she said. "That is what we are put on the earth for." In what ways do you hope to make — or are you already making — an impact? Why? How? (250 words or fewer)
  • Inner Thoughts: Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel of Dartmouth's Class of 1925, wrote, "Think and wonder. Wonder and think." As you wonder and think, what's on your mind? (250 words or fewer)
  • Embrace Your Quirks: Celebrate your nerdy side. (250 words or fewer)
  • Celebrating Otherness: "It's not easy being green..." was the frequent refrain of Kermit the Frog. How has the difference been a part of your life, and how have you embraced it as part of your identity and outlook? (250 words or fewer)
  • Unearthing Potential: As noted in the College's mission statement, "Dartmouth educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership…" Promise and potential are important aspects of the assessment of any college application, but they can be elusive qualities to capture. Highlight your potential and promise for us; what would you like us to know about you? (250 words or fewer)

Requirements

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.

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How to Answer Dartmouth's Supplemental Essay Questions?

How to Answer the “Why Dartmouth” Question?

Prompt

“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

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.

Reflect on Dartmouth's Essence

Think about the distinct attributes of Dartmouth that appeal to you.

  • Is it a specific academic program?
  • The close-knit community feel?
  • The rich traditions and serene campus environment?

What combination of features like these, and others, make Dartmouth appealing to you and why?

Be Specific

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.

Personalize Your Answer

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.

Stay Concise

With only 100 words, every sentence must be purposeful. Ensure each word contributes meaningfully to your response, and avoid redundancy.

Examples

  • Drawn to Dartmouth's renowned Engineering program, I'm excited about its interdisciplinary approach, blending liberal arts and technology. Additionally, the Dartmouth Outing Club aligns with my passion for outdoor leadership.
  • The intimacy of Dartmouth's community and its emphasis on undergraduate research in the sciences resonate deeply with my aspirations. Coupled with the picturesque Hanover setting, Dartmouth embodies my ideal learning environment.

Recap

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.

How to Answer Dartmouth's "Deep Dive" Questions?

Prompt 1

“There is a Quaker saying: 'Let your life speak.' Describe the environment in which you were raised and the impact it has had on the person you are today.”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

Exploring Your Roots 

Begin by painting a vivid picture of your upbringing:

  • Physical setting: Were you raised in a bustling city, a rural village, a suburban neighborhood, or a tight-knit community?
  • Cultural influences: What traditions, customs, or rituals were integral to your family or community?
  • Key figures: Who played pivotal roles in your formative years? How did they influence you?

Reflecting on the Impact

Moving beyond mere description, analyze how these elements of your background molded your beliefs, values, and aspirations:

  • Challenges and Triumphs: Did certain experiences, perhaps dealing with adversity or celebrating triumphs, particularly influence your growth?
  • Evolution: How have the cultural and familial lessons from your upbringing influenced your worldview, values, and future aspirations?

Crafting a Cohesive Narrative

While 250 words might seem restrictive, focus on weaving a concise yet impactful story that encapsulates your upbringing and its influence on you.

Recap

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.

Prompt 2

“'Be yourself,' Oscar Wilde advised. 'Everyone else is taken.' Introduce yourself.”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

Embracing Your Uniqueness

While it's tempting to present an idealized version of oneself, Dartmouth is looking for authenticity. Reflect on:

  • Personality: Are you introspective, outgoing, witty, or analytical? What qualities define you?
  • Passions and Hobbies: What do you love doing in your free time? How do these activities reflect your character or aspirations?
  • Personal Stories: Share an anecdote or experience that captures your essence.

Moving Beyond the Resume

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.

Be Genuine and Introspective

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.

Using Your Voice

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.

Crafting a Personal Statement

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.

Recap

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.

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How to Answer Dartmouth’s “Exploratory" Questions?

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.

Prompt 1

“What excites you?”

- 250 words or fewer

Genuine Enthusiasm

Share what genuinely excites you, not what you think Dartmouth wants to hear.

Make it Compelling

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.

  • Look for more profound topics. For example, going to a baseball game may be exciting for you, but does it connect to deeper experiences, reflections, or aspirations? That said, maybe going to a baseball game with a specific family member was exciting because of the relationship and the opportunity these baseball outings presented to deepen it.
  • Emphasize sources of excitement that truly reflect or shape your personality and which connect with things you care deeply about.

Personal Anecdote

  • Illustrate your passion through a personal story, giving a genuine glimpse into what drives you.
  • Highlight anecdotes that will help the reader appreciate the contexts that make your insights compelling for you.
  • Craft vivid narratives that cast light on people, events, or circumstances that shaped your feelings of excitement and to make your response more memorable.

Connect with Dartmouth

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.

Examples

  • Discovering the world of computational biology during a summer program transformed my view of computer science, from merely app development to solving biological mysteries. Dartmouth's interdisciplinary courses promise further exploration into this thrilling intersection.
  • Art, for me, isn't just a hobby; it's a lens through which I see the world. Every brush stroke or sketch is a reflection of my interpretations. At Dartmouth, I'm excited about the potential of integrating art with academic studies, enriching my perspectives further.

Recap

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.

Prompt 2

“Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. ‘We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things,' she said. 'That is what we are put on the earth for.' In what ways do you hope to make — or are you already making — an impact? Why? How?”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

Genuine Motivations

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.

Link to Dartmouth's Values

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.

Narrative Engagement

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.

Vision for the Future

Expand on how Dartmouth can be the platform for furthering your initiatives or supporting your drive for societal improvement.

Examples

  • Driven by witnessing educational inequalities in my community, I initiated a tutoring program for underprivileged students. Dartmouth's Tucker Center, with its extensive community service programs, inspires me to scale my initiative to broader horizons.
  • Ever since participating in a local environmental cleanup, I've been motivated to promote sustainable living. At Dartmouth, I see an opportunity to engage deeply with the Dartmouth Organic Farm, expanding my understanding and driving larger community initiatives.

Recap

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.

Prompt 3

“Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Geisel of Dartmouth's Class of 1925, wrote, 'Think and wonder. Wonder and think.' As you wonder and think, what's on your mind?”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

Venture Beyond the Superficial

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.

Relate to Dartmouth’s Legacy

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.

Narrative Engagement

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.

Consider Dartmouth’s Environment

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.

Examples

  • Contemplating the ever-evolving nature of language, I often wonder about the next phase of human communication. Dartmouth’s rich linguistic courses and its diverse community provide the ideal setting for such explorations.
  • In today's digital age, I ponder the balance between connectivity and genuine human interactions. Dartmouth’s tight-knit community offers a compelling environment to explore this, bridging the traditional with the contemporary.

Recap

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.

Prompt 4

“Celebrate your nerdy side.”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

True Colors

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.

Narrative Storytelling

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.

Relate to Dartmouth

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.

Deep Reflection

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.

Examples

  • Ever since I started collecting antique calculators, I've been dubbed the "math historian" among my friends. At Dartmouth, I hope to merge this love for history and math by delving into the evolution of mathematical theories.
  • I've always been fascinated by the intricacies of board games, often creating my own. Through Dartmouth's Game Design Club, I hope to bring my unique designs to life, encouraging strategic and creative thinking.

Recap

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.

Prompt 5

“'It's not easy being green…' was the frequent refrain of Kermit the Frog. How has difference been a part of your life, and how have you embraced it as part of your identity and outlook?”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

Personal and Genuine Experiences

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.

Navigating Challenges and Growth

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.

  • Did they help you develop personal resilience? If so, how is this reflected in real events or relationships in your life, or in challenges you’ve faced?
  • Does your experience with difference shape your worldview, personality, or your perspectives?
  • Do these factors impact other facets of your life experiences, such as interpersonal relationships, school or community life, or your views on society?

Connect to Dartmouth

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.

Celebrate the Differences

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?

Examples

  • Growing up in a multicultural neighborhood, I've always been the bridge between various cultures, facilitating understanding. Dartmouth's Global Village program, emphasizing cultural exchange, resonates with my experiences.
  • Being the only left-hander in my family always made me feel unique. This simple difference taught me early on that there's no one-size-fits-all approach. At Dartmouth, I'm eager to be part of communities that appreciate and celebrate such nuances.

Recap

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.

Prompt 6

“As noted in the College's mission statement, ‘Dartmouth educates the most promising students and prepares them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership…’ Promise and potential are important aspects of the assessment of any college application, but they can be elusive qualities to capture. Highlight your potential and promise for us; what would you like us to know about you?”

- 250 words or fewer

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.

Highlight Authentic Moments

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.

Relate to Dartmouth's Values

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.

Evolution and Growth

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.

Envision Your Future

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?

Examples

  • My initiative in founding a community service club showcased not just leadership, but a potential to drive change. At Dartmouth, I'm excited to further this potential through hands-on service projects and leadership seminars.
  • From initiating a school-wide recycling program to representing my school in national debates, my journey has been about discovering and nurturing my potential. Dartmouth's focus on holistic education and fostering leadership resonates deeply with where I see myself evolving.

Recap

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.

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General Guidelines for Answering Dartmouth's Supplemental Essay Questions

1. Deep Dive into Dartmouth

Dartmouth's prompts allow you to demonstrate your affinity with the college's ethos and community.

  • Highlight specific courses, faculty members, research opportunities, or clubs that align with your interests.
  • Be detailed in your approach to specific aspects of college life or specific academic offerings or resources that hold a genuine interest for you personally in order to spotlight the depth of your commitment to understanding Dartmouth.

2. Introspective Insight

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.

3. Champion Diversity

Dartmouth is proud of its diverse and inclusive student community.

  • Highlight the unique perspectives, experiences, or backgrounds you'd bring and how these have influenced your own evolving self-awareness and life journey in profound ways.
  • Emphasize how these perspectives and experiences will enhance diversity at Dartmouth and shape unique contributions you’ll make to community life and academic dialogue at Dartmouth.

4. Genuine Narratives

Honesty resonates deeply. Craft responses that echo your true passions, hurdles, and aspirations, rather than what you feel the admissions committee wants to hear.

  • Use a personal voice and/or personal anecdotes to convey authentic glimpses into your unique life circumstances and influences.
  • Keep it relevant to the college admissions process, but don’t shy away from sharing intimate features of your personality, inner thoughts, “hidden” interests, and remember some glimpses of humility and vulnerability may add authenticity or further help you make your essay more memorable.

5. Focus on Depth

The word limits mean precision is crucial. Opt for depth over breadth, delving into a few points in detail rather than skimming over many.

6. Engaging Storytelling

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.

7. Meticulous Proofreading

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.

8. Tie to the Larger Context

Position your answers in the broader context of your potential contributions to Dartmouth.

  • Highlight future-facing aspirations, goals, or commitments.
  • Describe how the college's offerings and ethos align with your aspirations.
  • Reveal what contributions you expect to make as a valuable member of the Dartmouth community.
  • Explain how Dartmouth will further your goals and aspirations.

9. Embrace the Process

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.

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Final Thoughts

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!

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