Dartmouth Supplemental Essays 2024 | Strategies and Insights for Success

Dartmouth College, nestled in the heart of the Ivy League, may receive fewer applications than its prestigious counterparts, but its selective admissions process remains as formidable as ever. With only 28,841 applicants vying for a coveted spot in the Class of 2027, Dartmouth’s admission rate hit an all-time low of 6%. In the face of such daunting odds, mastering the art of crafting compelling supplemental essays can be your ticket to catching the eye of the admissions committee.

In the realm of college admissions, where rejection looms for 94% of applicants, every word of your application holds immense weight. Dartmouth’s supplemental essays, three in total, offer a pivotal chance to distinguish yourself from the crowd and make a lasting impression.

Let’s delve into Dartmouth College’s essay prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle, each accompanied by tailored advice to help you effectively address them.

Also read Dartmouth Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

Dartmouth Supplemental Essays

Essay 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)

Strategic Insights: This essay presents a classic “Why this College?” opportunity. Key points to emphasize include:

  1. Specific Student Organizations: Highlight clubs or groups at Dartmouth that align with your interests.
  2. Relevant Courses: Discuss courses within your desired field that intrigue you.
  3. Influential Professors: Mention faculty members whose work resonates with you.
  4. Unique Research Opportunities: Showcase Dartmouth’s distinct undergraduate research avenues.
  5. Alignment with Mission: Express connections between Dartmouth’s mission and your values.
  6. Study Abroad Prospects: Address the potential for global exploration and academic enrichment.

Pro Tips: Conduct thorough research to uncover tailored reasons why Dartmouth is an ideal match for you. Your genuine interest and alignment with Dartmouth’s offerings will shine through, enhancing your application’s strength.

Dartmouth Supplemental Essays – Personal Insights

Essay Prompt: “Please choose one of the following prompts and respond in 250 words or fewer:

A) “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised and its impact on the person you are today.”

Strategic Approach: This prompt offers an opportunity to delve into unique aspects of your upbringing that shape your identity. Consider focusing on:

  • Family Dynamics: Explore your role within your family and its influence on your development.
  • Cultural or Community Influences: Discuss how cultural or community factors have shaped your values and beliefs.
  • Core Values and Beliefs: Reflect on how your upbringing has instilled certain principles or qualities in you.

Craft your response with authenticity, offering insights into how your background has molded you into the individual you are today. This essay allows you to showcase your personal journey and perspective beyond the confines of traditional application materials.

B) Essay Prompt: “‘Be yourself,’ Oscar Wilde advised. ‘Everyone else is taken.’ Introduce yourself.”

Strategic Approach: This prompt invites you to share unique facets of your personality and background that illuminate your essence. Consider exploring:

  1. Passions and Inspirations:
    • Reflect on what deeply moves your spirit, whether it’s art, movies, music, or literature that resonates with you.
  2. Family Dynamics:
    • Discuss your role within your family and how familial relationships have shaped your identity.
  3. Social Group Contributions:
    • Highlight your contributions to your social group and how these interactions reflect your character.
  4. Memorable Moments:
    • Share anecdotes about the funniest or strangest experiences you’ve had, showcasing your sense of humor or adventurous spirit.
  5. Commitment and Enthusiasm:
    • Illustrate your commitment and passion for endeavors that are meaningful to you.
  6. Core Values and Beliefs:
    • Articulate the core values and beliefs that guide your actions and decisions.
  7. Upbringing Influences:
    • Explore significant aspects of your upbringing and how they have shaped your worldview.
  8. Unique Attributes:
    • Highlight the most intriguing and distinctive qualities that define you as an individual.
  9. Cultural, Religious, or Community Influence:
    • Discuss how cultural, religious, or community influences have contributed to your identity and perspective.

Dartmouth Supplemental Essays – Unveiling Your Inner Thoughts

Essay Prompt: “Please choose one of the following prompts and respond in 200-250 words:

A) What excites you? Discover what truly ignites your passion. Whether it’s a subject that keeps you up at night, a problem you’re eager to solve, or an activity you love, delve into what makes your heart race with excitement.

B) Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta recommended a life of purpose. In what ways do you hope to make—or are you making—an impact? Why? How? Embrace your role as a global citizen and reflect on the ways you seek to contribute to making the world a better place. Highlight your passion for addressing pressing issues and articulate the reasons behind your drive to effect change.

C) 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? Explore the depths of your thoughts and inquiries. Take the reader on a journey through your mind, sharing the questions that occupy your thoughts, the motivations behind your inquiries, and the insights you’ve gleaned from your contemplations.

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Dartmouth Supplemental Essays

D) Celebrate your nerdy side

In the realm of academia, being a “nerd” has undergone a transformation from social outcast to esteemed enthusiast. Embrace your nerdy passions by sharing what makes you tick. Whether it’s eighties movie soundtracks, science fiction short stories, strategy games, or Rubik’s cubes, delve into your niche interests. Celebrate your expertise and explain how your chosen topic influences you, ignites your curiosity, and shapes your perspective.

E) 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?

Reflect on the role of difference in your life and how you’ve embraced it as part of your identity. Explore how your unique experiences, whether in relationships, socio-economic status, neurodiversity, or cultural background, have influenced your character and outlook. Share the steps you’ve taken to navigate these differences, how they’ve positively impacted you, and what you appreciate about your distinct perspective. This essay offers an opportunity to demonstrate openness and vulnerability, showcasing the richness of your lived experiences.

F) 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?

Communicate your dedication to lifelong learning and responsible leadership. Instead of listing achievements, focus on qualities like dedication, curiosity, innovation, and creativity that illustrate your potential for growth and impact. Share anecdotes illustrating your growth in particular areas and your aspirations for the future. Embrace flaws and mistakes as opportunities for self-awareness, showcasing your capacity for continual improvement.

Crafting Your Response

Choose the prompt that resonates most deeply with your experiences and aspirations. Craft a genuine, introspective response that showcases your unique perspective and qualities. Embrace vulnerability, celebrate your passions, and illustrate your potential to contribute meaningfully to the Dartmouth community and beyond.

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The Importance of Dartmouth Supplemental Essays in College Admissions

When it comes to evaluating applications, Dartmouth College places immense importance on various factors. Among these crucial elements, the supplemental essays, including those on the Common App, stand out as “very important” in the evaluation process. Alongside essays, Dartmouth considers seven other key factors with equal weight: the rigor of coursework, class rank, GPA, recommendations, test scores, character/personal qualities, and extracurricular activities. This underscores the significant role that supplemental essays play in showcasing an applicant’s unique qualities and fit for Dartmouth’s community and academic environment.


The Dartmouth Supplemental Essays hold a vital role in the college admissions process. As one of the “very important” factors considered alongside various other criteria, these essays offer applicants a prime opportunity to present their individuality, passions, and alignment with Dartmouth’s values and mission. Crafting thoughtful and compelling responses to these prompts can greatly enhance an applicant’s chances of standing out in a competitive pool and securing a coveted spot in Dartmouth’s esteemed community.