When the 28,841 applicants for the Class of 2027 were asked, “Why Dartmouth?” on the writing supplement of this year’s application, their responses stitched together a vivid tapestry of the signature offerings of the Dartmouth experience that resonated with this year’s high school seniors.
Many wrote of their passion for fostering environmental sustainability, including at the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center and the Dartmouth Organic Farm, or the opportunity to help maintain the Appalachian Trail through the activities of the Dartmouth Outing Club.
Others described their interest in pursuing biology, specifically through Dartmouth’s inter-disciplinary programs in global public health and biomedical engineering, with more than a few would-be members of the undergraduate class referencing a desire to research the next generation of vaccines.
Still others spoke of what they regarded as unparalleled opportunities on the Hanover Plain to study public policy, including as fused with gender and women’s studies, as well as to learn about—and participate in—U.S. politics, whether in seminars at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences or from the vantage point of a front-row seat for the 2024 New Hampshire presidential primaries.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, 1,173 regular decision applicants received messages posted by the Admissions Office in an electronic portal, notifying them that they had been accepted for the Dartmouth Class of 2027.
They join 578 applicants admitted via the early decision round in December and an additional 47 students who matched with Dartmouth in November via QuestBridge, a national access program that introduces high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds to many of the leading institutions of higher education.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the application process for the Class of 2027 was the first since 2019 in which Dartmouth admissions officers offered a full complement of on-campus tours and information sessions, as well as fanned out to visit high schools across the country and around the world.
“As we reopened, people could once again experience the Dartmouth story in person, and that makes a big difference,” says Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid. “The applicant pool included a remarkable number of students whose academic interests were terrifically aligned with our liberal arts program and its points of excellence.”
“They see themselves thriving in Dartmouth’s small discussion-oriented classrooms. They admire and appreciate the flexibility and independence of the Dartmouth academic calendar, and they see personal opportunities to learn and grow at a college framed by nature.”
It was the third consecutive admissions cycle in which Dartmouth received more than 28,000 applications for its first-year class. The 28,841 applications comprise the largest pool in Dartmouth’s 253-year history, representing a 2% increase over last year. Similarly, it is the third consecutive year in which the College’s acceptance rate is 6%.
The Class of 2027 is also the first to apply since Dartmouth announced a suite of financial aid enhancements made possible by the Call to Lead campaign. Financial aid support of $149 million for undergraduates is forecast for the coming year, up over the current year’s $135 million.
Among the new policies are those that enable the Dartmouth admissions process to be universally need-blind (Dartmouth is one of only seven institutions in the U.S. that offers need-blind admissions and meets 100% of demonstrated need regardless of citizenship) and that ensure all financial aid packages are free of required loans. In addition, Dartmouth removed the required parent contribution for all families with earnings and typical assets below $65,000.
As of the time decisions were released, scholarships totaling more than $51 million have been offered to accepted students, with an average scholarship of $65,411. Both are record highs. (Dartmouth commits to meet the fully demonstrated need of all undergraduate students, for the full cost of attendance.)
While those offered admission to the Class of 2027 in the regular decision round must now engage in decision-making processes of their own, here is some of what we know about the rough contours of the class at this early stage:
Accepted students hail from all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. They also represent 75 other countries, a record high, and 56% of those admitted attend a public or charter high school. Of those whose schools provide rankings within the class, 444 are currently ranked first or second in the class.
“The admitted cohort sustains the demographic highlights of recent classes,” Coffin says. “It is a cohort of individuals literally drawn from around the world—and from a rainbow of socioeconomic backgrounds, points of view, ethnicities, and geographies.”
Coffin also notes that he and his admissions colleagues kept a keen eye and ear out for evidence of kindness and empathy as they read this year’s applications, including as articulated in recommendations from counselors, teachers, and peers.
“Kindness is one of those qualities that make organizations, campuses, and communities gel,” he says. “We were looking for people who will look out for each other. In the digital world we’re in, sometimes kindness can slip away. Seeing representations of collaboration, of good citizenship, of an openness to people who don’t think, look, or believe the same way you might is valuable as a community like the Class of 2027 begins to come together.”
For the first time in four years, Dartmouth will welcome accepted students and their families to one of two “Dimensions of Dartmouth” open house programs on April 17 and April 24. Enrollment decisions are due by May 1, for an entering class projected to number 1,150 in September.