Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How do we know who might change the world?

To follow up on my previous post on how Dartmouth students change the world, I want to share with you some thoughts on how we know which of our over 18,000 applicants have that special combination of intellect and passion. We take very seriously our mission to bring to Dartmouth those students whom we believe will truly make a difference in communities small and large, across the country and around the world.

All of you who are applying will demonstrate to us that you are smart in the classroom. But, how do you take what you have learned and apply to bigger questions and ideas? What do you hope to do with a Dartmouth education? Part of the "art" of completing your application is helping us to see beyond your scores and grades to understand who you really are.

Having gone through the admissions process as a parent, I know the feelings of inadequacy that creep into the process -- "I haven't saved the world before bedtime" (to paraphrase the PowderPuff Girls). As I read an application, I always look for potential. I find that potential in what you say about yourself and what others say about you. Through your personal statements, counselor, teacher, and peer recommendations, and your interview, I get a better sense of your curiosity, creativity, initiative, energy, and motivation and begin to imagine you as a student at Dartmouth.

You all have it in you -- don't be afraid to let us see it.

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