Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Class of 2014 Early Decision

The Dartmouth Admissions Office posted decisions for Early Decision applicants to the web yesterday afternoon at 4:00pm EST. I am sure there is a wide spectrum of emotions present in our blog readership at this point.

To read the official Dartmouth press release about this year's Early Decision process, click here

In many conversations and meetings over the past few days, the admissions officer staff has been reflecting on the tremendous strength we saw in the Early Decision pool. As Dean Maria Laskaris noted in the press release, this year's ED applicants were an extraordinary group, not only in terms of tangible academic credentials, but also with respect to the qualitative elements and intangible intellectual and personal qualities that are essential when building a residential academic community. In light of the strength of this pool, we have admitted more students through the Early Decision process than we have in previous years.

We recognize that, as is the case every year, we also must disappoint a lot of deserving students with the decisions that we make (hence the spectrum of emotions referenced at the start of this post). A few thoughts:

If you were deferred:

As Tom Petty once sang, "The waiting is the hardest part." Your application will be reviewed again during the Regular Decision round. We recognize that you will need to file applications with other schools, but we encourage you to update your Dartmouth application in the early weeks of 2010. You should submit your final grades from the fall semester/term of your senior year when they are available. If you did not have all required standardized test scores as an Early Decision applicant, we hope you will complete your testing profile for our Regular Decision review. You may wish to submit additional material such as an update on significant awards or accomplishments, another writing sample, and/or another teacher recommendation—any and all of these are optional. If you were not offered an alumni interview as an Early Decision candidate, it is possible that one will be offered to you in the Regular Decisoin process. For an overview of how the alumni interview program works, click here. Deferred students are admitted to the class at roughly the same rate as Regular Decision candidates.

If you were denied:

As an admissions staff, we are honored every time a student thinks highly enough of Dartmouth to submit a binding application to the College. One of the consequences of working within a highly selective admissions process is that many of us spend just as much time thinking about the students we do not admit as those we do. We feel this all the more because of the emotion and conviction that we know is behind every Early Decision application. On the one hand, we are appreciative that our Early Decision applicant pool has grown over 25% in the past few years, but we recognize that this also introduces much more disappointment for candidates with a great desire to attend Dartmouth. Our thorough and holistic review of every applicant almost always leaves us confident in the student's potential to succeed academically and personally at the College; the pressures of such a large, qualified applicant pool and a limited enrollment capacity force us to turn terrific candidates away.

Congratulations to the those admitted to the Class of 2014! We look forward to welcoming you to Hanover in just 9 months!


  1. Thank you very much for posting this information. I was deferred and this is very helpful. I certainly look forward to hearing from the admissions staff after the appplications have been reviewed for regular decision.

    Joanna Caffrey

  2. You are welcome, Joanna. Thank you for reading the blog!