Aiming for Dartmouth? 7 Key Steps to Make Your Transfer Application Shine

Ivy League schools make other colleges and universities second-best.

However, with single-digit acceptance rates, they also make many higher education seekers second-guess adding those prestigious and selective postsecondary institutions to their list of colleges to apply to.

Dartmouth College is one of those that attract lots of incoming first-years and transferees alike.

I have great news if you are currently attending a college and wish to transfer to Dartmouth:

Slightly more transfer applicants get into it than first-time, first-year college students — it accepts 6% of graduating high schoolers, while it accepts 7% of transfer students.

An increase in acceptance rate of 1% may not look enough.

However, since we’re talking about an Ivy League, that’s a complete game changer!

The seven steps to transfer to Dartmouth are:

  1. Complete the online transfer form
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Fill out the FAFSA
  4. Submit three Dartmouth-specific essays
  5. Provide two teacher recommendations
  6. Submit official college report
  7. Report SAT or ACT scores (if available)

So, Who Can Transfer to Dartmouth?

You are eligible for transfer admission to Dartmouth if you have enrolled at a college and have completed two years or less of undergraduate coursework at the date of application.

Dartmouth College

Step 1: Complete the Online Transfer Form

Forget the Common App or Coalition App.

As a student applying as a transferee, Dartmouth requires you to fill out an online application form.

There are three different transfer admission forms to choose from:

  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • International students
  • Undocumented students

It’s essential, of course, that you complete the correct Dartmouth application form.

Transfer applicants do not have any early admission plans available to them — early decision (ED), whose deadline is November 1, is reserved for first-time, first-year applicants.

The deadline transferees need to beat is March 1.

By mid-May, they will receive a decision whether or not they can become a part of the Dartmouth community.

Can You Apply as a Transferee for Any Semester?

Dartmouth accepts transfer students only for the fall term.

As such, you should submit the online transfer application form at the right time of the year by carefully planning the move from your current or previous college to Dartmouth.

Step 2: Pay the Application Fee

As earlier stated, transfer applicants enjoy a slightly higher acceptance rate than freshmen applicants.

Their application fee is also slightly higher: $90 vs. $80.

You have to pay the non-refundable application fee after submitting your online transfer application — you will have to follow the provided link for payment.

Can You Apply for a Fee Waiver?

Students applying as transferees to Dartmouth may apply for an application fee waiver.

You are eligible for a fee waiver if paying the transfer application fee would cause unusual financial hardship for you or your family, and requesting it will not put you at a disadvantage in the admissions process.

Step 3: Fill Out and Submit the FAFSA Form

Everyone applying for college should complete the FAFSA form.

It doesn’t matter if the applicant is a first-time, first-year student, or a transferee. The family’s annual income, whether low or high, is also not a hindrance.

It’s the first step to determining one’s eligibility for federal financial aid.

Transfer applicants to Dartmouth College are eligible for only the following aid:

  • Federal assistance
  • Outside scholarships

So, in other words, you are not eligible for Dartmouth scholarships (also called institutional scholarships) as well as loan assistance for being a transferee.

Should You Submit a CSS Profile?

Unless you are transferring from a college with which Dartmouth has official exchange program agreements, there’s no need to create and submit a CSS Profile.

Dartmouth uses the CSS profile by the College Board to determine eligibility for institutional aid.

Given that transfer students are not eligible for aid from Dartmouth, CSS Profile submission is pointless.

Step 4: Respond to Three College-Specific Essay Prompts

According to Dartmouth’s updated website, transfer applicants must submit the following essays:

  • Answering the given prompt using 500 words or less
  • Choosing one from the two prompts and answering it using 250 words or less
  • Choosing one from the six prompts and answering it using 200 to 250 words

Some of the prompts are as simple as the following:

  • Celebrate your nerdy side
  • Introduce yourself

Meanwhile, others are more challenging to answer, like:

  • As you wonder and think, what’s on your mind?
  • What would you like us to know about you?

Some prompts that allow admissions officers to determine whether or not you did your research on Dartmouth and the reason for applying to it, such as this one:

As you seek admission to Dartmouth, what prompted your decision to transfer institutions, and what aspects of the College’s program, community, or campus environment attract your interest?

Dartmouth College

Step 5: Submit a Couple of Teacher Recommendations

First-time, first-year applicants must submit three recommendation letters (one counselor and two teacher recommendations) plus one optional but highly recommended peer recommendation.

Transfer applicants must submit only two.

Your recommendations should come from two academic teachers at your current or previous college.

They should address the following:

  • Academic performance
  • Engagement with the course subject matter
  • Engagement with classmates
  • Personal character

Dartmouth also welcomes any additional topics based on your unique circumstances.

Can an Online Teacher Write Your Recommendation?

According to Dartmouth, instructors who taught transfer applicants within a remote learning environment are considered valid sources of letters of recommendation.

Step 6: Submit College Report and Transcript

There are a couple of things Dartmouth requires during the transfer admission process that should come from the transfer applicant’s college, and they are:

  • Transcript
  • College report

Your transcript must be up-to-date by May or June. It must also have your end-of-year grades.

The college report, by the way, is available through Dartmouth’s online transfer application, and a college official (dean, registrar, advisor, etc.) should complete it.

Step 7: Report Your Test Scores (If You Took the SAT or ACT)

Dartmouth College, like the rest of the Ivy League schools, is test-optional.

You may or may not choose to submit your SAT or ACT scores as a transfer applicant.

However, its admissions officers encourage you to submit yours if you took a standardized exam — it doesn’t matter how your scores fare against scores on historical Dartmouth class profiles.

Dartmouth clarifies that test scores are not the ultimate transfer admission factors.

It adds that, together with your recommendation letters, essays, and other submitted requirements, your test scores allow its admissions officers to understand you better.

Other Colleges Worth Transferring:

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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