Discover Dartmouth programming offers in-person opportunities for admitted students to explore campus
While there will not be an overnight stay as Dimensions had offered, Discover Dartmouth includes the ability to take a campus tour, attend a class and eat lunch with a current student.
Throughout April, students admitted to the Class of 2026 will be able to participate in single-day visits to the College as part of this year’s Discover Dartmouth program. The program fills in for the formerly offered Dimensions program, a pre-pandemic event for admitted students that included an overnight stay with a current student.
“Our daily Discover Dartmouth program is a more relaxed schedule that allows students and their families to explore Dartmouth through some scheduled opportunities and some self-guided opportunities,” senior associate director of admissions Anna Dechert wrote in an email statement.
According to Dechert, including an overnight component to Discover Dartmouth for all students was “not an option” this year due to COVID-19 restrictions such as the “potential need for students to self-isolate.”
“We are hopeful that by next year we’ll be able to return to a schedule that is more similar to Dimensions programs of previous years,” Dechert wrote. “We still have a full slate of virtual events throughout April, but have added these in-person Discover Dartmouth day visits now that we are able to.”
The College is, however, offering the opportunity for “low-income and middle-income students” to attend Discover Dartmouth: Access Days on April 11 and April 19, according to senior associate admissions director Gregory Chery in an emailed statement. Participants will have meals, transportation costs and housing in the Hanover Inn provided by the College and will also arrive in Hanover the afternoon before the program and can stay until the morning after, Chery wrote. All program participants must be “up to date” with COVID-19 vaccinations and must provide a negative COVID-19 test prior to coming to campus.
“The overnight accomodations at the Hanover Inn are necessary for those participants traveling to Dartmouth from outside of New England without a parent or guardian,” Chery wrote.
According to the Dartmouth Admissions website, program events include the opportunity to eat lunch with a current student, participate in a meet and greet with admissions staff and attend a class and campus tours. There is also a students-only tour called “Dartmouth Unwritten” aimed to give admitted students a chance to get the “inside scoop” on college life at Dartmouth.
Admitted students also have the chance to be hosted by a current student, who will meet with them for lunch at the Class of ’53 Commons, answer their questions and walk them to the class session that the admitted student will attend. According to Dechert, more than 400 admitted students have signed up for “some type of in-person program” as of Thursday. All prospective students were offered this opportunity via email, which will remain open throughout April.
Jess Bargamian ’25, who was a host on one of the first days of Discover Dartmouth, said that she chose to sign up because she wanted to inform prospective students about what the student experience at Dartmouth can be like.
“I wanted to be a resource and help prospective students get a better sense of whether or not Dartmouth is the right place for them,” she said. “I wanted [my hosted student] to get a sense of what it means to be part of the Dartmouth community and the collaborative nature of the community and just how down to earth everyone is.”
Bella Montero, an admitted student, said she was excited for the chance “to get a feel of the atmosphere” on campus during her Discover Dartmouth visit.
“I’m also looking forward to learning more about the D-Plan,” she said. “Something that’s really important to me is being able to organize myself in a way where the transition [to college] isn’t too overwhelming… I think that learning more about [the D-Plan] would kind of reassure me.”
After her Discover Dartmouth experience, Montero emphasized how helpful it was to get to see what life at Dartmouth is really like.
“I think it was really beneficial to be able to actually go inside the buildings and talk to people who actually go to the school,” she said. “I think I also learned more about the way the school works as a whole.”
Montero, who was still deciding between multiple schools before her visit, said she committed to Dartmouth right after she left.
According to Dechert, having the opportunity to finally explore campus is also a draw for many students who have not yet visited Dartmouth because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“More than in previous years, many of our admitted students have either never seen campus in person or have only seen buildings from the outside,” Dechert wrote. “We hope that getting to sit in on classes, eat lunch in ’53 Commons and just explore campus in a less restrictive way will help students get a better sense of their future at Dartmouth.”
When thinking back to how his own Dimensions experience as a prospective student affected his decision to come to Dartmouth, John Moreland ’22 said that he appreciated the “loving nature” of Dartmouth’s students and faculty that he was able to observe while visiting campus.
“Ultimately, it came down to the fact that Dartmouth had an energy that was unparalleled by any other college that I had visited,” he said.
Moreland explained that he was shocked during his visit by the number of students who had volunteered their free time to welcome prospective students.
“Everyone was so enthusiastic, and it felt so community oriented,” Moreland said. “Dartmouth was by far the most welcoming campus in that sense.”
Lauren Adler ’23 contributed reporting.