Dartmouth Bound to resume in person after two years of virtual programming

The fly-in program was founded in 1991 and has allowed students to visit campus who otherwise would not have been able to afford the visit.

by Adriana James-Rodil | 7/15/22 5:10am

by Aspen Anderson / The Dartmouth Staff

Dartmouth Bound, a fly-in program for rising high school seniors, will take place from July 18 to 20, according to the admissions office. The last two iterations of Bound, in 2020 and 2021, were both held virtually, senior associate director of admissions Gregory Chery said. 

According to Chery, the two-day program will include a campus tour for students, an opportunity to attend mock classes and essay workshops, a financial aid session and a session with admissions officers to review applicant case studies. He added that the College is expecting over 90 participants, all of whom completed an application for the program. Participants must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination status, per the CDC and take a COVID-19 test the day before arriving in Hanover, according to the Dartmouth Bound website.

First-Generation Office director Jay Davis said prospective students will also learn about resources offered at the College, such as the First Year Student Enrichment Program.   

Although FYSEP is not an official partner or co-sponsor of the program, the program speaks  with prospective students and educates them on the resources the first-generation office has to offer, Davis added.  

“I think Bound is a very important opportunity for Dartmouth to sponsor the travel of students who would otherwise not be able to afford coming to campus for a visit themselves,” Davis said. “It’s an opportunity to level the playing field a bit by making family income and wealth not a factor in the ability to visit our campus.” 

The Dartmouth Bound program was founded in 1991 by Gary Love ’76, Love said. Throughout his time as an undergraduate student, Love worked at the admissions office; after graduating, he said he remained in contact with the office by becoming an alumni interviewer for applicants.

According to Love, after a discussion of what the College could do to recruit more students of color — which he wrote was prompted by “tough recruitment years for students of color in 1990 and 1991” — one of the admissions officers encouraged Love to fly students to Hanover. Love then used his personal funds to fly 12 students of color from Kenwood Academy High School in Chicago to tour the College in 1991.

“They were truly impressed by the other students and the professors that they were able to meet,” Love wrote. “They also felt comfortable and safe by the surroundings.”

Those 12 students went on to apply to the College; all were admitted and four enrolled, according to Love. He was then asked by the College to repeat his effort, and for the first four years of Bound, Love self-funded the program. 

Love wrote that he continues to make financial contributions and assists in the program by revisiting the goals of Bound with the admissions office.

“One of the key aspects I’ve always believed Dartmouth Bound to be about was letting students know that they are worthy, that they are important,” Love wrote. “We want the kids to know that they are worthy of this type of institution.” 

According to Davis, “many” Bound students eventually enroll at Dartmouth, and the program has allowed “real communal bonds” to form prior to matriculation as a result.

“I have talked to many students who will share stories about feeling for the first time that a place like Dartmouth could be a home for them [at Bound],” Davis wrote. “Bound, like FYSEP, helps students to feel a sense of belonging and that the College is actually a better place when students from their backgrounds are there.” 

Anell Paulino ’25, who attended Dartmouth Bound virtually in 2021, said that she enjoyed some of the program’s Zoom components, such as the virtual tour and the ability to chat with other prospective students — with some of whom she has kept in touch.

While Paulino said she had a good experience over Zoom, she is glad that Bound has returned to an in-person experience.

“I think there’s something special about the Dartmouth campus that brings in and hones the [participants] experience in altogether,” she said. “So the fact that it’s in person will be beneficial, just because it’s more personable and — the best way I can explain — it’s just more human and more real.”

Daniel Modesto ’24 contributed reporting.

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