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Dartmouth College vs. Cornell University for undergrad: any insights?

I can't decide between Dartmouth and Cornell for my ED application. I'd love to hear from any current students or alumni—how did you pick, and what are the standout differences between the campuses, student life, and academic rigor?

7 months ago

Congratulations on your decision to apply ED to one of these fantastic schools! Both Dartmouth and Cornell have their unique strengths and appeals, so let me help you outline some of the key differences between these two Ivy League institutions.

In terms of campus, both provide great access to nature. Dartmouth's rural setting in Hanover, New Hampshire, offers a close-knit community, surrounded by nature and outdoor opportunities. Cornell lies in Ithaca, New York, which combines a small-town atmosphere with the cultural attractions of a larger city, like art galleries and diverse dining options. However, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Ithaca and even stunning waterfalls all around campus.

For student life, Dartmouth has a strong Greek life presence, and their unique D-Plan (a flexible, year-round academic calendar) provides flexibility for internships and studying abroad. The school is also known for its tight-knit and supportive community. Conversely, Cornell has a larger student body, which allows for a broad array of clubs and organizations for students to join. Greek life is also fairly prevalent at Cornell, although less of the student body is involved compared to Dartmouth. Athletics also play a significant role in the social scene at Cornell.

Regarding academics, both Cornell and Dartmouth offer a rigorous curriculum. However, Dartmouth is known for its strong emphasis on undergraduate education and a low student-to-faculty ratio. This setup can make for more accessible professors and smaller class sizes. Cornell, on the other hand, has a wider range of academic options due to its various undergraduate colleges, which may allow you to explore a more diverse array of subjects or focus on more specific fields.

Ultimately, the decision should come down to personal preferences and priorities. Consider visiting both campuses and speaking with more current students and alumni to get a better sense of each school's atmosphere. Best of luck with your Early Decision choice!

7 months ago

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