Announcement: Updated Dartmouth Essay Prompts for 2019-20

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Most of last year's Dartmouth essay prompts remain unchanged. There are still two supplemental essays, and the prompt for the first, (the 100-word "Why Dartmouth" question), is exactly the same. However, there have been some adjustments to the "choose one of six" essay.

Let's look at the updated prompts, and break down which ones are the same, and which ones are brand new for 2019-20.

  1. The Hawaiian word mo’olelo is often translated as “story” but it can also refer to history, legend, genealogy, and tradition. Use one of these translations to introduce yourself. [SAME]
  2. In the aftermath of World War II, Dartmouth President John Sloane Dickey, Class of 1929, proclaimed, “The world’s troubles are your troubles…and there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.” Which of the world’s “troubles” inspires you to act? How might your course of study at Dartmouth prepare you to address it? [SAME]
  3. In The Painted Drum, author Louise Erdrich ‘76 wrote, “… what is beautiful that I make? What is elegant? What feeds the world?” Tell us about something beautiful you have made or hope to make. [NEW]
  4.  “Yes, books are dangerous,” young people’s novelist Pete Hautman proclaimed. “They should be dangerous—they contain ideas.” What book or story captured your imagination through the ideas it revealed to you? Share how those ideas influenced you. [NEW]
  5. “I have no special talent,” Albert Einstein once observed. “I am only passionately curious.” Celebrate your curiosity. [SAME]
  6. Labor leader Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist who co-founded the organization now known as United Farm Workers. She said, “We criticize and separate ourselves from the process. We've got to jump right in there with both feet.” Speak your truth: Talk about a time when your passion became action. [NEW]

Check out last year's guide here.

Get updates on college essay prompts here.

Written by
DT Wang
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