Harvard vs Dartmouth: Which School is easier to get Into 

Much has been said about Harvard vs Dartmouth; their academic programs, extracurriculars, housing, food, etc.

Unarguably, Dartmouth and Harvard are among America’s most prestigious and selective universities. While both colleges offer top-notch academics, there is yet something contrasting between them that leads to very different student experiences.

In this article, we will take some time to really look at some of the similarities and differences between Harvard and Dartmouth Universities.

Basically, what this is going to do for you is to help you decide which of the two schools fits your career goals.

So follow me closely as I take you on this journey. Meanwhile, here’s the table of content for an overview of what to expect in this article.

Harvard vs Dartmouth: A Quick Overview

Before we delve into what we’ve got, here’s an overview of some critical things you need to know about Standford and Harvard Universities.

LocationCambridge, MAHanover, NH
Campus TypeUrbanRural
Undergraduate Enrollment6,7884,417
Acceptance Rate5%7.9%
U.S. News Ranking212
Middle 50% SAT1460-15801440-1560
Middle 50% ACT33-3532-35
Sticker Price$78,200$76,623
Need-blind, no-loan, or meets 100% demonstrated need?Need-blind
No-loan meets 100% of demonstrated need
Need-blindNo-loan for families with income < $100kMeets 100% of demonstrated need

Harvard vs Dartmouth University: An Insider View

Harvard is located in Cambridge, just a few miles from Boston.

Students can access the city’s famous attractions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Faneuil Hall, and numerous restaurants. They can also enjoy top Cambridge attractions like Harvard Square and the nearby MIT.

If you want a tour around the city, it is easier to use the metro, usually known as T, by the locals.

Cambridge is in the heart of New England, where winters are cold and snowy, although summers can be quite warm. Since Harvard is right on the Charles River and not far from the Atlantic Ocean, you can also expect quite a bit of windy weather.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth University is located in Dartmouth, just off Palo Alto. Tech giants like Google and Facebook surround it.

Dartmouth has a cosy atmosphere where you can have fun; a great place to have coffee and relax. You can also find many hikers and mountain bikers.

Total Enrollment

Although both Dartmouth and Harvard have undergraduate student bodies of under 7,000, Harvard has far more graduate students, with a total enrollment of 20,700 to Dartmouth’s 16,384 students.

About 69% of Dartmouth classes have fewer than 20 students, while 72% of Harvard’s do. The student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1 at Dartmouth and 6:1 at Harvard.

Dartmouth University Scholarships Opportunities for International Students, 2023 (SHARE)

Academic Prowess

Dartmouth is best known for its specializations in technology, including engineering and computer science. In addition, the university also offers specializations in a wide variety of other disciplines like aeronautics and astronautics, art practice, Native American studies, and theatre studies.


Accommodation is guaranteed for all Dartmouth full-time students. Some of the options to them include flats, apartments, and dormitories.

At Dartmouth, graduates and newly relocated students must reside on campus and be assigned to residences based on the preference forms they fill out. At the same time, upper classes apply through a lottery system.

Students who live in Dartmouth’s campus residential life can and do participate in activities such as college dinner parties, lectures, film auditions, excursions to nearby attractions, festive celebrations, community events, and more. About 97% of the students live on campus.

Meanwhile, Harvard students live in one of 12 hostels after their first year. Harvard provides homes and a community that promotes friendship and relationships with classmates and instructors.

More than 97% of college students live on campus, and housing is guaranteed for all four years.


Undergraduate students at Dartmouth have a choice of three meal plans per week. Certain dorm residents enjoy meals cooked in their halls. There are also several dining halls offering a range of cuisines where you can choose what you want to eat.

At Harvard, freshmen eat at Annenberg Hall while upperclassmen eat in their houses. There are plenty of feeding options you can choose from here.

Scholarships and Financial aid

While the least cost to attend Dartmouth or Harvard is above $70,000, many students receive financial aid to support them through their studies.

About 70% of Dartmouth students receive some aid from the government to attend, while 58% receive aid directly from the university.

In the same vein, fifty per cent of Harvard students receive financial aid.

Neither Dartmouth nor Harvard offers merit-based aid. However, both institutions are committed to meeting 100% of students’ financial needs.

Career Outcomes

Graduates of both Harvard and Dartmouth can expect to have thriving careers, with an average starting salary of about $70,000.

The salaries are expected to increase from $70 000 to $136,700 for Harvard alumni and $122,900 for Dartmouth alumni. This is according to Collegesimply.

Graduates from both schools end up in very executive positions in various industries.

Given Dartmouth’s proximity to Silicon Valley and strength in relevant disciplines, many alumni from Dartmouth work in the tech sector, although you’ll also find them in plenty of other fields.

Harvard alumni, meanwhile, thrive in areas like finance, medicine, engineering, and consulting.

Harvard vs. Dartmouth: Graduate and Retention Rate

Harvard university has 97% graduation rate, which is higher when compared to Dartmouth university graduation rate which is 94%. And for retention rate, Harvard and Dartmouth rate of 96% and 98% respectively.

Tips to Help you Decide Between Dartmouth and Harvard

Choosing where exactly to study could be somewhat of a difficult task for most students.

One thing is that both institutions have excellent education and career path. For many students, the choice comes down to location: Would you instead attend school in an area where it’s perpetually warm on the West Coast, or do you prefer seasons and an East Coast, New England atmosphere?

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the school’s particular strength. For example, if you’re an aspiring computer scientist or software developer, Dartmouth may be the place for you, given its renowned technology-related programs.

Meanwhile, Harvard produces some of the very top aspiring physicians and businesspeople. Those pre-med may also appreciate Harvard’s proximity to the many top-notch hospitals in Boston.

Harvard vs. Dartmouth: Which School is easier to get Into

Regarding Ivy League schools, Harvard and Dartmouth are two of the most prestigious universities in the United States.

Both institutions have a long history of academic excellence and are highly selective in their admissions process. However, the answer may surprise many when it comes to which school is easier to get into.

According to recent National Center for Education Statistics data, both Harvard and Dartmouth have low acceptance rates, with Harvard at 4.9% and Dartmouth at 8.7%.
This means that both schools are highly competitive, making it difficult for applicants to secure a spot at either institution.

While Harvard may have a slightly lower acceptance rate than Dartmouth, this does not necessarily mean it is more challenging to enter than its counterpart.

Both schools have rigorous admissions processes considering academic performance, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal essays.


Is Dartmouth an Ivy League?

This is the wording of the agreement reached by the eight Ivy League universities: Yale University, Brown University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, and Columbia College.

Are Harvard and Dartmouth prestigious institutions?

Indeed, Harvard and Dartmouth Universities are among the top universities in the world, and their placement on national college rankings serves as more evidence of their renown.

What is Dartmouth and Harvard Total Enrollment?

Although both Dartmouth and Harvard have undergraduate student bodies of under 7,000, Harvard has far more graduate students, with a total enrollment of 20,700 to Dartmouth’s 16,384 students.


It’s worth remembering that both Dartmouth and Harvard are highly selective. If you want to increase your chances of admission to these colleges and others, check out CollegeVine’s Admissions Calculator, where you’ll receive insights into your actual chances of acceptance and advice on improving your chances. 




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