Dartmouth Offers ‘Need Blind’ Admissions to Foreign Students

Dartmouth College, the Ivy League university in New Hampshire, has announced that it will admit international students through a “need blind” process, meaning that their ability to pay tuition will not dictate their admission.

Dartmouth already had a policy of “need blind” admissions for U.S. applicants, but now foreign students will be considered for admission regardless of their or their families’ financial status.

The decision represents an effort to increase the number of international students at the university.

“Talent is spread all across the world. We want to remove any financial barriers,” Darthmouth President Philip Hanlon told the Financial Times. “This move benefits every student on campus, not just international ones. Tomorrow’s leaders have to be global citizens. By us bringing together students from all over the world … they will learn from their peers.” 

In recent years, the college has increased its recruitment abroad, which is reflected in the growing proportion of international students in its student body. According to Dartmouth, its most recent class was composed of 14% international students, compared with 8% in 2013, when Hanlon became president. 

Hanlon said in a statement from the college that there is no target for how many international students it now seeks, but he expects the proportion of international applicants to “skyrocket.” He said he would not be surprised if this figure reaches 25% in coming decades.

What is ‘need blind’ admissions? 

Within the U.S., higher education costs have risen considerably in just decades. As a result, prospective students may be discouraged from applying because of their inability to pay tuition and other educational costs.

“Need blind” admissions are intended to encourage students to apply, even if they may not necessarily be able to afford a university’s tuition. This admissions process means that applicants are considered for admission without knowledge of their or their families’ ability to cover tuition and other fees. 

How many universities use this process?

Across U.S. colleges and universities, the type of admissions process used for domestic and international applicants varies.

About 100 colleges and universities offer “need blind” admissions for U.S. applicants. Dartmouth’s new policy aligns it with five other universities using this process for international students.

Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University and Amherst College are the other universities that use this admissions process for all applicants, U.S. and international.

What does this process mean for students?

The “need blind” process means that students are not disadvantaged in the admissions process because of their financial status. Financial need is not a factor in the consideration process.

Some universities that operate under this status also work to meet 100% of students’ demonstrated financial need when determining how much financial aid they will provide them, including Dartmouth College.

“Under this policy, students are not disadvantaged in the admissions process because of their financial status,” Hanlon said in a statement.

Complete “need blind” admissions policies alleviate a considerable worry for students across the globe when deciding to which schools they wish to apply or attend. 


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