Voices in the Wilderness

A forum for discussion of all things Dartmouth.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Class of 2009

The Class of 2009 has been admitted. It was one of the most competitive years in Dartmouth history. (Isn't every year?)

Having participated in roughly 8 candidate interviews this year, I was very surprised to see the actual results: essentially, the candidates whom my co-interviewers and I felt were the strongest were rejected or waitlisted. Meanwhile, the very candidates whom we felt were weakest were accepted.

It is important to note that our interview assessments did not favor charisma or academic achievement. It was night and day: the candidates whom we felt were less-than-ideal matches for Dartmouth were accepted. Meanwhile, Dartmouth passed over outstanding candidates that included a female patent holder, an expert in ancient languages, and an incredible student athlete who triumphed over adverse personal circumstances.

Veterans of College interviewing can testify to this bizarre, inverse pattern -- and this is why so many alums turn away from interviewing over the years. A not-so-well kept secret: alumni interviewing doesn't make a difference!

Looking at the pie charts, Dartmouth has again admitted a "balanced" class in terms of geography and race. This is important. However, in looking at the class of 2003 first-year survey via the Office of Evaluation and Research, Dartmouth's students are over 17% more likely to consider themselves "far left" and "liberal" than the national average. If Dartmouth wants to honor its commitment to diversity, balancing ideology is one place they should start.