Bev Taylor, Founder of Ivy Coach, was previously quoted in an article of “The Dartmouth” on the subject of the decline in Dartmouth applications this year. Today, there’s an editorial in “The Dartmouth” written by Kyle Bigley in which the writer calls for change from Dartmouth. He does so in the hope that Dartmouth doesn’t experience a similar kind of decline in applications in the years to come. There are some who have surmised that the drop in applications to Dartmouth is because Dartmouth is located in a rural area. Uh, hello…Dartmouth has always been located in a rural area. The school’s very motto is “vox clamantis in deserto” or a voice crying out in the wilderness. Does wilderness sound particularly urban to you?
Others have surmised that the lack of social options for students at Dartmouth and the university’s reliance on its Greek system has led to the decline. Uh, hello…fraternity and sorority life has been popular at Dartmouth for decades. Sure, the “Rolling Stone” article from 2012 in which a bitter student with a clear vendetta didn’t help the College on the Hill’s reputation. But that article came out in 2012. It didn’t seem to impact last year’s Dartmouth applications. So why the drop this year?
One of the commenters to the article surmised that it might be because Jim Kim, now the president of the World Bank, left Dartmouth abruptly after only a couple of years on the job. Oh please. Jim Kim was tapped by the President of the United States to serve his country in such an important role. That only reflects well on Dartmouth. None of these theories seem logical. Are the demographic shifts to blame, as the admissions office has asserted? Likely not. The demographic shifts would have impacted other universities equally. The only way to know why Dartmouth applications declined so drastically this year is to analyze the data. Without looking at the data, it’s all just guessing. And that’s an utter waste of time.