Dartmouth's Wacky Business Model

You Wouldn’t Run a Business This Way. Here’s Why Dartmouth Does.

Dartmouth creates a world-class product.

  • An ambitious learning environment to educate the most promising students to prepare them for a lifetime of learning and responsible leadership.
  • A passionate quest for knowledge and perpetual exchange of information between 408 tenured and tenure-track faculty and undergraduates in an environment where original scholarship influences teaching, and where teaching is essential.
  • An 7:1 student-faculty ratio, and more than one thousand undergraduates doing one-on-one research with an authority in their field.

Discounts the price by 50 percent.

  • For everybody. Dartmouth charges $63,748 for undergraduate tuition, room, and board, even though it spends $128,204 per student per year.

Gives an additional discount for certain buyers.

  • 45 percent of Dartmouth undergraduates received need-based financial aid in fiscal year 2016.
  • Average financial aid package in 2015-2016 was $43,648.
  • Tuition is free to families earning less than $100,000 a year.

Then begs for money.

  • Charitable gifts and endowment income underwrite 35 percent of the cost of a year at the College.
  • Tuition, room, and board cover only 43 percent of the cost of a Dartmouth education.

Is it a wacky business model? Sure it is. But there are those who love it.