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Pinoy Abroad

Rich or poor, Pinoy scholars can attend this prestigious US college

Studying in one of United States’ Ivy League schools is not as unattainable as it seems for students in the Philippines.

In fact, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire is actively seeking Filipino applicants who display potential.

Zholl Tablante, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth — and proudly 100 percent Pinoy — said that the college offers generous financial aid to accepted applicants who need it.

“No matter if the student is rich or poor, or somewhere in between, getting into an Ivy League school is not impossible, and getting the aid to go to an Ivy League school is definitely something that’s very attainable,” Tablante told GMA News Online.

“Dartmouth is one of the handful of institutions that cover 100 percent of your demonstrated financial need, meaning that if you need aid, you apply for it, during your application if you apply for it, we will cover whatever cost is needed for you to attend there,” he added.

Having grown up in the province of Pampanga and consistently visiting the country despite having migrated to US, Tablante believes that Filipinos will be a good fit in Dartmouth.

“When you think about Filipinos, you think about generosity, you think about family values, you think about community, and undying work ethic. And that is all the qualities that we want to be able to bring to Dartmouth in full force,” he said.

Pretty much any high school student is qualified to apply, Tablante said.

Recognizing that not all schools are the same, the college only compares students within the same school to check their performance.

"Each place has its own different curriculum. We don’t compare students in that way. We only compare them to the students in their school to see how they’re performing," he said.

Tablante added that having students from a wide selection of schools in the Philippines would result to a full representation of the Filipino culture.

"We want to make sure we’re getting diversity within that diversity, where we’re getting people from international schools, local schools, religious schools, so that when you bring them to Dartmouth, you’re really representing the full picture of the Filipino life," he said.

Need-based aid

Once accepted, the costs of going to school in Dartmouth, and even other Ivy League schools, should not be an issue.

"It’s need-based financial aid. If you apply and if we feel like you fit, and you need $70,000, then we’ll give you $70,000," Tablante said.

"It’s all about whatever you need. If the student is amazing and we want them there, we’re going to get them there," he added.

Tablante said that they are funding students that have potential for impact in the community, who will utilize their education in Dartmouth to make a difference in the country.

“[We’re] now trying to build stories of students from different places in the Philippines and showcasing that there are amazing students in this country that are going to do great things when they come back from their education," he said.

How to apply

Go to and click "Apply now." All applicants will need to fill out an online form to apply.

Take note of the deadlines for admission applications and financial aid applications as well as schedules for enrollment. The dates are available for viewing in Dartmouth's website.

To complete your application, you will also need the following:

  • application fee or fee waiver
  • Dartmouth Writing Supplement
  • Secondary School report with transcript, school profile, and counselor evaluation
  • two teacher evaluations
  • SAT or ACT
For international students, you will also need to complete a TOEFL or IELTS exam.

Dartmouth also recommends to include peer recommendations, and two SAT subject tests. —JST, GMA News