Financial aid at Dartmouth is definitely not like that; I’m not entirely sure how it works on a case-by-case basis, but I will say that my family is somewhere around that $100,000/year margin and we definitely do pay tuition (not full tuition, though).
I’ve heard some financial aid horror stories from some of my friends over the course of their Dartmouth careers, but have never experienced issues with them myself.
As a general rule, if financial aid may be a deal-breaker for you, you should apply to schools regular decision. That will empower you to weigh different financial aid decisions and negotiate between schools; that was how I did it. Dartmouth originally gave me a less-than-stellar financial aid offer, but wound up matching my Amherst offer — that significantly increased my financial aid at the College.
I hope that helps!
I decided on public policy as a minor because I think that social good needs to involve the government. I was a policy debater in high school and early college, and have always been interested in the things that government can do to improve people’s lives.
It’s a great minor. If I could, I would have majored in it (Dartmouth’s public policy department is a minor only). The department here is fantastic, the professors are invested in their work, and the hands-on research projects are really interesting and applicable.