Discovering New Abilities

Gifts to the Dartmouth College Fund help make great things happen for our students. Here is one of their stories.

Neuroscience major Marissa Evans ’18 says that she had her heart set on attending an Ivy League school since the sixth grade. With help from the Dartmouth College Fund, she has been able to make this dream come true. Marissa recently shared her thoughts—and gratitude—on how her experience at Dartmouth has transformed her life.

I switched to a behavior lab my junior year, and now I work with rats—the other end of the spectrum. In one I was coding on a computer and interacting with human beings; in the other, I’m working with animals as we study schizophrenia and drug addiction. It’s entirely different but I’m really happy to have had both of those experiences.

My other great passion at Dartmouth is track. Practice accounts for about two or three hours a day, and for the most part I’m gone every weekend during winter and spring term. But I love the team aspect of it, and I’m a better student for having to work around it. When you’re on a sports team, you have a shorter period of time to get more done and you’re often exhausted. You learn what your abilities are because you’re able to perform in the same classroom environment as everyone else.

None of my incredible Dartmouth experience would have been possible without financial aid. The market crash 10 years ago really hit our family hard. We almost lost everything, and I didn’t know if I’d be able to afford college.

I can’t say thank you enough to the people who made my scholarship support possible—and thank you to everybody who gives to financial aid. You're making Dartmouth Dartmouth. If everyone were from the same neighborhood, the same socioeconomic background, we’d all be clones with Dartmouth t-shirts on. With your help, we have students from all walks of life.