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Swarthmore College Stats, Info and Facts

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is a small, residential liberal arts and engineering college located 11 miles from Philadelphia. As a selective institution, we are searching for the world's brightest and best students, wherever they might reside and attend high school. Swarthmore is one of the most diverse institutions you will find in the United States. We believe in diversity, access, and inclusion in all forms: religious, racial and ethnic, political, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic. Each year's 400-person entering class includes first generation and low-income students, as well as students working with college access organizations while in high school.

Founded by the Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) in 1864 as a co-educational institution, Swarthmore believes in using our academic strengths to solve local and global challenges. While we are no longer religiously affiliated with the Quakers, that heritage remains part of our campus culture. Student voices are important to our community, we respect different viewpoints. We prepare intellectually curious students to become leaders for the common good.

Removing Admissions Barriers

Swarthmore believes that all students, regardless of background or income, should be able to apply to the College without significant financial burdens or roadblocks. That's why we have removed barriers in our admissions process in a few key ways.

Application fee waivers. Applying to college can be costly. Application fees usually range from $50 to more than $100 per application. At Swarthmore, we want to ensure application fees don't stand in your way of applying. If you're in need of an application fee waiver because it poses a financial burden, simply let us know. We are happy to waive your application fee.

Self-reporting test scores. In lieu of submitting official SAT or ACT scores from the testing agency, you may self-report your standardized test scores on your application for admission so you don't need to pay or use a free score report for Swarthmore. In addition, you may self-report or update your standardized test scores via a link in your applicant portal, which is available after you submit your application for admission. We do not want the application process itself to represent a barrier in even applying to Swarthmore.

Campus visits. Visiting college campuses can be expensive and time-consuming. While it's certainly not required, visiting Swarthmore can give you fantastic peek into the life of a Swarthmore student. We host information sessions and campus tours most days of the week, so if you're local to the Philadelphia area, sign up online. If you live farther away, consider applying to our Discover Swarthmore fly-in program. Discover Swarthmore is our all-expenses-paid program for rising high school seniors. Applications are due in July of each year, and if selected, we will pay your airfare, train tickets, lodging, and meals to visit us for a few days during the fall of your senior year.

Admitted student experience. If you're admitted to Swarthmore, we host another all-expenses-paid trip to the College called Swatlight. Swatlight is designed for admitted students who are the first in their families to attend college, come from low-income backgrounds, or have been working with a community-based organization.

Enrollment and housing deposits. We also automatically waive enrollment deposits for qualified admitted students. This ensures that you do not need to pay the $250 deposit or request a waiver. Finally, we do not ask for a housing deposit from any enrolling student.

For more information on how we are removing admissions barriers, please visit our website.

Reviews in 3 Sentences
  • Sarah from Wynnewood, PA
  • 0
  • Swarthmore is a great place to pursue your academic passions and push yourself to realize your full potential. It's not for everyone; the academics can be pretty intense, depending…

  • Sep-18-2012 Read More
  • Kelly from Los Angeles, CA
  • 0
  • Swarthmore is a small liberal arts school and is perfect for students who are interested in social justice and diversity. The faculty are very caring and reach out to students…

  • Nov-04-2014 Read More
  • Emily from Ellicott City, MD
  • 0
  • Swarthmore challenges me every day to be my best, and to learn for the sake of learning rather than going through the motions to get the best GPA possible. …

  • Jun-11-2015 Read More
  • High School Senior from Swarthmore
  • 0
  • Swarthmore is challenging, beautiful, and has a very suburban liberal feel. The students are really all individuals, and it seems like you could find any type of person on campus.…

  • Feb-16-2014 Read More
  • Yein from Shoreline, WA
  • 0
  • A lovely campus that's in a quaint, small town, but also close to a large city for whenever you need to get out of the bubble. The professors and fellow…

  • Jun-25-2013 Read More


Student Responses to Review Topic: Am I Enjoying Being Here
  • 5
  • Cally from North Potomac, MD
  • Dec-25-2011 I am a current student here

    It can get a bit stressful when everyone is worried about exams but usually the campus is full of very relatively happy, diversely entertaining individuals.

    Read More
  • 5
  • Elizabeth
  • Oct-13-2011 I am researching this school and have visited the campus

    I love the people and the feel of the campus at Swarthmore. I can really see myself prospering in the type of environment Swarthmore has.

    Read More
  • 4
  • Some Swattie
  • Jun-28-2011 I am a current student here

    Swarthmore is small and can get feel a little cramped sometimes, and often you'll find yourself with too much work to fully take advantage of all the other things going on. That aside, I love it. The people here are not only brilliant but really interesting and friendly. Everyone has a pet project. The campus is gorgeous and very walkable, dorms are quite good, and there are plenty of parties on the weekends as well as lectures, exhibits, film screenings, weird traditions, and various other get-togethers.

    Read More
  • 4
  • NY
  • Jan-22-2011 I am a current student here

    Swat has a social life that is a leap forward for some and a step back for others. There usually is something for everyone, but going into Philly to fill in the gaps is a good idea.

    Read More
  • 5
  • Tucker from Brentwood, NH
  • Apr-13-2010 I am researching this school and have visited the campus

    The campus is beautiful, there are tons of student organizations, and you are less than 30 minutes away from Philadelphia.

    Read More