Swarthmore College Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, and More

Campus view of Swarthmore College at Night.
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Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college, and in 2016 only 13 percent of applicants were admitted. Students will generally need grades and standardized test scores that are well above average to be considered for admission. To apply, applicants will need to submit high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a writing sample/personal essay, and letters of recommendation. An interview with an admissions officer is not required but is recommended, as is a campus visit and tour.

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Admissions Data (2017)

  • Swarthmore College Acceptance Rate: 11 percent
  • Swarthmore GPA and Test Score Graph
  • Test Scores: 25th / 75th Percentile
    • SAT Critical Reading: 690 / 760
    • SAT Math: 690 / 780
    • ACT Composite: 31 / 34
    • ACT English: 31 / 35
    • ACT Math: 29 / 34

Swarthmore College Description

Swarthmore’s gorgeous 399-acre campus is a registered national arboretum situated just 11 miles from downtown Philadelphia, and students have the opportunity to take classes at neighboring Bryn MawrHaverford, and the University of Pennsylvania. The college can boast of an impressive 8 to 1 student/faculty ratio and a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Swarthmore consistently sits near the top of nearly all rankings of U.S. liberal arts colleges. In athletics, the Swarthmore Garnet compete in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference. The college fields nine men's and eleven women's varsity sports.

Enrollment (2016)

  • Total Enrollment: 1,543 (all undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 50 percent male / 50 percent female
  • 99 percent full-time

Costs (2016 - 17)

  • Tuition and Fees: $49,104
  • Books: $1,315 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $14,446
  • Other Expenses: $1,684
  • Total Cost: $66,549

Swarthmore Financial Aid (2015 - 16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 63 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 58 percent
    • Loans: 12 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $44,722
    • Loans: $5,927

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Biology, Economics, Engineering, English, History, Political Science, Psychology
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 98 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 88 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Lacrosse, Soccer, Golf, Cross Country
  • Women's Sports: Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Field Hockey

Data Source

National Center for Educational Statistics

Swarthmore and the Common Application

Swarthmore College uses the Common Application.

Swarthmore Mission Statement

"Swarthmore students are expected to prepare themselves for full, balanced lives as individuals and as responsible citizens through exacting intellectual study supplemented by a varied program of sports and other extracurricular activities. The purpose of Swarthmore College is to make its students more valuable human beings and more useful members of society. Although it shares this purpose with other educational institutions, each school, college, and university seeks to realize that purpose in its own way. Swarthmore seeks to help its students realize their fullest intellectual and personal potential combined with a deep sense of ethical and social concern."