September 2014

Dear Colleague:

Jim bock

I send you greetings from Swarthmore College.  With another admission cycle behind us, we head into the fall energized by the remarkable group of 417 young scholars who have joined us on campus.  We are also looking forward to seeing many of you on the road at school visits, counselor breakfasts, professional conferences, or on Swarthmore’s beautiful 425 acre arboreal campus just 11 miles outside of Philadelphia.  The campus is easily accessible by train, plane, or automobile, and Swarthmore is one of the few colleges in the country that has a train station directly at the base of campus!  Please feel free to call, write, or email me at if you have questions or comments.

 Our Commitment to Financial Aid and Diverse Scholars

This year, the average financial aid award to these students is $41,960 towards our asking price of $59,610.  We are still offering loan-free need-based awards for all students receiving grant aid at Swarthmore.  Often, the most selective schools have the most competitive need-based aid awards.  Students, particularly needy ones, should not take high priced schools off of their lists.  We hope as you encourage your students to take a closer look at Swarthmore, you will know that we have a long-standing commitment to provide financial aid to all students whose potential family resources fall short of our charges.  Swarthmore College will enter our ninth year as a QuestBridge partner for the academic year 2014-2015.  This year, we welcomed 27 QuestBridge Scholars to Swarthmore’s class of 2018.

This year, Swarthmore College welcomed a first-year class composed of 40% domestic students of color, plus an additional 13% non-U.S. citizens.  The first-year class comprises 8% African American, 12% Hispanic/Latino/multiracial, 17% Asian American, 1 Native American, 1 Native Hawaiian, and 3% multiracial students.  Another 15% of our first-year students are first generation to college, and 55% attended public or public selective high schools.

External Examination Program or Honors at Swarthmore

The Honors Program was fashioned in 1922 under the leadership of Frank Aydelotte, seventh president of the College. It was modeled on the tutorial system at Oxford where Aydelotte had been a Rhodes Scholar. Many of the program's features remain what they were in 1922: faculty working with small groups of dedicated and accomplished students; an emphasis on independent learning; students entering into a dialogue with peers, teachers, and examiners; a demanding program of study in major and minor fields; and an examination at the end of two years' study by outside scholars. The Honors Program rests on the principle that judgment concerning the achievement of honors at the College should be based on an independent evaluation of a student's work, and it is from this principle that the external examination derives.  

Engineering and Dance at Swarthmore

Swarthmore offers a fully accredited four-year B.S. in engineering and a B.A. in dance.  

Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

The mission of the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility is to provide education for civic and social responsibility in a context of academic excellence. Our goal is to prepare students for leadership in civic engagement, public service, advocacy, and social action.  The Lang Center serves as a home base for many activities and programs linking the campus to communities in the U.S. and abroad through service and social action.  

Aydelotte Foundation 

The mission of the Frank Aydelotte Foundation for the Advancement of the Liberal Arts (formerly known as the Institute for the Liberal Arts) is to inspire the quality and inventiveness of Swarthmore College’s liberal arts practices and to promote the understanding of the Liberal Arts in higher education, throughout society and around the world.

Established in 2012, the Aydelotte Foundation draws on Swarthmore College’s reputation for innovation and tradition. The Foundation is designed to support the investigation of the perennial questions and great issues that form the heart of a liberal arts education through fostering rigorous and creative conversation, experimentation and scholarly work. The Foundation also works to advance liberal arts education by bringing together resources from across Swarthmore College with those from around the world.

Please let us know how we might participate in any special programs or workshops at your school or organization and how we can continue to strengthen our relationship with you and your students.  We would be delighted to host you at Swarthmore should you be able to visit the campus.  All of us are eager to work with you during the coming year.  Our regional deans look forward to working with you and your students, and I hope you will feel welcome to call on us!


James L. Bock '90

Vice President and Dean of Admissions