Information for Counselors

Fall 2016

Dear Colleague:

I send you greetings from Swarthmore College. With another admission cycle behind us, we head into the fall energized by the remarkable group of 427 young scholars (416 first-years and 11 transfers), who have joined us on campus. We are also looking forward to seeing many of you at school visits, counselor breakfasts, professional conferences, or on Swarthmore’s beautiful 425-acre arboretum campus just 11 miles outside of Philadelphia. The campus is easily accessible, 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 ( if you have questions or comments.

Our Continued Commitment to Financial Aid and Diverse Scholars

This year, the average financial aid award for first-years is $46,931 towards our asking price of $63,550. 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 remember 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 eleventh year as a QuestBridge partner for the academic year 2016-2017. We welcomed 53 QuestBridge Scholars to Swarthmore’s Class of 2020, which is an all-time high for one class.

This year Swarthmore College welcomed a first-year class composed of 42% domestic students of color, plus an additional 12% non-U.S. citizens, including 8 undocumented/DACA students. The first-year class consists of 8% African American, 13% Hispanic/Latino/multiracial, 14% Asian American, 1 Native American, and 6% multiracial students. Another 20% of our first-years are first generation college students, 21% are receiving Pell Grants, and 56% attended public or public selective high schools.

Engineering and Dance at Swarthmore

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

What’s New at Swarthmore 

Swarthmore Joins Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success
Swarthmore is one of over 90 schools in the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. We have added this option for applicants applying for admission to the Class of 2021 and for transfer admission. Both our Coalition Application and Common Applications are up and running as of early August. Swarthmore does not have a preference which application is used, and students should submit only one application for admission. Please contact your regional dean if you have any questions.

Undocumented and DACA Students
We encourage all students to apply to Swarthmore, regardless of citizenship status or national origin. This includes undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students graduating from U.S. high schools. Undocumented and DACA students apply to Swarthmore in the same manner as all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We evaluate context and background, so students are encouraged to share their narrative with us through the application process. For undocumented and DACA students, Swarthmore’s admissions process is need blind. We do not take financial need into account when making an admissions decision. Swarthmore College commits to meeting 100% of admitted students’ demonstrated financial need, and our aid awards do not include a loan.

Testing Requirements
First-year applicants are required to submit either the SAT or the ACT. We do not require the optional Essay section of the SAT or the optional Writing section of the ACT. If submitted, scores from those sections will not be considered in our application review. Subject Tests are not required for admission, but will be considered if submitted. Prospective engineers are encouraged to submit the Math 2 Subject Test. Scores from the old and the new SAT will be accepted for students applying to enter in the fall of 2017. Equal consideration will be given to scores from either version of the test.

The Inn at Swarthmore
The Inn at Swarthmore opened its doors for the first time in May 2016. The Inn is located next door to the train station on Swarthmore’s campus and features 40 rooms, a full restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating, banquet facilities, and a community store. Please alert your families that they may stay on campus when visiting. 

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 if you can visit campus. All of us are eager to work with you during the coming year.  Our regional deans, listed below, 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