Policies

Students at First Collection

Swarthmore College is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community.

Academic Freedom

Swarthmore College has long subscribed to the fundamental tenets of academic freedom articulated in the 1940 “Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” by the American Association of University Professors. This doctrine has been reiterated and amplified in the association’s 1970 “Statement on Freedom and Responsibility.” Swarthmore College adheres to the 1970 Statement. Learn more.

Rights and Responsibilities of Expression

Swarthmore College is deeply committed to creating an environment that fosters diversity without in any way sacrificing its unwavering commitment to free inquiry, speech, expression, and exchange of ideas. The College will regulate speech or expression only if fraudulent, threatening, or harassing. 

Commitment to Undocumented and DACA Students

At Swarthmore College, we value different viewpoints, identities, and histories among our students, faculty, and staff. We believe this diversity contributes to the community’s strong sense of open dialogue and engagement with ideas and issues, as well as fostering inclusion in our community of scholars. We encourage all students, regardless of citizenship status or national origin, to apply to the College. 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 or application for financial aid into account when making an admissions decision. Learn more.

Financial Aid Commitment

Swarthmore’s commitment to access and aid is longstanding and profound. The College has offered admission without regard to a family’s financial need since at least the mid-1950s, as well as loan-free financial aid awards since 2008. Still, Swarthmore is redoubling its efforts to expand access and affordability, creating new resources, and reaffirming its commitment. 

A few numbers offer one illustration of the College’s commitment to access and aid:

  • 58 percent of current first-year students receive aid from the College; their average aid award is $47,564.
  • About a third of Swarthmore students from the Class of 2019 receiving financial aid have a family income of $60,000 or less. Last year, it was one in four.
  • The average aid award for all classes in the 2015-2016 academic year is $45,974; in 2014-2015, it was $41,197.

Swarthmore's strong financial aid program demonstrates our commitment to the principle that all capable students have access to the College. Learn more.

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity

The College expressly prohibits any form of discrimination and harassment on the basis of any College-recognized protected classification, including sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, or disability in any decision regarding admissions, employment, or involvement in a College program or activity in accordance with the letter and spirit of federal, state, and local non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws, such as Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act, The Equal Pay Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and the Borough of Swarthmore Ordinance on Non-Discrimination. Learn more.

Hate Crime Bias Incident Reporting and Response

The purpose of this Bias Response Protocol is to establish an understanding of how Swarthmore College defines a “bias incident” and to identify and describe how the College responds to reports of bias incidents, harassment and hate crimes.

Issues related to diversity and inclusion are multidimensional and complex. The Swarthmore community should expect that the definitions and procedures will continue to evolve. The College encourages active engagement by all community members in the ongoing conversations and efforts if we are to make real progress toward our goal of cultivating a diverse and inclusive learning environment. Shared responsibility is at the core of this goal. Learn more.

Students with Disabilities

Swarthmore's Student Disability Service is pleased to work with students with disabilities to identify accommodations that will allow equal access to college programs and services. Learn more


Additional Policies for a diverse, inclusive, and positive campus climate

Anonymous Hotline

The Swarthmore College Hotline, (866)292-7713, is toll-free and available 24/7. The line is managed by an outside company that will listen to your concern and direct it to the appropriate college official for prompt and corrective action. Learn more.

Domestic Partners Policy

Swarthmore College is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity (the EEO Policy) for all qualified persons without discrimination. To further this EEO Policy, and to support the lesbian/bisexual/gay members and non-married heterosexual couples of the community, the College recognizes domestic partners. Domestic partners have the option of applying for group coverage under the "employee/spouse" category currently available to "benefit eligible" faculty and staff. Learn more.

Furthering Racial and Ethnic Diversity Among Faculty

For the sake of furthering Swarthmore College’s community and educational values, the faculty endorses that all departments and programs of the College, with the help of the administration, take necessary and appropriate steps so that within a decade we may see a significant increase in the racial and ethnic diversity of the faculty in tenure-track positions well distributed in all three divisions of the College. 

Harassment Based on Protected Class

Harassment based on a protected class is defined as unreasonable, unwelcome conduct that is based on an individual’s sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, disability, or any other College-recognized protected classification. If a student has been subject to harassment or discrimination on the basis of a College-recognized protected classification, the student should consult with the director of equal opportunity and engagement for guidance. Learn more.

Policy in Support of Nursing Mothers

Swarthmore College is committed to supporting mothers with a nursing child to provide their child with all the health benefits of breastfeeding. The College will provide a private location for the purpose of expressing milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and others. Employees will be permitted a reasonable work break each time it is necessary to express milk. Learn more.

Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy

Swarthmore College is committed to establishing and maintaining a community rich in equality and free from all forms of discrimination and harassment. The College seeks to create an environment in which the greatest academic potential of students and professional potential of employees may be realized. In order to create and maintain such an environment, the College recognizes that all who work and learn at the College are responsible for ensuring that the community is free from discrimination based on sex or gender, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, other forms of sexual misconduct including stalking, and intimate-partner violence. These behaviors threaten our learning, living, and work environments and will not be tolerated. Learn more.

Transgender Student Names

The Swarthmore Registrar's Office offers support for transgender chosen names for students who have not yet legally changed their name. The Registrar's Office can help with all sorts of name change requests. Learn more

Assault, Endangerment, or Infliction of Physical Harm

Physical restraint, assault, or any other act of violence or use of physical force against any member of the community, or any act that threatens the use of physical force is forbidden. Learn more

Bullying and Intimidation

Bullying includes any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or a series of acts of physical, social, or emotional domination that cause physical or emotional harm to another student or group of students. Intimidation is any verbal, written, or electronic threats of violence or other threatening behavior directed toward another person or group that reasonably leads the person(s) in the group to fear for her/his physical well-being constitutes intimidation, is prohibited, and will result in disciplinary action. Learn more

Disorderly Conduct

Students at Swarthmore College have the right to express their views, feelings, and beliefs inside and outside the classroom and to support causes publicly, including by demonstrations and other means. These freedoms of expression extend so far as conduct does not impinge on the rights of other members of the community or the orderly and essential operations of the College. Disorderly conduct is not permitted. Learn more

Banners, Chalking, Posters

Learn more about hanging banners, chalking sidewalks, and posting flyers.