Swarthmore Opens Classes for 144th Year

By Erin Kelly
Students look over their schedules during the Department Advising Fair in Upper Tarble on August 30, 2012.
Students look over their schedules during the Departmental Advising Fair in Upper Tarble.

This week, Swarthmore begins the 2012-2013 academic year and welcomes 378 first-year students and 10 transfer students into the campus community. This is the start of the College's 144th year of instruction.

The first-year class was selected from among a record 6,589 applicants, of whom 14 percent were offered admission. "It's energizing each year to welcome new students and consider the contributions they will make to Swarthmore College, the Philadelphia area, and, ultimately, the global community," says Jim Bock '90, vice president and dean of admissions. "The diverse skills, talents, and insights of these 388 students will add to our vibrant community of engaged scholars."

The Class of 2016 comprises 191 women and 187 men. Among the domestic students, six percent identify themselves as African American, 13 percent as Hispanic/Latina/o, 15 percent as Asian American, and six percent as multiracial. International students represent nine percent of the class. In addition, 12 percent are the first generation in their family to attend college.

Forty-two states are represented by the members of the incoming class as well as the District of Columbia. Members of the new class attended high schools most frequently in California, followed by New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois Connecticut, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Thirty-three international citizens representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Ghana, Great Britain, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Singapore, and Vietnam are members of the Class of 2016.

Fifty-one percent of the new students attended public high schools, 29 percent private independent schools, eight percent parochial schools, and 12 percent schools overseas. At least one student was home-schooled. The most popular anticipated majors among Swarthmore's newest students are biology, engineering, political science, English, economics, mathematics, psychology, physics, history, and peace studies.