Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different dorms for first-year students?
There are no dorms specifically for first-year students or special interest groups. All dorms house students from multiple class-years, though a few do not have any first-year students. The Dorm Profiles page gives a description of the dorms.
What are the housing options for transfer students?
We try to assign transfer students entering as juniors to single rooms (which is typical for most Swarthmore juniors) and sophomores to double rooms (which is typical for most Swarthmore sophomores). Once transfer students make their deposit and commit to coming to Swarthmore, they receive housing questionnaires. They must complete the questionnaires and return them to the Dean's Office right away. We use these questionnaires to help make their housing assignments. Transfer students are notified of their housing assignments no later than early August, along with entering first-year students.
What is the move-in date for new students?
New students may move into the dorms for the Fall 2011 semester on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, beginning at 9am.
What is the size of my room and my windows?
I am sorry but we don't have that information on file, so we can't give it to you. Honestly, every room is different and may have different ceilings/corners/etc. from the room next to it.
What type of lighting should I bring?
The lighting of each dorm varies, but there are lamps available at the College Bookstore. Many dorms (especially Dana and Hallowell) and shaded by large trees so bringing a floor lamp and/or desk lamp is recommended. You may wish to coordinate this with your roommate(s) to avoid bringing unneeded extras.
Should I buy a dorm fridge?
It is recommended that you consult with your roommate(s) before buying a fridge. (S)he may have already purchased one and the rooms are too small to be filled with fridges. We recommend that you only purchase/bring EnergyStar rated appliances. The Bookstore will still take orders after classes start. It takes a week or two for them to arrive. So assess if you really want/need one before buying one. Also, don't forget that each hall has at least one full size fridge.
Only small fridges are allowed. Don't forget that personal fridges must be no larger than 24"x18"x18"
What appliances are students allowed to have in the residence halls, and what ones are prohibited? What about toasters, hot plates, refrigerators, fans, etc?
- A good rule of thumb to begin with is that ANYTHING with an open heat element is prohibited in the residence halls due to health and safety concerns. This includes (but is not limited to): George Foreman-type grills, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, rice cookers, coffee makers, etc.
- Microwaves are not allowed in individual student rooms (all dorms are equipped with at least one kitchen which includes a microwave and other cooking appliances)
- Fans are allowed in the residence halls. Space heaters are absolutely prohibited in the dorms. If you purchase a fan please do not purchase one that also include a heating element. These items are considered a health and safety violation and students may be fined $125.00 for possession of these items.
- Err on the side of bringing fewer cooking appliances than you think you may need. If you arrive on campus and find the dining halls and dorm kitchens are not able to meet your needs, there is a local Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond where you might be able to purchase needed items. Also, remember that the residence halls are large…it is likely that if you do not bring something you’d like to use every now and again, someone else on your floor will have one you an borrow.
Should I buy a television?
We do not recommend bringing a television. Each resident hall has at least one TV, VCR, and cable hook up for one TV. It is not possible to get cable for your individual TV and reception is particularly poor in Swarthmore. It is recommended that you leave the TV at home. If you are considering bringing one, be sure to consult with your roommate(s). Not everyone wants a TV in their room -- as noted on roommate questionnaires. Also, it is not always possible to store televisions between each academic year...so finding a home for your television during the summer may prove to be a hassle.
Is there any storage in the bathroom for towels and toiletries?
There are a limited number of cubby holes and hooks in each bathroom to store towels and toiletries. Most dorms have towel racks for each person. It is recommended that you purchase a shower caddie for storage and convenience. Don't forget: this is a communal environment--so think about bringing a caddie so you can store your important items in your closet or room.