Application Materials & Deadlines

First-year applicants may apply to Swarthmore via Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application. Swarthmore does not have a preference among any of our application options. Please submit only one application in an application year. International students, homeschooled studentsundocumented students, and transfer students should review information specific to their situation.

Required Materials

  • Common Application or Coalition Application or Questbridge Application
  • Swarthmore College Short Answer
    • As part of the Common or Coalition Application, you will be asked to submit no more than 250 words in response to the following short answer question (Questbridge applicants are asked this question on our Questbridge Conversion Form): "Please write about why you are interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore."
  • $60 application fee or fee waiver
  • School report
  • Guidance counselor recommendation
  • High school transcript
  • Midyear grades: If your school does not have midyear grades, please provide a midyear progress report from your teachers.
  • Self-reported or official standardized test scores (Swarthmore's Testing Policy)
  • Two academic-subject teacher evaluations

Optional Materials

  • You may request an on-campus or off-campus interview. You may interview before submitting your application. First-year applicants applying to start in the fall of 2018 who are interested in interviewing should request an interview appointment. 
  • You may submit a creative supplement with art, music, dance, theater, or creative writing materials. We accept supplements exclusively through SlideRoom, which provides instructions for submitting materials online, including a video tutorial. Please use the SlideRoom link that matches your choice of application. Submitting additional materials is strictly optional, and is at no additional charge.
  • Please review financial aid application instructions and deadlines for first-year applicants.

Note to applicants: Swarthmore College reserves the right to evaluate an application and make a final decision, even if all parts of the application have not been received.

Early Decision

If you will apply Early Decision, please include:

Submitting Materials

Your school documents must be submitted directly from a school official, including teacher recommendations and transcripts. School officials can submit these documents  via the Common Application, Coalition Application, Questbridge, Naviance, or Parchment/Docufide. In rare cases, school officials can submit relevant documents as PDFs via email.


Special note: The Swarthmore Admissions Office understands that some students experience circumstances beyond their control that affect their ability to complete and submit their applications to meet posted deadlines. The recent hurricanes in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, and the recent wildfires in California, have impacted many communities. We encourage students who intend to be considered for Fall Early Decision to submit their application by the posted deadline of November 15. However, we are flexible about receiving supporting credentials beyond that date, including test scores, recommendation letters, and transcripts. If you have been impacted by this fall’s hurricanes and wildfires, and have questions, please contact our office at

Fall Early Decision Application Deadline: November 15

All testing should be complete by early November. Notification of admission decision is made online by December 15.

Winter Early Decision Application Deadline: January 1

All testing should be complete by mid-December. Notification of admission decision is made online by February 15.

Regular Decision Application Deadline: January 1

We strongly encourage all applicants to complete testing by mid-December, but may be able to consider scores for tests completed by early February. Notification of admission decision is made online by April 1.