Skip to main content

Applying Is Affordable

If your parents or guardians didn’t go to college, or if you come from a low-income background, you might encounter unique obstacles during the admissions process. We want the process to be fair for everyone.

Learn more about:


Removing Barriers in the Admissions Process

Application fee waivers

Fee waivers are available via the Common Application. We also partner with QuestBridge, which does not charge an application fee to use its application platform. Transfer students enrolled in a community or junior college do not need to pay the application fee. Veterans and active-duty service members do not need to pay the application fee.

All students with financial need are welcome to complete SwatPass to find out if you qualify for an application fee waiver.


For students applying to Swarthmore in the 2023-24 admissions cycle, Swarthmore offers students the option to apply without consideration of their SAT or ACT scores. Should you choose to submit standardized test scores, you will have the option to submit official scores or self-report scores through the applicant portal. 

For more information about Swarthmore’s standardized testing policy, please visit our testing policy page.

Self-reporting scores

If you choose to submit scores to us, in lieu of submitting official scores from the testing agency, you may self-report your standardized test scores on your application for admission. In addition, you may self-report or update your standardized test scores via a link in your applicant portal, which is available after you submit your application for admission.  

For applicants who chose to submit testing for review, enrolling students are required to submit official standardized test scores upon matriculation. For applicants who chose not to submit testing to us under our test-optional policy, we ask that enrolling students submit standardized test scores upon matriculation, if you have taken the ACT or SAT. This is not a requirement and will only be used for research and placement purposes. Enrolling students will not be penalized, regardless of the score submitted. 

We accept score reports as official when they are sent to our office directly from a school counselor, principal, or other school official. Or, you may submit official test scores directly from the testing agencies. Our testing codes are 2821 (College Board), 3722 (ACT), and 2821 (TOEFL).

Need-blind admissions

Our admissions review is need-blind, which means we don’t consider your ability to pay when we evaluate your application for admission. This policy applies to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, eligible non-citizens (such as refugees), and undocumented students who graduate from a high school in the United States.

Undocumented student policy

Our Quaker heritage informs our work. That’s one reason why we treat undocumented and DACA-eligible first-year and transfer students the same way we admit and fund any domestic student.

Enrollment fee waivers

Swarthmore waives enrollment deposits for eligible students, and we do not ask you for a housing deposit.


Fly-in Programs

Discover Swarthmore

Each fall, we host a few hundred students on campus to explore life at Swarthmore. The Discover Swarthmore program is an all-expenses-paid trip to the College, and we accept nominations from counselors and advisers.


Each spring, we host another all-expenses-paid trip to Swarthmore for admitted students who are the first in their family to attend college, come from a low-income background, or work with a community-based organization that offers free advice on college admissions or financial aid. 

Admissions deans and financial aid officers work together to ensure that you and your parents, counselors, and advisers have your questions answered. Find your regional dean, or contact our Financial Aid Office. We are happy to be resources for you and your family.