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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.

Application fee waivers

Fee waivers are available via the Common Application or Coalition 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.

Self-reporting scores

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.  

Students who are admitted and choose to enroll are required to submit official standardized test scores after confirming their intent to matriculate. 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).

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.

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.

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. 

Personal outreach and assistance

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

Enrollment fee waivers

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