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Discover Swarthmore Fly-In Program

Students laughing together as they walk to Sharples

Discover Swarthmore, held each fall, is our all-expenses-paid overnight fly-in program for high-achieving high school seniors. The impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the fall semester is still to be determined; however, it would not be prudent for the Admissions Office to host guests on campus this fall. For this reason, this fall’s Discover Swarthmore program will now be an entirely virtual experience. Program dates for the new virtual Discover Swarthmore have not yet been set. Applicants will be updated when fall program dates are selected.  

Discover Swarthmore will allow high school seniors to experience a taste of college life through interacting with current students, connecting with faculty, and hearing from the  Swarthmore alumni community. Participants will also have access to Admissions Officer-led workshops in order to support them in their college search and application process. 

All applicants to Discover Swarthmore will also receive:

  • $60 Application Fee Waiver should they choose to apply to Swarthmore for admission.
  • The option to use their Discover Swarthmore essay to replace their Swarthmore supplemental essay on their application for admission.
  • Participants in Discover Swarthmore who are admitted to Swarthmore will be invited to our April 2021 admitted students program, Swatlight. Assuming the resumption of on-campus visits at that time, the Admissions Office covers Swatlight participants' travel cost to campus, on-campus housing, meals and shuttle transportation between campus and the Philadelphia Airport and rail stations.

All interested rising high school seniors (U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented/ DACA students living in the United States) are welcome to apply to Discover Swarthmore, though preference will be given to students from underrepresented groups, students who are the first in their family to attend college, and students from low-income backgrounds who might not otherwise be able to afford a trip to campus. 


Counselor nominations for the Fall 2020 programs are now being accepted.  High school counselors, community-based organization advisors, mentors, teachers and other educators are welcome to nominate current high school juniors. Any student nominated for Discover Swarthmore will receive:

  • $60 Application Fee Waiver should they choose to apply for admission to Swarthmore.
  • Access to pre-recorded Admissions Officer-led workshops in order to support students in their college search and application process.

Nominations will close this summer (new date: July 15, 2020). Keep in mind, students do not have to be nominated in order to apply to Discover Swarthmore


Student applications for the Fall 2020 programs are now being accepted. To be considered for this fall’s programs, rising high school seniors must submit a Discover Swarthmore application and high school transcript by August 3, 2020.


Questions about the nomination and application process, or about the program itself, can be directed to