Swarthmore welcomes applications from homeschooled students. Applicants should make every effort to complete either the Common Application or the Coalition Application, using the additional information sections to provide any information not otherwise captured by the standard questions.
- Standardized Tests & Application Essays
For students applying to Swarthmore in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles, we have suspended our requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. You will have the option to submit scores to us, and you will have the option for us to not consider scores already submitted. Test scores for the next two years are optional, and students who either did not take a test or choose not to share results with us will not be penalized in the admissions process.
AP, IB, and other examination scores are also optional in our process. Please think carefully on whether you want to share these results with us in your application. You will not have the option to suppress these examination scores, so if you submit them, we may use them in our review process. SAT subject tests will automatically be suppressed for students applying for fall 2021. Please read our Standardized Testing Policy for more details.
Essay requirements are the same for all our applicants, but homeschooled students are encouraged to submit an additional short essay that describes the reasons for homeschooling and the benefits and/or disadvantages to the applicant.
- Curriculum Documentation
Homeschooled students should provide course descriptions and (if available) transcripts for courses taken in a community college, arts center, summer program, online course providers, etc. from ninth through 12th grades. Courses set up through homeschool associations usually have syllabi, which should be submitted. Curricula borrowed from school districts should be included. Individualized classes must have a descriptive listing by the applicant or supervisor. Examples of research projects, papers, etc. are useful. Internships, work experience, extensive travel, and special programs should be documented and described. Please include the dates and sources for awards and distinctions (e.g. Rotary International, All-State Chorus, etc.).
- Letters of Recommendation
Three recommendations are a minimum requirement. The College is particularly interested in receiving recommendations from adults who have had direct academic or intellectual contact with the applicant. We understand that a family member may serve as the primary "counselor" or supervisor and should then complete the Secondary School Report recommendation form. The two remaining teacher recommendations are often completed by an involved professor, tutor, etc. Recommendations from coaches, members of the clergy, instrumental or vocal music instructors, etc. are appreciated and can enhance the student's profile, but they are considered to be supplementary unless the applicant has no academic contact with any adult outside the home. Peer evaluations are not necessary but are treated as supplementary material, if received.