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Information for Alumni Volunteers

Twenty Swarthmore alumni sit together on the Big Chair and smile at the camera on the campus of Swarthmore College.

Our Admissions Alumni Volunteer Program (AAVP) forms a vital part of admissions initiatives at Swarthmore. Through their involvement, our alumni volunteers extend the reach of our engagement with prospective and admitted students by connecting with admitted students, conducting virtual interviews, and sharing their Swarthmore experiences with future Swatties.

Admissions alumni volunteers are provided training on each aspect of their volunteer roles and receive a quarterly newsletter from the Admissions Office with updates and details related to their responsibilities. For more information about the program, please contact Janet Barkdoll '22 in Admissions at

Learn more about:
2023-2024 Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Eligibility & Expectations
       Code of Conduct
Resources for Talking with Students
What’s Happening At Swarthmore


2023-2024 Volunteer Opportunities

Learn more about the ways alumni volunteers can get involved with the Admissions Office.

Admitted Student Outreach
Commitment Time Period: early March-early May

Connecting alumni volunteers with newly admitted students is a vitally important part of our process. Volunteers will connect with admitted Swatties who are going through the process of deciding where to enroll. Alumni outreach is invaluable each spring, and your firsthand experience of Swarthmore may help a student see themself at the College. The time commitment for admitted student outreach is flexible and we welcome any amount of time you can commit: it can be as quick as writing a congratulatory email to an admitted student, or as extensive as arranging a phone or video call with them to share your Swarthmore experiences and answer their questions. In early March, you’ll fill out a short questionnaire to help us hand-match you with admitted students who may share your interests. You would connect with your matched student(s) in the month of April in advance of the enrollment deposit deadline the first week of May.

Swattie Send-Off Celebrations
Time Period: events are planned in early summer and take place in August

Help celebrate the newest Swatties and send them off to campus with a welcoming introduction to their Swarthmore network! Incoming first-year and transfer students all over the world are welcomed to the Swarthmore community during regional gatherings in August. Join fellow alumni, Swarthmore families, and current students to welcome and congratulate incoming students and their supporters and families at regional gatherings wherever they occur.

Virtual First-Year and Transfer Interviews
Commitment Time Period: September-December for first-year interviews; January-March for transfer interviews

Interviews allow the Admissions Committee insight into a candidate beyond what we read in their application, and they give the student an opportunity to learn about the College from a new perspective.

Admissions alumni volunteers located within the United States can sign up to interview prospective first-year students, transfer students, or both. Whenever possible, students are matched with interviewers who are located in their geographic region or time zone. In recent years, Swarthmore's international applicant pool has grown, and interest from international students has increasingly exceeded the number of interviews the Admissions Office is able to accommodate. Therefore, we are unable to offer interviews to students attending high school outside of the U.S. All alumni interviews are conducted virtually and scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the student and interviewer. Interviews are optional in Swarthmore’s admissions process and applicants who do not interview are not at a disadvantage.

  • Swarthmore offers alumni interviews to prospective first-year students who attend high school in the United States. Alumni interviews with prospective first-year students take place between early September and early December.
  • Swarthmore offers alumni interviews to prospective domestic transfer students. Alumni interviews with prospective transfer students take place between early January and late March.

All Swarthmore interviews last about 20-30 minutes. We recommend that interviewers block off up to 60 minutes per interview to allow time for unexpected technical/internet connectivity issues and ample time to submit the required evaluation immediately following the interview.

Alumni interviews are just one of several conversation-based application components that are optional in Swarthmore’s admissions process and which students may choose to complete to share more about themselves with the Admissions Committee. We consider all interview options equally and an applicant may complete only one interview in any format.


Volunteer Eligibility & Expectations


To be an Admissions Alumni Volunteer, you must confirm/update your contact information and participation with the Admissions Office each season and abide by our program expectations during your involvement.

Synchronous and asynchronous training options are offered at the start of each volunteer season. Prospective and returning volunteers receive detailed information about training after registering. Training is required for participation in admissions volunteer activities.

Alumni are not eligible to serve as Admissions Alumni Volunteers if:

  • They have a child, grandchild, sibling, or immediate family member who will be a senior in high school (even if they are not planning to apply to college or to Swarthmore) in the concurrent academic year.
  • They work or are otherwise active in college advising or an undergraduate admissions or financial aid office.

If you have any questions or are interested in becoming an admissions alumni volunteer, please contact Janet Barkdoll '22 in Admissions at


Admissions Alumni Volunteers are required to keep all student information strictly confidential and must agree to adhere to the Swarthmore College Admissions Office Volunteer Code of Conduct including Swarthmore College’s Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Policy.

Volunteers found to be in violation of these requirements will be removed from the Admissions Alumni Volunteer Program and will not be eligible to volunteer with the Admissions Office.

Code of Conduct

All admissions volunteers must sign and abide by the Swarthmore College Admissions Office Volunteer Code of Conduct.


Resources for Talking with Students

This section provides easy-to-find advice for talking with prospective or admitted students as well as links that you may find helpful to share with them during your conversations.

It’s okay to say “I don’t know”

This is something we emphasize for our current student tour guides, Admissions Officers, and valued alumni volunteers: it is okay to say “I don’t know”. No alum could possibly have experienced every class, club, community, or space on campus. This is part of the beauty of the Swarthmore community that our incoming students experience: it provides them with oodles of opportunities and resources and each student gets to build the path that works best for them.

We encourage you to speak about your experiences and suggest where students might look for the information they’re curious about. When a student asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, encourage them to:

  • Ask a current student on our Ask a Swattie page.
  • Visit our student-written Admissions blog, SwatStories, representing a myriad different Swarthmore experiences and perspectives across many topics.
  • Visit an academic department webpage– each department shares a list of current and projected course offerings. Students can email a professor if they have specific questions about a class, curriculum, or degree requirement.
  • The Engineering Department has an excellent page for Prospective Students!
  • If a student asks about Admissions or Financial Aid, please have them contact us directly. They can email or reach out to their regional dean in Admissions, or email to reach the Financial Aid Office.

You can also share with a student any of the links in the next section.


What’s Happening At Swarthmore

This section aims to answer a question we receive from many volunteers: Where can I learn about current initiatives and keep in touch with what’s happening on campus?

Our top three suggestions are:

  1. Keep an eye on the “News From Swarthmore” section of Swarthmore's homepage.
  2. Enjoy the stories on our student-written Admissions Blog, SwatStories.
  3. Read The Bulletin.

If you’re looking for a brief refresher, you may enjoy watching our 15-minute Admissions Campus Tour on the College’s YouTube Channel. Aimed at prospective students and families, this video welcomes visitors to campus virtually and shares with them an introductory overview of Swarthmore College.

Wondering if a specific club, tradition, program, or offering still exists? Browse the sections below to learn about the current Swattie experience:

Supporting Students

Campus Life

  • A list of student clubs and organizations, including a cappella groups, club sports teams, long-established groups like the MotherPuckers, and newly created groups such as A Stitch in Time. Read the descriptions carefully– some clubs may be operating under new names! Also, remember this list is not exhaustive.
  • Campus Traditions: This page highlights some, but not all, active campus traditions.
  • Dining and Community Commons: Swarthmore’s Dining Center opened in October 2022. The transformed Sharples Commons will become a hub where campus community members can gather, socialize, and connect with one another. Sharples Commons is expected to open in 2024, marking the completion of the Dining and Community Commons project.
  • Residential Life: There’s a lovely housing video on this webpage that gives a great tour of Swarthmore’s varied and beloved dorms. 
  • Athletics and Wellness: Swarthmore’s 22 varsity athletic teams compete as part of the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference. All students have access to athletic facilities including The Matchbox Fitness Center, Ware Pool, and Lamb-Miller Field House.