Information for Counselors

Fall 2018

Dear Colleague:

I send you greetings from Swarthmore College. With another admission cycle behind us, we head into the fall energized by the remarkable group of 446 young scholars (417 first-years and 29 transfers) who have joined us on campus. We are also looking forward to seeing many of you at school visits, counselor breakfasts, professional conferences, or on Swarthmore’s beautiful 425-acre arboretum campus just 11 miles outside of Philadelphia. The campus is easily accessible, and Swarthmore is one of the few colleges in the country that has a train station directly at the base of campus! Please feel free to call, write, or email me ( if you have questions or comments.


Our Continued Commitment to Financial Aid and Diverse Scholars

This year, the average financial aid award for first-years is $54,967 toward our asking price of $68,062. We still offer loan-free need-based awards for all students receiving grant aid at Swarthmore. Often, the most selective schools provide the largest need-based aid awards. Students, particularly ones from low-income backgrounds, should not remove high-priced schools from their lists before taking a closer look at financial aid policies. We hope you encourage your students to learn more about Swarthmore, and remind them that we have a long-standing commitment to provide financial aid to all students whose potential family resources fall short of our charges. Swarthmore College enters our 13th year as a QuestBridge partner for the 2018-2019 academic year. We enrolled 59 QuestBridge-affiliated students in Swarthmore’s Class of 2022. We also continue to read applications from all undocumented and DACA students on a need-blind basis for both first-year and transfer admission.  

This year Swarthmore College welcomed a first-year class composed of 45 percent domestic students of color, plus an additional 13 percent non-U.S. citizens, including undocumented/DACA students. The first-year class consists of 7 percent African American, 14 percent Hispanic/Latino/multiracial, 16 percent Asian American, 7 percent multiracial, and 3 Native American/Hawaiian students. Twenty-two percent of our first-years are first generation college students, and 23 percent receive Pell Grants.

Engineering and Dance at Swarthmore

Swarthmore offers a fully accredited four-year B.S. in engineering and a B.A. in dance. Learn more at and

What’s New at Swarthmore

We continue to increase access and to remove barriers for underserved students. For the first time this year, we allowed all applicants to self-report their test scores for admissions. Also, we are expanding our rural outreach, and you may learn more about these efforts in a podcast featuring our Associate Dean and Director of Access Andrew Moe. The Swarthmore Admissions Office hosted its second annual College Access Summit in June, bringing together more than 60 counselors and advisors from Mid-Atlantic high schools, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations to exchange perspectives and develop solutions to broaden access to college for underserved students.

The 2017-2018 academic year was one of the best all-around years in the history of Swarthmore College Athletics, with three teams making the NCAA National Quarterfinals and seven teams receiving a national ranking. The seven teams in 2017-18 with their highest-ever rankings include: No. 6 Baseball, No. 6 Women's Soccer, No. 7 Men's Basketball, No. 16 Men's Tennis, No. 18 Volleyball, No. 24 Men's Swimming, and No. 36 Women's Tennis. Please see the full story and inspiring photos on the Swarthmore Athletics website.

Admissions offices often use more carbon as compared to other college departments, and for the second year, we will pull back a bit in our travel and put that money towards sustainability efforts and Swarthmore’s Carbon Charge. We still value high school visits to meet prospective students and to engage with counselors, but we hope you agree that our choice is a step in the right direction to reduce our carbon footprint.

Please let us know how we might participate in any special programs or workshops at your school or organization, and how we can continue to strengthen our relationships with you and your students. We would be delighted to host you at Swarthmore if you can visit campus and all of us are eager to work with you during the coming year. Our regional deans, listed below, look forward to working with you and your students, and I hope you will feel welcome to call on us!


James L. Bock ‘90
Vice President and Dean of Admissions