Supporting You on Campus
Our support doesn’t end when you’re admitted. After you commit to Swarthmore, you have access to a variety of resources that help support our diverse student body.
Reducing the Hidden Costs of College
- Cash-free Campus
There are no “additional fees” at Swarthmore. Nearly everything is included in the annual activity fee, so things like movie nights, laundry, printing, and athletic events are free to all students.
- Textbook Affordability Initiative
The Textbook Affordability Initiative provides funds to support students’ textbook purchases in the Swarthmore Campus & Community Store. All students receive a $750 allowance each year to cover the cost of required course materials.
- Student Emergency Fund
The Student Emergency Fund was created to help students with financial assistance in a serious time of need. For example, students who experience a temporary hardship (surrounding situations such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage, or need for temporary housing) may be unable to meet their immediate and essential expenses. The Student Emergency Fund does not replace or supplement existing financial aid and does not have to be repaid.
Transitioning to Swarthmore
- Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program (S3P)
The four-week Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program (S3P) is designed for students who are the first in their family to attend college, come from a low-income background or belong to a traditionally underrepresented group, and have a self-described interest in STEM fields. This program takes place during the summer before admitted students enter their first year at Swarthmore. S3P provides coursework in STEM and writing, along with mentorship from faculty and staff that lasts throughout the students’ time at the College. All expenses are paid for the four-week program.
- Tri-College Summer Institute
Each summer, first-year students are invited to participate in the Tri-College Identity, Equity, and Social Justice Summer Institute, a four-day training session sponsored by Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford Colleges. The Tri-College Institute is a retreat/intensive workshop experience. Students participate in a mix of activities such as small-group discussions, journal groups, parties, lectures, off-campus trips, sports, and improvisational theater. The core topics are race, gender, class, privilege, and leadership.
- Campus Spaces and Programs
Swarthmore’s campus includes physical spaces that welcome students from diverse backgrounds. Places you might want to explore include the Black Cultural Center, Women’s Resource Center, Interfaith Center, and Intercultural Center.
- First in Family Program
If your parents or guardians didn’t go to college, you are encouraged to participate in Swarthmore’s First in Family program, which gathers faculty, staff, and students to share stories, strategies, and fellowship.
- Student Organizations
Current student-run organizations include the Student Organization for Low-Income Students (SOLIS), Quest Scholars Network for QuestBridge applicants, and UndocuAllies.
Opportunities and Resources
- Funded internships
You do not need to choose a paid internship over nonprofit or community work. The College offers internship funding programs to help cover your expenses while you pursue unpaid work.
- Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program seeks to remedy the serious shortage of faculty of color in higher education. Mellon Mays Fellows demonstrate promise as future college professors, and receive significant benefits.
- Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program
The Richard Rubin Scholar Mentoring Program offers mentoring, internship funding, and enrichment opportunities for first-generation, low-income, and students of color.
- Study abroad
We have equitable study abroad policies. Off-campus study (domestic and international) programs cost the same for all students, so if you are from a low-income background, your study abroad options aren’t limited to low-cost programs. In addition, Swarthmore provides additional funding for plane tickets, meals, and local transportation abroad.
- Undocumented student support
If you are an undocumented college student, you will find support from a member of the dean's office staff, who provides resources that are specific to your situation.