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Frequently Asked Questions for Admitted Students

Our Admissions Office is committed to working with admitted students and families, counselors, community-based organization advisors and prospective students during this uncertain time. We are always available to answer any questions you have. We have compiled some frequently asked questions below, and we will add to this list periodically as we receive additional questions. 

Grades, Transcripts, and AP/IB Exams  |  Financial Aid  |  Enrollment and Campus Visits  |  Academic Continuity

Grades, Transcripts, and AP/IB Exams

How will Swarthmore consider my transcript if all of my classes are graded as pass/fail?

If your high school has changed its grading policies this semester or for the foreseeable future, we will accept your transcript despite a change in grading policies. We will review your final transcript individually and contact you if we have any questions. 

What if I am unable to secure a final transcript?

Your high school may have reduced its schedule, cancelled classes, or will implement a pass/fail spring semester. We will honor each school’s approach. Your admissions decision will not be in jeopardy based on circumstances that are out of your control.

How will the newly announced shift to 45-minute, online AP exams affect my AP credits at Swarthmore

Swarthmore’s academic departments set their own policies about awarding credit, which may change based on the College Board’s recent announcement that the 2019-20 exams will be administered in an online, 45-minute test format. We will provide an update on our AP and IB Credit website as soon more information is available

I will not be able to take my final AP/IB exams. Will this affect my offer of admission?

No, we will not penalize you in any way if you cannot take AP and IB exams. These tests (and your scores) are not a requirement for admission to Swarthmore. In addition, we will honor the IB decision to cancel all testing and take the final transcripts as outlined in the March 23, 2020 IB press release.


Financial Aid

What should I do if I have questions about my financial aid request and need-based financial aid decision?

We encourage you to contact Swarthmore’s Financial Aid Office directly at if you have any questions about financial aid. Their caring and knowledgeable staff will work with you on an individual basis and make sure you get the information you need.


Enrollment and Campus Visits

I am unable to visit campus. How can I learn more about Swarthmore prior to May 1 when my deposit is due?

We wish you could visit Swarthmore’s breathtaking campus.  Since that’s not an option right now, we’re working to bring campus to you! Here are some resources that we think you'll find helpful: 

  • Visit our admitted students page for virtual resources for learning about Swarthmore and connecting with members of our community. Stay tuned for emails that will include important information about our academic programs, student life, campus resources, and additional options to get to know us better.
  • If you have suggestions about how we can help you learn more about Swarthmore, please let us know. We want to make sure you have all the available resources to make an informed college choice.

  • Contact your regional dean — they loved reading your admission application and are ready to answer your questions.

If you have suggestions about how we can help you learn more about Swarthmore, please let us know. We want to make sure you have all the available resources to make an informed college choice.

I have read that some other colleges have shifted their enrollment reply date to June 1. Will Swarthmore do the same?

While Swarthmore’s reply date remains May 1 at this time, we understand that many families have extenuating circumstances that could prevent them from making a final college choice by that date. We will be as flexible as possible with our deadlines, so please email us if you are concerned about confirming your enrollment by May 1.


Academic Continuity

What is the College's plan for this fall and next spring?

To ensure academic continuity, a group of faculty and staff members are actively exploring a range of options for the 2020–21 academic calendar. We anticipate being able to share plans for the next academic year with students and their families, faculty, and staff in mid-to-late June. Please see this community message from Swarthmore's provost for more information.

How are we supporting our current students during the COVID-19 crisis? 

Our highest priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. Some of the steps we have taken as an institution include helping students pay for food, utilities, transportation, laptops, home internet access, and other expenses. You can find the latest updates on Swarthmore College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting our Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information website.