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Financial Aid

Department Overview

Our Mission

Swarthmore’s commitment to financial aid and access is at the core of our educational mission. We understand that students are admitted from a variety of economic backgrounds. Fifty-six percent of our student body received need-based Swarthmore Scholarship aid in 2018–19 from an overall financial aid budget of more than $43 million.

Three Distinctive Commitments

  1. Swarthmore practices “need-blind” admissions: The decisions about your admission to Swarthmore and your financial aid eligibility are made independently if you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or undocumented/DACA student graduating from a U.S. high school.
  2. Swarthmore meets full need: Although we believe that the primary responsibility to pay for college lies with students and their families, we fill in the gap when family resources do not meet our costs. The College strives to make it possible for all admitted students to attend Swarthmore, regardless of their ability to pay, and meets 100 percent of determined need for all admitted students. 
  3. Swarthmore’s aid is loan-free: Our financial aid awards consist of grants (which do not need to be repaid) and include the expectation that students will work in a part-time campus-based job. Although Swarthmore financial aid awards are loan-free, your family might choose to borrow a loan to pay a portion of the educational expenses.

Our Process

We understand that the financial aid process can feel challenging at times. You might have questions about what information is required, how it works, and how your family’s unique situation might impact the outcome of an application for financial aid. Our staff is here to help.

Holistic Application Review

Our application process is thorough and requires submission of family information as well as income documentation, so that we can base the financial aid decision on a holistic picture of your family’s economic situation. Once you submit your financial aid application, our Financial Aid Committee carefully considers all of your family’s detailed information, which we use to determine your family’s ability to contribute to the costs of a Swarthmore education. We encourage you to contact our staff if you would like to discuss your individual application, or if you have general questions about how our financial aid application process works. 

Swarthmore meets 100% of determined need for all admitted students.

100%determined financial need met

Swarthmore meets 100% of determined need for all admitted students.

56 percent of Swarthmore’s student body received financial aid in 2018–19.

56%students received financial aid

56 percent of Swarthmore’s student body received financial aid in 2018–19.