How to Apply for Financial Aid

Scott Amphitheater

To promote sustainability and security of information, the application process for a Swarthmore College need-based scholarship is paperless and electronic.  Documentation must be submitted electronically using the appropriate method described below.  The application for financial aid requires a completed CSS PROFILE, and financial information from both parents, regardless of parents marital status. 

If the student is a U.S. citizen (or an “eligible noncitizen”), in addition to the CSS/PROFILE, a FAFSA must be filed as well if the student wishes to apply for Federal funds, including the Federal Direct (for student) and PLUS (for parent) loans.

If the student or parent will be applying for Federal or State funds alone, the student will complete only the FAFSA.  The CSS/PROFILE form will not be required.

The financial aid application process is different for domestic and international students.

You are considered a domestic student if ONE of the following is true:

  • you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. dual citizen
  • your parents live and earn their income in the U.S.
  • you reside inside the U.S. and possess Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status or are undocumented and will graduate from a U.S. high school

You are considered an international student if ALL of the following are true:

  • you are a non-U.S. citizen
  • you are not a DACA student
  • your parents file a foreign tax return in lieu of a U.S. tax return

Family Circumstances

If your biological parents are not together; i.e. separated, divorced, never married, or if your parents have any interest or involvement in a partnership or corporation, please review the additional financial aid application instructions.


Prospective Financial Aid Application Deadlines
Completed Application Received By Decision Received By
QuestBridge National College Match: November 1 With Admission Decision

Fall Early Decision: Nov. 15

With Admission Decision

Winter Early Decision: Jan. 1*

With Admission Decision

Regular Decision: Jan. 1*

With Admission Decision

Transfer: April 1

With Admission Decision
Current Student Financial Aid Application Deadlines
Completed Application Received By

Decision Received By

November 1 Late May 2019
March 1 Late June 2019

*  If you submitted your application for admission and/or your application for financial aid (CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE) close to the January 1 deadline, there may be up to a week delay in processing your information.  During this time, you may be unable to view your financial aid checklist.  Please account for this delay before contacting the College.  For your convenience, a two (2) week grace period of your PROFILE submission and supporting documentation is automatically factored in to the January 1 deadline.