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International Students

Students in adirondack chairs on Parrish Beach

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

  • You are a non-U.S. citizen
  • You are not an undocumented student
  • Your parents file a foreign tax return in lieu of a U.S. tax return; unless they are employed on a visa in the United States
  • You will be applying for an F-1 student visa in order to study at Swarthmore College (may not be applicable to Canadian citizen students)

Review common financial aid topics for international students


Required materials

Emailed documents will not be accepted.  All documents for application must be uploaded to the correct portal - please read carefully below.  Any application information that is emailed to the College will be deleted and will not update your financial aid checklist for your financial aid application.

Swarthmore College’s Financial Aid Office requires you to submit electronic copies of the documentation that you will use to complete the CSS Profile via an upload process to a College-owned online portal. Prospective students submit all documents for financial aid applications online in the Financial Aid Checklist within the Swarthmore Admissions portal’s applicant status page. Do not upload documents via IDOC as the College will not receive them.

Current international students use MySwarthmore and access their Financial Aid Checklist via this path:  MySwarthmore - Student Information - Financial Aid Information.  Look for the tab above the checklist to upload documents. 

  • CSS Profile *
    • Swarthmore's College Board code: 2821
  • Income documentation from countries that have an income reporting system.  Income must be reported and uploaded using the correct calendar year.   Please see our webpage on Common Financial Aid Topics for International Students for additional information on the correct income documentation to reference and submit.
  • If official income documentation from your parents' countries in which they earn is not available, a letter from each parent’s employer with certified parent income documentation on employer letterhead. The income information must match the income information provided on the CSS Profile and must be authentic.  Your parents may also submit this information in addition to their country's official income reporting documentation.
  • A completed and signed International Student Financial Aid Application (ISFAA) [PDF]; this need only be completed by prospective applicants prior to admission. 

* If the cost of the CSS Profile is prohibitive, please see the section below and/or visit the "Cost of the CSS Profile" section of this webpage.

Note:  If your required documents do not appear to align with the information that you are able to procure, upload your documentation in lieu of the required documentation along with a brief, signed note of explanation for the Financial Aid Office.  Ultimately, the Financial Aid Office must have official, attested documentation to corroborate  the information that your family reported on the CSS Profile.  Your family must determine for itself the clearest and most accurate way to accomplish that.  Also note that when uploading documents to your portal, please use only standard alphanumeric symbols in the file name.  If you are unable to upload information, you may want to try to change the file name to more standard alphanumeric symbols.

Financial aid documentation 

The Financial Aid Office requires non-U.S. citizens to use attested, third-party income and asset documentation to complete the CSS Profile, which is the annual application for consideration of need-based financial aid from Swarthmore College. Official income documentation varies from country to country.  Use the income documentation that pertains to your home country to complete your CSS Profile.  If your home country has an annual reporting of income to a national agency, similar to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, you very likely have these documents in your possession already.

Swarthmore College’s Financial Aid Office uses the forms you upload to verify the information that you/your parents reported on your CSS Profile. If your parents own a business, or they do not have official income documentation, they will need to request third-party income documentation from their employer(s) and/or present a signed letter on company letterhead that has been attested and that includes the name, signature, and company server email address of the person verifying your income. The documentation must be legitimate and may not be easily reproduced. The onus of providing genuine verifiable documentation rests with your family.

Please note that when uploading documents to your portal, please use only standard alphanumeric symbols in the file name.  If you are unable to upload information, you may want to try to change the file name to more standard alphanumeric symbols.



Financial Aid Application Deadlines for Prospective Students
SUBMIT CompleteD Application By RECEIVE Decision By
QuestBridge National College Match: Nov. 1 With Admission Decision

Fall Early Decision: Nov. 15

With Admission Decision

Winter Early Decision: Jan. 4*

With Admission Decision

Regular Decision: Jan. 4*

With Admission Decision

​* If you submit your application for admission and/or your application for financial aid (CSS Profile) close to the Jan. 4 deadline, there may be up to a week’s 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-week grace period of your CSS Profile submission and supporting documentation is automatically factored into the Jan. 4 deadline. 

Financial Aid Application Deadlines for Current Students
Submit CompleteD Application By

Receive Decision By

December 1 Late May 2022
March 1 Late June 2022

Please be sure that your application submission is entirely complete.  It is recommended that both before and after you submit your application that you review your submission to be sure that all relevant income information has been provided. Any information that you provide on the CSS Profile should derive from actual and legitimate documentation.  Lastly, you should keep a readily accessible copy of your entire aid application submission for your reference.

CSS Profile Fee Waiver Requests

It is to an applicant's advantage to submit all required applications and materials by the deadline.  If the fee for the CSS Profile is prohibitive for prospective first time, first year international applicants, those applicants should complete their CSS Profile and save their work.  They should also submit their ISFAA (International Student Financial Aid Application) by the deadline. If their admission application reaches a certain point in the process, and the CSS Profile has not been submitted, the financial aid committee will notify those applicants of their missing CSS Profile.  If necessary, it would be appropriate for a prospective international applicant to request a fee waiver of the financial aid committee at that point. 

Please note:  Fee waives for the CSS Profile are granted only one time by the financial aid committee and only for first time, first year prospective international applicants.  Fee waivers for domestic applicants are granted automatically through the CollegeBoard's CSS Profile process.

The decision to apply for financial aid

To reiterate the guidance provided on the Admissions Office site, if you feel you could potentially need financial aid at any point during the course of your enrollment, you should indicate your intent to apply for financial aid on your admission application and complete your financial aid application process with the Financial Aid Office prior to becoming admitted to Swarthmore.  If you are admitted to the College without indicating your wish to be considered for financial aid you will be ineligible to be considered for financial aid at any further point in your enrollment at the College.  This means that you would not be able to request consideration for financial aid at any other point during your enrollment regardless of a change in your family's circumstances within or beyond your family's control.  You are encouraged, prior to receiving your admission decision, to consider what not applying for financial aid may mean for you.