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Scholarships & Grants

Spring flowering tree

The Swarthmore College Scholarship

Swarthmore College awarded just under $44 million in scholarship funds for the current academic year. Most of these funds were granted to our students as Swarthmore Scholarships. The Swarthmore Scholarship is a gift from the College that does not need to be repaid. These scholarships may be supported with the College’s endowed, restricted, or general funds. Many of these funds were provided by generous alumni and friends of the College. Recipients of the Swarthmore Scholarship see the award appear as a credit on their College bill each semester.

Other Scholarships & Grants

Philip Evans Scholars Program

Philip Evans Scholars merit awards were established in 1986 by Jerome Kohlberg '46, in memory of his longtime friend and classmate, Dr. Philip Evans. The Evans Scholar selection committee seeks extraordinary students who have met Swarthmore’s rigorous admission standards and whose achievements demonstrate integrity, intelligence, the potential to take advantage of the scholarship’s offerings, and a commitment to give back to the community as involved citizens. Finalists are selected from admitted students who have committed to attend Swarthmore and are invited for on-campus interviews in June. All admitted students are considered—no special application or additional information is required.

In addition to meeting a student’s demonstrated financial aid need, each Philip Evans Scholar receives a one-time computer purchase allowance of up to $1,500 and an annual opportunity grant to create a personalized series of learning experiences outside the classroom. These opportunities may include international travel, professional internships, independent research, and community service. Philip Evans Scholars also receive extensive mentoring and participate in group programs and trips.

National and Regional McCabe Scholarships

These merit awards provide a minimum annual grant of full tuition. The award may be increased up to the full cost of tuition, fees, room, and board, depending on financial need. The selection committee places emphasis on ability, character, personality, leadership, and service to school and community.

Lang Opportunity Scholarships (LOS)

The Eugene Lang Opportunity Scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated a personal concern for community service, action, and helping others. Lang Scholars receive up to $10,000 each to develop a social service project to be completed by graduation. Students may apply for the LOS after completing their third semester at Swarthmore.

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grant eligibility is determined using a federal U.S. Department of Education system that begins with your submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Initial Pell award figures listed in a financial aid award package are estimates, and no payment of that grant is possible until we review the results of your federal FAFSA application.

In order to qualify for the Pell, you must complete the FAFSA and submit your FAFSA application online to the federal processor. The FAFSA not only serves as the Pell Grant application, but also informs the Financial Aid Office about your eligibility for other federal aid.

Once you receive the results of your FAFSA application, you should review your federal Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy and correct it, if necessary, according to the instructions. Please send your corrections back to the federal processor, not to Swarthmore College.

If our estimate of your Pell Grant eligibility is not accurate, we will adjust our Swarthmore Scholarship appropriately. Once your federal SAR has been verified and the award amount is confirmed, one-half of the Pell Grant will appear as a credit on your College bill each semester. The College cannot fill any gap in financial aid created as a result of students who do not submit the FAFSA on time.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are offered to eligible students from our limited federal allocation.

State Grants

State scholarships offered to needy students from Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia, can be used at Swarthmore. (Other states’ scholarships may not be used out of state.)

Initial amounts of state scholarships listed on your award letter is an estimate of your eligibility for state support. Your state determines your actual eligibility. If our estimate of your state scholarship is not accurate, we will adjust our Swarthmore Scholarship offer appropriately.

If we have provided an estimated state scholarship and you have not yet applied for consideration, you should do so immediately at the Federal Student Aid website. In most states, the FAFSA serves as a state scholarship application. The College cannot fill the gap in financial aid created as a result of students who do not apply on time for state scholarship help. One-half of your state scholarship will appear as a credit on your College bill each semester, but only after the College receives the funds from your state.

Outside Scholarships & Grants

If you receive an outside scholarships, those funds are applied to your financial aid award by replacing (dollar for dollar) what we expect you to contribute from your summer earnings ($2,000 for your first year and $2,500 each subsequent year). If your outside scholarship funds exceed the expected contribution from your summer earnings, the remainder will be applied to your financial aid award by replacing (dollar for dollar) the expected amount you would earn from working a part-time, campus-based job. Please note that if your outside scholarship eliminates all of your work aid, reducing the total to $0, you may still choose to work on campus. If your outside scholarship funds exceed the combined total of your expected summer earnings contribution and your work aid expectation, then the amount of Swarthmore Scholarship funds will be reduced accordingly. Outside scholarships does not replace the parent contribution, which is determined from the income and asset information reported on your financial aid application.

The Financial Aid Office sends a survey in the spring to all first-year students, asking for a list of all outside scholarships that they expect to receive in the upcoming year.  This information is used to update financial aid awards as described above; in addition, the Student Accounts Office is notified that these funds are expected.

Please see full description and examples in our Financial Aid Handbook [PDF].