Swarthmore Admits 929 Students to Class of 2012
Fifteen Percent Accepted from Record Pool of 6,118 Applications
by Stacey Kutish
The 6,118 applications represent a 17 percent increase over last year's total and a 50 percent increase over three years ago. James Bock, dean of admissions and financial aid, attributed the record number of applications to increased outreach by the Admissions Office, the College's generous financial aid policies, the relative ease of applying to college on-line leading to an increase in the average number of applications submitted per student, demographic changes leading to an increase in the number of college bound students, and the discontinuation of early admission programs at several other highly selective schools.
Bock also noted that in addition to the College's continued academic preeminence, national media coverage of Swarthmore students' social-action projects, including the Genocide Intervention Network and War News Radio has drawn the attention of applicants. "Many of our applicants continue to cite these and similar student efforts in their essays; they're telling us they want to attend a school that produces this kind of active leadership," Bock said. "With this increased visibility in the press has come growing recognition that Swarthmore is among the finest liberal arts colleges and one that consistently produces leaders who are having a positive impact on the world."
"Many more families are beginning to recognize Swarthmore's long-standing commitment to need-based financial aid," Bock said. "With our newly announced loan-free financial award policy for all students receiving need-based financial aid, we continue to explore ways to make a selective college education more affordable for all students."
Of the admitted students who come from high schools that report class rank, 30 percent are valedictorians or salutatorians. Fifty-one percent are in the top two percent of their high school class, and 89 percent are in the top decile.
The admitted students come from five continents, 35 nations, and 50 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. California and New York are the most highly represented home states of members of the newly admitted class. Following, in order, are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Texas, Florida, Connecticut, Ohio, Virginia and Washington.
South Korea, with seventeen students, is the most common country of residence among international students in the admitted class. Seven are from China. Five are from France. Three each are from Germany, Jamaica, Pakistan, Singapore and Turkey. Two each are from Canada, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, Palestine, Peru, Philippines and Zimbabwe. One each is from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Fifty-five percent of the admitted students come from public high schools, 28 percent from private independent schools, 9 percent from parochial schools, and 9 percent from schools overseas. Breaking the trend of recent years, more of the admitted students have declared engineering as their intended major than any other. Next, in order, are "undecided," biology, economics, political science, English, math and physics.
Fifty-three percent of all accepted students identify themselves as domestic students of color. Latino/a students make up 19 percent of the admitted class; Asian Americans 18 percent; and, African Americans, 15 percent. Four students self identify as Native American.