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Swarthmore College Opens Classes for 140th Year

Swarthmore Opens Classes for 140th Year

by Stacey Kutish

The Class of 2012 began classes at Swarthmore this week as the College opened the 2008-2009 academic year, its 140th year of instruction.

The school year begins at Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore's new first-year class comes from a record 6,121 applicants, of whom 16 percent were offered admission. James Bock '90, dean of admissions and financial aid, noted that "The College's reputation for academic excellence and generous financial aid awards continues to attract the very best students from around the country, and the world." He further went on to say that "Applicants tell us that they are inspired by the students involved in War News Radio, or that they hope to continue the anti-genocide work they began in high school by becoming involved in Swat Sudan, or that they learned of the Lang Opportunity Scholarships and are already imagining the projects they might organize in their communities. Swarthmore's goal of educating socially conscious leaders really resonates with our students."

The new class includes 185 women and 188 men for a total of 373 students. Of the admitted students who come from high schools that report class rank, 24 percent were valedictorians or salutatorians, 45 percent were in the top two percent of their high school class, and 87 percent were in the top decile.

Of the domestic students in the Class of 2012, ten percent identify themselves as African American/multiracial, twelve percent as Hispanic/Latina/o/multiracial, and 16 percent as Asian American/multiracial. Eight percent of the class is made up of international students. In addition, 13 percent are the first or first generation in their family to attend college.

Forty-two states are represented in the Class of 2012, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Members of the new class attended high school most frequently in New York, followed by Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Texas, Connecticut and Virginia.

In addition, this year's incoming class includes 28 international citizens representing Brunei, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Philippines, Romania and Turkey.

Fifty-five percent of the new students attended public high schools, 28 percent private independent schools, nine percent parochial schools, and eight percent schools overseas. The most popular anticipated majors among the new freshmen are engineering and English. Next are political science, economics, biology, mathematics, peace studies, physics, and history.