Swarthmore College Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know
Overview of Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts institution located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. The institution has a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to choose from. The institution can boast of an impressive 8-to-1 student/faculty ratio and a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via the university’s many clubs and organizations. In athletics, the Swarthmore Garnet play in the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference. The institution sponsors nine men’s and eleven women’s varsity sports.
- Total Enrollment: 1,559 (all undergraduates)
- Gender Breakdown: 49 percent male/51 percent female
- 100 percent full-time
Cost of Attendance Information
- Tuition and Fees: $54,656
- Books: $1,400
- Room and Board: $16,088
- Other Expenses: $1,788
- Total Cost: $73,932
Financial Aid Information
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 62 percent
- Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
- Grants: 56 percent
- Loans: 13 percent
- Average Amount of Aid
- Grants: $46,289
- Loans: $5,857
Academic Programs Offered
- Most Popular Majors: Social Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Engineering; and Mathematics and Statistics
Retention and Graduation
- First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 97 percent
- 4-Year Graduation Rate: 87 percent
- 6-Year Graduation Rate: 94 percent
NCAA Athletic Programs
- Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field
- Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Badminton
Overview of Swarthmore College Admissions
With an acceptance rate of just over 9%, Swarthmore College is one of the country’s most selective colleges. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. This institution has a robust admissions process that involves a multitude of academic measures. Applicants must complete an online application. A persuasive essay and glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Students with unique talents and accomplishments can still receive strong consideration even if their GPAs are outside of the admissions offices mean range. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices. Students should make a campus visit to determine if the institution is a good fit for them.
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, Swarthmore College had an acceptance rate of 9%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 9 students gained admission, making Swarthmore’s admissions process highly competitive.
SAT Requirements and Scores
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 62% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Swarthmore’s students score within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. 50% of students admitted to Swarthmore scored between 680 and 760 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 680 and 25% scored over 760. 50% of students scored between 700 and 790. On the math part, while 25% scored under 700, and 25% scored over 790. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1550 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Swarthmore.
ACT Requirements and Scores
During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 43% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Swarthmore’s students score within the top 5% nationally on the ACT. The median 50% of students admitted to Swarthmore received a cumulative ACT score between 31 and 34, while 25% scored over 34, and 25% scored under 31.
Swarthmore College does not provide data about students’ high school GPAs.
Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission
If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Swarthmore College, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Swarthmore College is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.
Boston College, Boston University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Villanova University, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Washington
Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission
If you’re a competitive candidate for Swarthmore College, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.
Brown University, Cornell University, University of Notre Dame, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgetown University
Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge
These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Swarthmore College. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, then you’ll be a competitive candidate for these schools.
Harvey Mudd College, University of Chicago, Harvard College, Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University
Applying to Swarthmore College
Application Deadline: January 1
Undergraduate Admissions Website:
Undergraduate Application Link(s):