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Swarthmore Acceptance Rate & Admission Requirements

It is essential for you to have a solid understanding of the Swarthmore College acceptance rate if you are currently enrolled in high school and thinking about applying to Swarthmore College in the future. Swarthmore’s acceptance rate places it on par with some of the most selective universities in the United States, such as those in the Ivy League and the Ivy plus universities.

If you want to increase your chances of getting into a top school, one of the very best things you can do is prepare yourself as well as you possibly can. This requires not only giving your best effort throughout your time in high school but also ensuring that you are well informed about the application process for the colleges and universities of your choice and that you have done everything possible to prepare yourself for it.

Overview of Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is a private institution that was founded in 1864. It is located in a suburban environment and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,651 students (for the autumn of 2021), and its campus spans 425 acres. It follows an academic calendar that is divided into semesters. In the edition of Best Colleges that covers the years 2022-2023, Swarthmore College is positioned in the fourth spot among National Liberal Arts Colleges.

The total amount for tuition and fees is $59,328. Swarthmore College is situated 11 miles to the southwest of Philadelphia, which places it at a sufficient distance for it to have a campus that spans 425 acres and is certified as an arboretum.

Students at Swarthmore College receive an education that is balanced and comprehensive as a result of the college’s curriculum, which covers a wide variety of topics. This college may be found in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, which is primarily considered to be a suburban region. The student body at Swarthmore College numbers around 1,700 individuals.

The majority of students who were granted admission to this institution had SAT composite scores ranging from 31 to 35 on the ACT or obtained SAT scores in the range of 1380 to 1540 on the SAT. We were able to estimate the average GPA of admitted students at Swarthmore College to be between 3.82 and 4, and we did this by applying sampling GPA data to over 150 different schools. Because there are so many people interested in attending this school, admission is granted to only 9% of those who submit an application. The website of the admissions office, which can be accessed at provides additional details.

Students Diversity in Swarthmore College

The number of high school students who have applied to Swarthmore College in recent years has hovered around 10,000. Out of that group, fewer than 1,000 people are ultimately admitted, and even fewer make it to the destination. Swarthmore takes great satisfaction in being a small institution that is able to provide each of its students with a close-knit community.

Because of this, it is vitally necessary for students at Swarthmore to ensure that they are able to function normally within the community that exists on the university’s campus.

The degree of diversity that exists within a given community is a significant factor in this regard. Swarthmore College ranks among the top credible colleges in the US.

In fact, Swarthmore College earns a diversity score of 99 out of a possible 100 points. The following is a breakdown of the undergraduate students at Swarthmore:

  • 40.3% of students at Swarthmore College are white
  • 16.6% of students at Swarthmore College are Asian
  • 12.9% of students at Swarthmore College are Non-Resident Alien
  • 12.2% of students at Swarthmore College are Hispanic or Latino
  • 7.4% of students at Swarthmore College are African American

Read: Best University for Psychology in UK [2022 Global Ranking]

The rich and varied community that may be found at Swarthmore is made abundantly obvious by this condensed summary of its characteristics. On campus, you are guaranteed to not only find lots of people who are culturally and ethnically similar to you, but also lots of people who are extremely different from you. This is true no matter what background you come from in terms of culture and ethnicity.

This will only assist you in becoming a more rounded person who is better equipped for the real world that will be waiting for you after you graduate from school.

At Swarthmore, the number of female students just barely exceeds the number of male students. At Swarthmore, there are approximately 50.4% more female students than male students (49.6%).

Swarthmore College Acceptance Rate Information

With over 11,400 college applications sent to Swarthmore College, the total acceptance rate for Swarthmore College is 8.9% in Fall 2020. These data include applications from within the state as well as those from outside the state. At this time, we do not have any data on the admission rates of transfer students.

Accepted Applicants Profile

  • ACT Scores: 31 – 35
  • Average GPA: 3.82 – 4

The acceptance rate for Swarthmore College is more than 100% lower than the national average of all colleges which is around 56.7%.

Swarthmore College Acceptance Rate Compare to Others

Nearby Similar College Acceptance Rates

SchoolAcceptance Rate
Neumann University62.3%
Haverford College16.3%
University of the Sciences71.0%
Bryn Mawr College33.1%
Rosemont College92.1%

The acceptance rates from past years are displayed on the historical trend chart. Using this data, we were able to make projections on the acceptance rate for the school year 2022-2023. Over the course of the past few years, the overall admission rate trend for Swarthmore College has been trending in the direction of a negative trend.

Acceptance Rate By Year

  • 2016-2017: 12.8%
  • 2017-2018: 10.7%
  • 2018-2019: 9.5%
  • 2019-2020: 8.9%
  • Projected Acceptance Rate 2022-2023: 9.2%

General Recommendations & Requirements for Admissions

  • School Records are Required
  • Submit Recommendation Letters are Required
  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT, ACT,…) are Required
  • TOEFL Exam (Foreign Language Students) is Recommended

Number of Applicants, Percent Accepted, and Enrolled Students (Fall 2020)


Most popular majors at Swarthmore

If you are a high school student who is interested in attending college, you should do some research to ensure that the kinds of majors and programs in which you might possibly be interested in majoring are not only offered at the school of your choice but that the school also places a high level of importance on those majors and programs.

The ratio of students to teachers at Swarthmore College is 8 to 1, and 66.5% of the institution’s classes had fewer than 20 students in attendance.

The following are some of Swarthmore College’s most popular majors:

  • Social Sciences
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Foreign Languages
  • Literatures
  • Linguistics
  • Psychology
  • Visual and Performing Arts

The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94%.

Swarthmore College Admissions

The application deadline for Fall 2022 admissions is January 3, and the application price is $60. If you are contemplating applying to Swarthmore College, the application date is January 3, and the application fee is $60.

Application fees might add up quickly, however, certain schools do offer free applications, and students who are having financial difficulties may be able to get a fee waiver for their application if they apply to those schools.

Students who apply to Swarthmore College for the Fall semester should get a response by April 1st.

Swarthmore College Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here’s an overview of some of Swarthmore College’s admissions stats.

Swarthmore College 2021Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in the top 10% of Graduating Class93%
Mean SAT Score1455
Admissions Test PolicyOptional
Applicants Who Submit SATs68%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs40%

Application requirements for Swarthmore

When you start the process of filling out your college applications, it is important to make sure that you are keeping track of all of the individual application criteria for each school that you are considering attending.

Make sure that you have all of the necessary materials on hand so that you can start and finish your application without any problems. The following is a checklist that prospective students at Swarthmore College might refer to in order to determine whether or not they meet the requirements to submit an application to the institution.

  1. Common Application or Coalition Application or QuestBridge Application
  2. Swarthmore College Short Answer
    • You will be required to provide an answer to a short answer question that is no more than 250 words as part of either the Common Application or the Coalition Application (QuestBridge applicants are asked the same question on our QuestBridge Conversion Form). For the admissions cycle of the academic year 2020-2021, students will be asked to pick one of the following three questions to answer:
      • Swarthmore students’ worldviews are often forged by their prior experiences and exposure to ideas and values. Our students are often mentored, supported, and developed by their immediate context—in their neighbourhoods, communities of faith, families, and classrooms. Reflect on what elements of your home, school, or community have shaped you or positively impacted you. How have you grown or changed because of the influence of your community?
      • We are inspired by students who are flexible in their approach to learning, who are comfortable with experimentation, and who are willing to take intellectual risks that move them out of their comfort zone. Reflect on a time that you were intellectually challenged, inspired, or took an intellectual risk—inside or outside of the classroom. How has that experience shaped you, and what questions still linger?
      • Why are you interested in applying to and attending Swarthmore?
  3. $60 application fee or fee waiver*
  4. School report
  5. School counselor recommendation
  6. High school transcript
  7. Midyear grades: If your school does not have midyear grades, please provide a midyear progress report from your teachers.
  8. Two academic-subject teacher recommendations/evaluations

Application deadline

It is equally as crucial to ensure that you are aware of the deadlines as it is to have a thorough understanding of precisely what it is that you are required to submit to each individual college.

There are three distinct pathways that individuals might take in order to apply to start their studies at Swarthmore as first-year students.

  • The deadline for Fall Early Decision students is Nov. 15
  • The deadline for Winter Early Decision students is Jan. 1
  • The deadline for Regular Decision students is Jan. 1

It does not matter how you plan to apply to Swarthmore or any other school; what matters is that you submit your application on time. This applies to all of the schools in which you are interested in enrolling.

Applying Early to Swarthmore College?

Early decisions are available to students at Swarthmore College, but early action is not. The early decision process is binding, which means that if you are admitted, you are required to go, but the early action process allows you to apply early without committing to attending. The submission deadline for Early Decision 2 applications is March 1.

At Swarthmore College, the acceptance rate for students who apply during the early decision period is 24%, compared to the overall acceptance rate of approximately 9%. The early decision application pool for Swarthmore College in 2021 consisted of 994 individuals, of which 237 were offered admission.

Some high school students submit their college applications early because they believe doing so will improve their chances of being accepted. Applying before the early deadline demonstrates that you have a strong interest in the institution, and it ensures that your application is reviewed before any of the applicants of the normal decision submit their materials. This may boost your likelihood of being accepted.

View a list of several highly selective universities that admit a significantly larger number of applications during an early decision or early action period as compared to their usual admission periods.

Swarthmore College GPA Requirements

The grade point average (GPA) you earned in high school is a figure that represents how well you did academically while you were enrolled in high school. Colleges may take either a weighted or unweighted grade point average into consideration when making admissions decisions.

An unweighted grade point average is calculated by taking the average of all of your results on a scale from one to four for each class. 4.0. Unweighted grade point averages might range anywhere from 4.0 to below 1.0. When calculating your weighted GPA, your average grade as well as the level of difficulty of your classes are taken into consideration. A weighted grade point average (GPA) raises your overall score by giving you more credit for courses that are designated as honours or advanced placement.

36 per cent of all students who were accepted into the program provided a class rank. At Swarthmore College, 93% of students graduated from a high school rated in the top 10% of their class, 100% of students graduated in the top 25% of their class, and 100% of students graduated in the top 50% of their class.

At Swarthmore College, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA36%

Standardized test scores are taken into consideration during the admissions process at Swarthmore College.

The College does not require its students to take standardized tests. Schools that are test optional provide students with the option of whether or not they want to include their ACT or SAT scores with their application materials.

68% of first-year students at Swarthmore College in 2021 included a copy of their SAT results with their application materials. 40% of accepted applicants sent in their ACT scores.

Swarthmore College SAT Score Requirements

You should aim to get a score on the SAT that is between 1400 and 1530, or higher, in order to be competitive with other students who are applying to Swarthmore College. The majority of students at Swarthmore College scored somewhere in the middle of these two scores, with the exception of a small percentage of students who scored higher than 1530 and a small percentage of students who scored lower than 1400. A student at Swarthmore College typically receives a composite score of 1455 on the SAT.

25% of Swarthmore College students received a score of 790 or higher or higher on the SAT math section, while 75% of students received a score of 690 or higher or higher. 25% of students at Swarthmore College received a score of 750 or higher on the Critical Reading section of the SAT (this section was originally known as the Verbal component), and 75% had a score of 690 or higher.

Average SAT Scores of Applicants to Swarthmore College (Fall 2020)

SAT SectionScore Range
Critical Reading680 – 750
Math700 – 790
Total Score1380 – 1540

Swarthmore College ACT Score Requirements

If you want to have the best chance of getting into Swarthmore College, you should aim to get an ACT score that falls between 31 and 34.

If you take the ACT and get a score of 34, this places you in the 75th percentile of students who get admitted to Swarthmore College. On the ACT, three out of every four students scored lower than 34, while one out of every four students earned a score of 34 or higher.

For students applying to Swarthmore College, the 25th percentile on the ACT is a score of 31. Only one in every four students received a score lower than 31.

Average SAT Scores of Applicants to Swarthmore College (Fall 2020)

ACTScore Range
English33 – 35
Math29 – 34
Composite Score31 – 35

FAQ: What Does Swarthmore College Look For in an Applicant?

When determining who will be allowed to enroll in the following year’s freshman class, colleges look at a variety of criteria. In the process of applying to colleges, each educational institution uses a unique methodology to decide which aspects of an applicant’s application are given the greatest consideration. When compiling a list of institutions to which you will submit applications, it is important to take into account both the positive aspects of your application and any potential areas for improvement. Prioritize your applications so that they place the greatest weight on those aspects in which you excel.

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Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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