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Swarthmore College

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Swarthmore College Overview

Swarthmore College is a private not-for-profit institution located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Swarthmore is a good match for students who enjoy the safety and convenience of the suburbs.

What Is Swarthmore College Known For?

545 Undergraduate Awards
$46,621 Avg Cost After Aid
11% Acceptance Rate
  • Students at Swarthmore may have an easier time interacting with their teachers since the student to faculty ratio at the school is 8 to 1.
  • Students at Swarthmore have an easier time paying back their loans. The school's student loan default rate is only 1%, compared to the national rate of 10.1%.
  • The bachelor's degree is the highest award offered at Swarthmore.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, 89% of the faculty were full-time.
  • A student who earns a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore makes roughly $56,700 a year. This is 39% more than their peers from other colleges and universities.
  • On average, it takes about 4.1 years for students from Swarthmore to earn a bachelor's degree. This is excellent when compared to the average of 4.4 years.

Best Schools

Swarthmore College Rankings

Swarthmore landed the #42 spot in our 2021 ranking of best colleges. We analyzed 2,320 colleges and universities across the nation to determine this ranking. This lands it a coveted spot in the top 5% of all colleges and universities in the country.

These rankings may look different from those published by other outlets, because we use an outcomes-based approach rather than a subjective one. We get our data from a number of places, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard. For more information, check out our rankings and methodology page.

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at Swarthmore.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#2 Best Sociology & Anthropology Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Other Social Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#12 Best Neurobiology & Neurosciences Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#16 Best Computer Information Systems Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#19 Best Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#19 Best Biological & Biomedical Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#23 Best General Biology Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#24 Best Economics Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#52 Best Political Science & Government Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#131 Most Popular Mathematics & Statistics Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards Swarthmore has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#18 Highest Paid Social Sciences Graduates College Factual
#22 Best Colleges for Economics College Factual
#23 Best Colleges for General Biology College Factual
#26 Best Colleges for Computer Information Systems College Factual
#53 Best Colleges for Biological & Biomedical Sciences College Factual
#70 Best Colleges for Social Sciences College Factual

Where Is Swarthmore College?

Location of Swarthmore College

Contact details for Swarthmore are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081
Phone: 610-328-8000

How Do I Get Into Swarthmore?

You can apply to Swarthmore online at:

Admission Requirements for Swarthmore

Submission Required?
High School GPA considered but not required
High School Rank considered but not required
High School Transcript required
College Prep Program recommended
Recommendations required
SAT or ACT Scores required
TOEFL recommended

How Hard Is It To Get Into Swarthmore?

11% Acceptance Rate
51% Of Accepted Are Women
58% Submit SAT Scores
The acceptance rate at Swarthmore is 11%, which means the school is highly selective when deciding who will be admitted and who won't. Even if you have great grades and test scores, that may not be enough. So be sure to look for ways to make your application memorable.

Approximately 49% of accepted students are men and 51% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 13%, and the acceptance rate for women is 9%.

Average Test Scores

About 58% of students accepted to Swarthmore submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 690 and 760. Math scores were between 690 and 780.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Swarthmore College  ( 690 to 760 )

SAT Math Scores for Swarthmore College  ( 690 to 780 )
Swarthmore received ACT scores from 60% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT English scores ranged between 31 and 35. Math scores were between 29 and 34. Composite scores were between 31 and 34.

ACT English Scores for Swarthmore College  ( 31 to 35 )
ACT Math Scores for Swarthmore College  ( 29 to 34 )
ACT Composite Scores for Swarthmore College  ( 31 to 34 )

Can I Afford Swarthmore College?

$46,621 Net Price
13% Take Out Loans
1.3% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of Swarthmore is $46,621. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At Swarthmore, approximately 13% of students took out student loans averaging $5,832 a year. That adds up to $23,328 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at Swarthmore is 1.3%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Swarthmore College Undergraduate Student Diversity

1,591 Full-Time Undergraduates
51% Women
44% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 1,594 undergraduate students at Swarthmore, with 1,591 being full-time and 3 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  Swarthmore

Gender Diversity

Of the 1,591 full-time undergraduates at Swarthmore, 49% are male and 51% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  Swarthmore

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of Swarthmore College students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Swarthmore Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 249
Black or African American 122
Hispanic or Latino 204
White 594
International Students 231
Other Races/Ethnicities 191

Geographic Diversity

Pennsylvania students aren't the only ones who study at Swarthmore College. At this time, 41 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 57 countries are represented at Swarthmore. The most popular countries sending students to the school are China, India, and South Korea.

Swarthmore College Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Bachelor’s TOTAL
Economics 82 82
Mathematics 54 54
Computer Information Systems 49 49
General Biology 47 47
Political Science & Government 42 42
Child Development & Psychology 33 33
General Engineering 31 31
Fine & Studio Arts 19 19
General English Literature 18 18
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 17 17
Sociology & Anthropology 16 16
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 15 15
Philosophy 14 14
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 12 12
Natural Resources Conservation 12 12
History 11 11
Chemistry 11 11
Romance Languages 10 10
Other Education 9 9
Classical & Ancient Studies 6 6
Ethnic Studies 4 4
Physics 4 4
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 4 4
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 3 3
East Asian Languages 3 3
Religious Studies 3 3
Astronomy & Astrophysics 3 3
Other Social Sciences 3 3
Cognitive Science 2 2
General Education 1 1
Area Studies 1 1
Classical Languages & Literature 1 1
Medieval Studies 1 1
Dance 1 1
Drama & Theater Arts 1 1
Music 1 1
Other Visual Art 1 1
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics 0 0
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 0 0
Multilingual Education 0 0
Literature 0 0
English Literature (Other) 0 0
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 0 0
Liberal Arts General Studies 0 0
Applied Mathematics 0 0
Biological & Physical Science 0 0
Cultural Studies & Analysis 0 0
Mathematics & Computer Science 0 0
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 0 0
Other Philosophy & Religious Studies 0 0
Geological & Earth Sciences 0 0
Other Physical Science 0 0
General Psychology 0 0
Other Psychology 0 0
Archeology 0 0
International Relations & National Security 0 0
Sociology 0 0
Other Public Administration 0 0
Public Policy 0 0
Design & Applied Arts 0 0
TOTAL 545 545


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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