Location
Swarthmore, PA
Undergrads
1,537
Tuition
$43,080
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 436 total reviews with an average rating of 3.4

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4 College Freshman

Greek Life: There is palpable tension between greeks and non-greeks. Swarthmore claims to be a non judgmental community but there are a lot of generalizations regarding fraternity members.

1 College Freshman

Campus Dining: sub-par to say the least.

5 College Freshman

Computers: Great wireless and there are desktops in almost every dorm.

1 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: If you do not have a car, the campus can feel very isolating and claustrophobic. The town of Swarthmore lacks and the Baltimore Pike is a hefty walk.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: The train is a pretty integral part of the campus and makes for easy traveling for breaks.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Cant really get more diverse.

2 College Freshman

Facilities: The library and athletic center are outdated, the new Matchbox building should be a great addition to the athletic facilities though.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Its quirky and liberal if thats your thing. Not mine, the progressiveness can be too much at times.

5 College Freshman

Weather: Cold winter, hot summer, temperate fall and spring, typical mid-atlantic weather.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Probably one of the better parts of school life, the dorms, especially DK and AP, are great. The housing lottery is a pain though.

1 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: The food selections are limited and the meals are repetitive. Look forward to pasta bar every Wednesday and Saturday night for four years. With one of the country's biggest per capita endowments the food is unacceptable.

1 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I feel like Campus Safety is almost an enemy of the student body. They dont work for us but against us. Unwarranted drug busts and absurd party guidelines are evidence of their over-compensation for failed efforts in the past. I.e miss management of sexual harassment

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Its whatever, only a few students live off campus and I'd say they are fairly isolated. Mary Lyons is a whole other story.

5 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The Campus Police are always courteous and are definitely not "out to get you." They're there to make sure everyone is safe.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: You are worked hard, but I guess it's all worth it. Professors, curriculum and workload all vary with department. Science majors should expect to do only school work, while social science and humanities majors seem to have a little more flexibility.

7 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Academics: The anthropology/sociology department is pretty small and kind of underfunded, but at least you are able to take classes at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and UPenn easily.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Sophomores are in the worst place when it comes to the lottery. Everyone else usually gets something they want.

3 College Junior

Facilities: Some are better than others, only one dining hall, dorms are generally older (except the two new ones built about 5 years ago), academic buildings vary by department

College Sophomore

Majors: I haven't declared my major yet because I'm unsure of what I'll choose. I came into Swarthmore thinking I would major in English Literature but, to be frank, I haven't yet been blown away by the department. It's hard to know if this is because of the two English classes I've taken so far or because of the department itself. The professors I had for these two classes were good, but either the subject or the context of the class was wrong for me. Regardless, I've taken other classes and also talked to a lot of students who have been forthcoming in their opinions about their major's departments and, as a result, my interest has been piqued in other areas that I hadn't considered coming into college. People within the institution are very willing to talk to students and offer support, and this is really helpful when it comes to deciding on a major.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: There is a definite drug presence at Swarthmore, but it's mostly just marijuana. There are certainly people who use harder drugs, but it's a niche population and no one ever gets hurt. Alcohol is also quite present and easy to come by, but by no means does everyone drink, and the social scene that doesn't involve drugs and alcohol is strong. For the most part, people are way too busy to get heavily into alcohol and drugs. Public Safety acknowledges that drinking and drug use are going to happen, so they do everything they can to make campus a safe environment for us. As a result of our safety net, visibility is pretty high, but most students are respectful of those who choose not to partake and, for the most part, no one gets hurt.

9 people found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Majors: I had an unpaid internship this summer that I didn't get through Swarthmore, but Career Services at Swat is great and they are really helpful in getting internships and work with students one on one to help them find the right match. In addition, the alumni network at Swat is really strong, so, in addition to being useful for getting internships, upon graduating, students have access to a whole range of connections in the job market. In one sense, the job market in America is still not thriving, but in another, Swarthmore has an amazing reputation and a strong alumni network and potential employers who see Swat on a resume are generally impressed.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Swarthmore is very generous and it fulfills 100% of my need. I am very satisfied with and grateful for my financial aid package. Plus, I never have to spend much time on the financial aid application process, which is incredibly simple. I love the FA office staff too!!

5 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: The Greek life is practically non-existent at this college. The school actually phased out all sororities, and the two surviving fraternities are very small and have little clout in the social scene. It is perhaps for the best, as the attitude of Swatties focuses on egalitarian, anti-elitism. All parties, if funded by the school, must be open to the entire campus. If you are looking for a dynamic Greek scene, choose another school.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: I studied within the three major divisions; a major in psychology and double minor in biology and English Literature (Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Humanities respectively). The only problem I had was that I had spread myself too thin. I noticed many peers having tremendous relationships with their professors, but I barely knew many of mine as I had little overlap between classes. Regardless, I felt that I could approach any professor at any time and receive the help I needed. That was a good feeling.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: I received an excellent amount of financial aid, given my circumstances. I was, however, disappointed that the move towards no loans occurred during my senior year. Therefore, I only received that benefit for two semesters. Today, Swarthmore does not include loans in aid packages, which means less debt for students. There are merit-based scholarships available, too, but I did not receive any.

3 people found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

Photos More photos . . .

Parrish Hall
Parrish Hall
Parrish Hall Parrish Hall Lies at the center of campus
Photo by Ugen64 under Public Domain | Source

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Sudarshan Gopaladesikan
Hometown
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Major
Math and Engineering
View all previous student authors

Swarthmore is not for everyone. However, students who find their niche here are generally happy they came. So, what type of student is Swarthmore College suited for? Well, in the broadest sense, someone who is open-minded, ultra-liberal, and possesses a true passion for intellectual stimulation tends to thrive here. This leads to another important question that must be addressed. What type of student should stay away from Swarthmore? Anyone who considers their normality a personal virtue, conservatives (and most moderates, for that matter), reckless individuals who constantly choose their social lives over academics, students longing for a true big name/big game athletic experience, and anyone who doesn’t care to make a difference in their (and others’) lives probably won't feel as comfortable here.

With that being said, Swarthmore at its worst can make you feel claustrophobic, inept, apathetic, and extremely frustrated. You might even be tempted to heave your laptop out the window of the library at the height of finals week. However, Swarthmore at its best can make you feel like you’re part of a select group as you increasingly come to see the world through a different perspective. Most students here truly comprehend class concepts, while realizing just how much more there is yet to learn. At Swarthmore, you will witness some of the most amazing lectures, performances, and cultural events of your lifetime, and you will meet some of the most intriguing people in the world, and among them will be your fellow classmates and professors. One thing’s for sure: After four years here, your life will be changed, for better or worse, and you’ll have Swarthmore to thank—or blame—for that.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Swarthmore College

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