Campus Housing

Location
Undergrads
1,537
Tuition
$44,718
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Alice Paul and David Kemp are the two most recent dorms, and have very nice, clean facilities.

Wharton has big rooms, and great hall life, but a disgusting laundry room.

Willets and Worth are the party dorms, and it has a faint urine smell that is ever-present. The walls are thin, so combined with being a party dorm, it is often that you can hear people having sex.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Living on campus definitely has its negatives, like mice, but that is true for only few of them. People are generally nice and nice to live with.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 320th
    Best Dorm Atmosphere
  • 593rd
    Shortest Walk to Class
  • 594th
    Most Spacious Dorms
  • 1041st
    Cleanest Dorms

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

The majority of Swarthmore students live on campus all four years—and for good reason. The dorms are pleasant to look at, and even the least-attractive dorms are lovely when compared to dorms at larger universities. A good number of Swarthmore’s dorms are converted older buildings that were once boarding school housing or private homes. The buildings are beautiful—the ceilings are high, and the windows are wide and elegant. Students are often content with the housing situation simply because their living conditions seem too good to be true, at least on the surface. And Swarthmore has done a good job of fixing up and renovating old dorms, such as Wharton, to keep up with the showering and other habits of the students on campus.

Each dorm here has at least one unique quality. Willets is referred to as the “party dorm.” But, just remember that the word “party” is also unique to Swarthmore (i.e. Let’s play drunken Trivial Pursuit!) when compared to schools like Penn State (i.e. Is she breathing?), so even Willets is adequate for quieter students. However, Swarthmore students now tend to party more like students at your average state school. Mary Lyon (ML) has a, well, unique flavor. The dorm, which is a hike from main campus, tends to attract the nerdiest of nerds—science-fiction freaks, fantasy lovers, and members of SWIL (Swarthmore Warders of Imaginative Literature). So, if none of these things interest you, stay away from ML. Swattie upperclassmen have first pick in the housing lottery and quickly fill Wharton and Worth, which have enormous singles and gorgeous courtyards. However, even first-years have been known to get good rooms in these dorms, especially Wharton.

Facts & Statistics

On-Campus Housing Available?
Yes
Campus Housing Capacity
1,428
Average Housing Costs
$6,748
Types of Housing Offered
  • Coed dorms
  • Gender-neutral housing
  • Men's dorms
  • Special housing for disabled students
  • Women's dorms
Freshmen Required to Live on Campus?
Yes
Undergrads Living On Campus
88%
Freshmen Living On Campus
100%
Number of Dormitories
16
Number of Campus-Owned Apartments
1
Best Freshman Dorms
  • Alice Paul
  • Mertz
  • Willets
Best Upperclassman Dorms
  • Alice Paul
  • PPR
  • Wharton
  • Worth
Worst Freshman Dorms
Mary Lyon
Worst Upperclassman Dorms
  • Mary Lyon
  • Willets
What You Get
  • Bed
  • Closet
  • Desk
  • Dresser
  • Internet connection
  • Shelves
  • Telephone
Also Available
Coed roommate housing, special needs housing, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College housing exchange.
Did You Know?
  • First-year students complete a roommate questionnaire about everything from music preference to sleep patterns before coming to Swarthmore. The questionnaire has had remarkable success, and most Swatties get along very well with their first-year roommates.
  • Swarthmore was among the first schools in the country to offer coed rooms to students.
  • First-years and sophomores will most likely end up with doubles, and juniors and seniors will probably live in singles. Most doubles and singles share bathrooms with their hallmates. Some multiple-room suites come equipped with private bathrooms, while others share hall bathrooms.

DormitoriesWhat's This?

Alice Paul
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 50-99
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Shares a courtyard and main lounge with David Kemp residence hall.
Dana
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 50-99
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Closets have built-in dressers, joint lounge with Hollowell, large bay windows, picture rails in rooms.
David Kemp
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 50-99
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Opened in fall 2009, shares courtyard with Alice Paul Hall.
Hallowell
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 50-99
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Mostly freshmen, sophomores
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: Closets have built-in dressers, joint lounge with Dana, large bay windows, picture rails in rooms.
Kyle House
Floors: 2
Number of Occupants: <20
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: No, women only
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles
Special Features: The feeling of living in your own private house with hardwood floors, large lounge, kitchen area, screened-in porch.
Mary Lyon
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 50-99
Bathrooms: Communal, some private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, suites
Special Features: Huge first floor lounge, common area, private dorm breakfast, van shuttle service (dorm is 15-20 minute walk from center of campus).
Mertz
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, suites
Special Features: Grand staircase, large first-floor lounge, lounge/kitchenette on each floor, walk-in closets.
Parrish
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal, some private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, triples
Special Features: Easy access to academic buildings (in fact, it is one). The first and second floors are used for administrative offices. There are high ceilings and large windows in the third floor rooms, and laundry and bike storage in the basement.
PPR (Palmer, Pittenger, and Roberts)
Floors: Palmer (3), Pittenger (3), Roberts (2)
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal, some private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, suites
Special Features: Palmer has spacious kitchen and lounge that is shared with Pittenger. PPR is serviced by the campus shuttle.
Strath Haven
Floors: 3 floors in a condo complex
Number of Occupants: <20
Bathrooms: Private
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Doubles in apartment-style or motel-style rooms
Special Features: Air-conditioning, bathtubs, free laundry, kitchen units, shuttle service to campus.
Wharton
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, two- or three-room quads
Special Features: Courtyard and easy access to academic buildings. Wharton is divided into three sections: two house first-year students and one consists of singles for upperclassmen.
Willets
Floors: 4
Number of Occupants: 100-249
Bathrooms: Communal
Coed: Yes
Residents: Mostly freshmen
Room Types: Doubles
Special Features: Home to a quarter of the incoming freshman class, Willets has an extensive lounge for studying and socializing.
Woolman
Floors: 3
Number of Occupants: 20-49
Bathrooms: Communal, suite-style
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, suites
Special Features: Secluded location, lounge area, hardwood floors.
Worth
Floors: Floors:4
Number of Occupants: 50-99
Bathrooms: Suite-style
Coed: Yes
Residents: Upperclassmen
Room Types: Singles, doubles, triples
Special Features: Classic architecture, common area, courtyard, large kitchen area, private baths.

Campus-Owned ApartmentsWhat's This?

Lodges
Floors: 2
Number of Units: <10
Bathrooms: One per unit
Coed: Yes
Residents: Freshmen, upperclassmen
Room Types: Five-person apartments with one double, one triple
Special Features: Each lodge has a private kitchen and basement.

Student Polls

Rate campus housing on the following subjects    Based on 23 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Overall building quality
  • Amenities/perks
  • Cleanliness
  • Ease of housing process/lottery system
  • Proximity to classes
  • Resident community
  • Social atmosphere
  • Spaciousness
  • Appropriate level of rule enforcement
  • Value
4
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