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Reviews 485 total reviews with an average rating of 3.4

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3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There's a pizza place for late night food, the co-op, a coffee shop, and a couple other cute little restaurants. Springfield and Media are close by, and there are a great deal more options in those areas than in Swarthmore. They're easy to get to by foot or by train.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I live in Wharton with a lot of other freshman, and my room is pretty nice. I only have one roommate, and we have plenty of space for both of us. There is a kitchen in the basement of the building if you want to do some baking/cooking, and bathrooms are kept clean by the EVS techs.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I'm a freshman living in a dorm, I don't know about off-campus options.

College Freshman

Administration: I haven't had to deal with the administration, and I don't hear too much about other people having much trouble with them.

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Just installed blue lights, pubsafe is always on duty, and they always answer the phone. We're always informed of local issues through email as well.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: Swarthmore is a pretty small borough, so it's mostly surrounded by neighborhoods. If you're looking for something exciting immediately close by, there's not much. It's easy to get into Philadelphia, and everything you would need in terms of groceries is taken care of by the co-op and the local Target. The Crum Woods are right next to campus, and it's a great place to just explore and get away in nature for awhile if you need it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Greek Life: There is very minimal Greek life on campus. There are only two fraternities and one sorority, and the sorority is always very active in community service. I don't know as much about the fraternities.

College Freshman

Scholarships: At this point, I don't qualify for financial aid from the school. Everyone I know seems to receive as much help as they need, but I have not discussed it in depth with many people.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: I'm not the best person to ask because I'm not interested in parties to begin with, though there's a great deal of hype around Pub Nite and there are regular parties at the frat houses. All parties are open to everyone, so no stress about being invited, you can just decide whether you want to go. I would personally say the "party scene" at Swarthmore is a little weird, and there are much better places to find fun. There are plenty of places to hang out and have adventures with your good friends.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Greek Life: AT SWARTHMORE WE RAGE HARD. GET READY TO PARTY.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Administration: Administration is extremely accommodating when approached, but sometimes has trouble communicating with students.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: Easy access to Philadelphia gives students the ability to enjoy city life.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Financial aid at Swarthmore is generous compared to other schools.

4 College Freshman

Party Scene: The party scene is defined by Pub Nite Thursday and some frat party Saturday. There is a large fraction of students who pre-game and party, and students from Haverford and Bryn Mawr often come to our parties. Swarthmore partiers stay on campus to party, unless they go to philly or UPenn. The scene has more drinking than hooking-up, probably for good reason, due to the campus gossip. The parties are fine--some partiers think it's too small, some non-partiers find it too large. You won't get a university party scene here, but there are many people here who actively want to have a fun time, which can really make the difference.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: Only 5 minutes from center-campus and right next to the train station, the Ville is home to pizza and Chinese restaurants, a cafe, barber shops, a grocery store, and a joint Dunkin Donuts-Baskin Robbins. It does take about 25 minutes to get to philly by train, but it only costs 12$ round-trip. Also, about 15 minutes walking-distance away is the Springfield Mall, where there is a Macy's and a spacious two-story Target. Its local attractions and closeness to a city are pretty unbeaten among other small colleges, and stack pretty well against the average university.

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: It's pretty safe here, but I wish the nature could be a little less dark at night--it's more unsettling than scary.

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I have not lived off-campus, but PPR seemed like a very nice dorm when I visited. The single rooms are the size of a large double, and it's about 10 minutes from the campus center--closer than Mary Lyon, the remote "on-campus" dorm that some unfortunate students are assigned to by the school (don't worry, the school offers shuttling, bathrooms within all dorm rooms, and high housing lottery placement as compensation).

5 College Freshman

Academics: Biology is pretty big here, and it's generally accepted as our strongest major. The biology classes, especially Bio 1 in freshman year, force you to think critically, and often assume most students have a solid high school understanding of biology. Our facilities for biology are great, boasting a laboratory building that is strictly meant for biology. Unfortunately, research with professors in the biology department is limited and competitive, so many majors do research in chemistry or biochemistry, or do research off-campus. Almost all research is done during breaks.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics here are truly top-notch, rigorous enough even for valedictorians to notice the thought and preparation needed in studying for a test and writing a problem set. Some professors can get lazy and be overall boring and disorganized, but such is a sizable minority of professors at any top college. The average Swarthmore professor is very wise and can clearly explain complex concepts. The workload is tough mainly due to the school's resistance to offering easy courses. Electives are generally difficult (not "joke" classes), and introductory courses, except Introduction to Education, are likely to pose challenges, even if you learned all the major concepts beforehand. Success with the workload requires a lot of self-determination and time management skills, but by all means, is certainly doable. The workload is more quantity-based than flat-out difficult, except for some upper level math and science courses with some very hard-to-grasp concepts. While we are pretty renowned for Bio, PoliSci, and Econ, you should consider this place if you are an engineer, as we rank #11 in engineering among schools where a bachelor's is the highest degree offered, losing out mainly to hard-tech schools. On top of that, we rock in all the standard liberal arts departments.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Not far, just no one does it

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Not much, very small, basically only essentials

3 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: The current gym is sufficient for working out. There is a new one being built.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: We are a liberal arts college focused on academics. It's kind of self-selecting.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Majors: I plan on having an internship as you'll get around $4500 from the college for doing it.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Majors: It's very competitive to get into the science internships.

3 people found this useful Report
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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?

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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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