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3 College Freshman

Parking: The campus, though only 20 or so miles from Philly, is fairly isolated and few students have cars. Although the lack of cars also has to do with the lack of available parking spaces. I think this semester, over 40 students applied for fewer than ten spaces.

2 College Freshman

Parking: The percentage of students on campus is relatively low since the majority of students live within a mile of campus. It's convenient to be able to walk everywhere in less than 25 minutes (and it only takes this long is you get oh so lucky to live in Mary Lyons). For those who still feel the need to bring a car have fun with the people that administer the parking permits. You have to give a REALLY REALLY REALLY good reason that you need to park on campus.

3 College Junior

Parking: Permits aren't that expensive but generally reserved for upperclassmen. It's only reasonable to have a car if you like going off campus a lot, as parking spots are in bad places for going to class. Underclassmen are screwed but can pay a small fortune to park in the Ville. But why would they?

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: The parking spots are given out using a lottery system and even if some of the parking lots are practically empty there are no more parking passes available so it's kind of hard to have a car.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: You Need a Permit – Although a permit is required to park permanently anywhere on campus and there is always a charge, they are always available.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Don’t bring a car to campus—you won’t need it, even if you want to go into Philly every week. SEPTA is pretty reliable and a lot cheaper than the cost of gas and parking, which are more reasons why few students have cars. If you must have a car on campus, you will need to apply to a campus committee the year before you’d like to bring your car. Students need fill out an application that they can get through Public Safety or online; then, the Car Authorization Committee evaluates the applications, giving preference to upperclassmen. The process is a lottery system, and even if you get a permit, it does not mean you will be guaranteed a parking space.

If you are approved, you will be assigned your very own Swarthmore parking pass. There is one catch, though. If you get a campus parking permit, you are required by Worth Health Center to take students to and from doctors’ offices or the hospital once in a while. If you don’t get a campus space, there’s always the borough of Swarthmore, although it’s sometimes much harder to find a space there. You can get a parking permit in the Ville for $50, but the police are on constant lookout for illegal parkers, so unless you have a good reason and are willing to put up with the hassle, leave your car at home with your parents.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
There are several student lots. Lots are matched up to specific permits. For example, students with an "M" permit must park in Mary Lyons lot.
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $20
  • No parking zone: $30
  • Handicapped zone: $50
  • Fire lane: Up to $250
Best Places to Find a Spot
In the Ville, but just be careful not to park overnight without a permit! Swarthmore police live for handing out tickets.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
Parrish circle and the dorm parking lots
Getting a Parking Permit
Parking permits are distributed through a lottery system based on urgency and class year. Freshmen and sophomores rarely bring cars to campus and have a tough time getting a permit. Students must apply through Public Safety and receive permission from the Car Authorization Committee.
Parking Services
Public Safety
Benjamin West House
(610) 328-8281

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 29 responses

  • 14% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 14% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 17% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 28% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 17% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 10% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 29 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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