|By Sjparent (Sjparent) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit|
Anyone in the class of 2008 who decided to opt for Swarthmore when they had an option to go to Harvard or any other Ivys? Post your stats if you can.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 07:47 pm: Edit|
If, by stats, you mean median SAT scores, Swarthmore falls mid-pack for the Ivies -- slightly lower than Harvard, Princeton, Yale and slightly higher than Brown, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, and Cornell.
I believe that Swarthmore has a high percentage of applicants who self-select Swarthmore over larger universities, either in the initial application process or the final selection process -- a conscious choice for a small liberal arts college.
From what I can tell, the admissions criteria at Harvard and Swarthmore are similar (in no particular order):
a) class rank and strength of curriculum
b) test scores, but only as a threshold
c) affirmative action
d) demonstrated passion for a specific (and interesting) extra-curricular activity
The one major difference is that Swarthmore places much more emphasis on an applicant's reasons for choosing Swarthmore. They want to see enough interest to have really researched the school and identified specific reasons for it being a good match. Because of its small size, they seem to look for a student body that really wants to be there.
|By Achat (Achat) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit|
Sjparent, I noticed that you posted under 'UCLA, USC versus LAC' earlier. UCLA and USC are as polar opposite to Swarthmore as you can get. The question is not whether people who got into Ivies would send their kids here (which they do) but how a college with a total population of 1480 would fit your daughter. If I am not wrong UCLA has a total population of over 30,000.
The impression I got from being at Swarthmore and from reading their literature is that statistics are considered in admission here but are not bandied around by students once they get into Swarthmore as much as at other colleges. I can bet that you will not get much response (about stats) at this forum. I could be wrong.
In my view, I would send my son here because I know he would get a very good education at Swarthmore. An education very much worth the $39,000 that I would spend.
|By Sjparent (Sjparent) on Saturday, April 03, 2004 - 08:48 pm: Edit|
Thanks.I was trying to collect some data and see if what Swarthnore told us when we went for a visit is true. As you know from the other thread, my D is leaning towards Swarthmore. She had Hardvard as her #1 choice. With 1580 SAT, SATII 800 (L) 780(M) 750(Chem), National Merit, Lots of EC(Youth Symphony, Student Govt Secretary, Community work, etc), 4.35 GPA, straight As and in top 3 from a good school, she was very hopeful but got waitlisted.Now she is wondering if she should stay in the waiting list or just take Swarthmore or USC Bac/MD( which is also a very competitive but may not be as reputed). Swarthmore has a good pre-med program that claims 98% admittance to med schools.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 12:08 am: Edit|
A "waitlist" is just a polite rejection. The odds of getting an admission are slim to none, so your daughter must proceed accordingly, make a different choice, and proceed accordingly.
The differences between USC and Swarthmore are so extreme that I'm not sure what anybody could add.
California and Phila are as different as night and day. 30,000 students and 1500 students are as different as night and day. I mean, those are pretty fundamental choices.
Personally, the only valid reason I would consider USC over Swarthmore would be if there were a significant difference in price, or if I prefered California, or if I prefered a huge university. From a purely academic standpoint, it's probably not even close.
|By Sjparent (Sjparent) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 03:57 am: Edit|
I agree with the difference between SWAT and USC. As for Harvard I hve been trying to get my D out of that. But, her last year's mentor who is a Harvard freshman came for spring break and told her that her room mate was ED deferred and waitlisted last year. That put her mind back chasing Harvard. The comparison is not between USC and Swarthmore. She got into the combined MD program at USC whichI am told is only around 45 students from a screened applicant pool. So, the real comparison is between a guaranteed Med program v/s going to SWAT and go through the MCAT stress and med school application process again after 4 years.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 04:27 am: Edit|
>> But, her last year's mentor who is a Harvard freshman came for spring break and told her that her room mate was ED deferred and waitlisted last year.
I take stories like that with a grain of salt. The way I see it, if the admissions office had two cracks at the app and didn't bite, getting in off the waitlist probably resulted from out-of-the-ordinary factors we don't know about - minority, alumni legacy big stink, or whatever.
It's really a moot point because you daughter has to put down a deposit somewhere. If Harvard calls, they call. If my daughter were in that situation, I would be pretty blunt. To quote Johnny Depp, "Faggetaboutit!"
As for the USC program, that's really a decision that only your family can make, weighing D's personality, how rock solid she in wanting med school, etc. etc. I can't really offer any advice, because (if it were my daughter) we'd have to sit around the dining room table and really talk it out. Having a guaranteed med school acceptance is certainly tempting (I'd want to read the fine print, pretty closely).
|By Whzup44412 (Whzup44412) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 01:07 pm: Edit|
Sorry, just had to comment on this. As a FORMER Swat applicant, I do know a lot about the pre-med program at Swarthmore. Here are some things you should know:
(1) Every year about 25-35 students from Swarthmore apply to medical school. Last year, I believe it was 31 applied, 30 accepted. Those numbers include students who decided to apply to medical school after taking a year or two off after college to pursue other interests. The complete breakdown of this is available in the admissions office at Swarthmore in a convenient brochure (including the medical schools each student decided to attend). Roughly 8-10% of Swarthmore students end up applying to medical school.
(2) The pre-med program at Swarthmore is VERY competitive. Consult past issues of the Pheonix (college newspaper-online), and you'll find a number of articles about pre-meds collapsing on campus, quite frequently. The academic programs at Swarthmore are already very difficult, factor in the inherent competitiveness of pre-med (and the grade deflation), and you arrive with a intensely fierce environment for grades.
(3) The Pre-Medical Advising office does screen potential applicants before applying to medical school.
(4) First Semester Pass/Fail grades are not witheld in medical school admissions. Those grades (A,B,C, etc.) WILL be displayed on your transcript for medical school admissions and factored into your Science GPA. (Medical school admissions requires a Science GPA and overall GPA). But remember, Swat students comment that medical schools are slightly more lenient on Swarthmore GPAs because they realize the difficulty of receiving A's.
Swarthmore is a great place for Pre-med, but be weary of the competitiveness. If you are successful, you open the door to every medical school in America. But, remember, you can be successful in medical school admissions at just about any college (some lesser schools may even be a better place for pre-med. e.i. not pitting yourself up against "the best of the best").
Factor that information into your consideration before choosing a school. Good luck!
|By Sjparent (Sjparent) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 03:14 pm: Edit|
Thanks for charing that first hand experience. It really scares me to read about students collapsing. I will definitely share this my D. Did you finally opt for Swarthmore?
" Swat students comment that medical schools are slightly more lenient on Swarthmore GPAs because they realize the difficulty of receiving A's". Is that really true? My D has takes about 9 APs and have done well.
|By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit|
Pre-med programs at all of the top colleges are brutal, always the most notoriously difficult programs on campus. I believe that it results from having to take multiple science courses simultaneously (bio and chem). Science courses are always time-consuming because of the labs. Taking two or more simultaneously (particularly when one of them is organic chemistry) is a grind. Unfortunately, it's pretty much impossible to avoid doubling-up.
My daughter is wrestling with a similar issue looking at the requirements for a Chem major. Between the math, chem, and physics requirements, it forces her to take math, chem, and physics simultaneously during freshman year. Even for a math/science girl, that a rough schedule that doesn't leave much room to sample other areas.
Yes, it is well-known that Swarthmore has less grade inflation than most schools. The school motto is "Anywhere else it would have been an A..." That's been the reputation for decades.
|By Whzup44412 (Whzup44412) on Sunday, April 04, 2004 - 06:03 pm: Edit|
Sjparent- When I visited Swarthmore, I was actually the only person attending for the information and the tour, so I got to ask a lot of questions. The girl who gave us a tour was a junior and she had been applying to law school. She commented that she had been to a lot of conferences/sessions at the different law schools that she applied to. She recalled one time in which the law school mentioned a general minimum college GPA required for acceptance. She raised her hand, referred to Swarthmore, and the admissions officer quickly stated that "Oh, Swarthmore. Well, we'd expect your GPA to be a few point lower." So, there definitely is leniency for a lower GPA.
This is the normal breakdown for a pre-med program
Intro to Chemistry
Intro to Organic Chemistry
Intro to Biology
Additionally, math and english courses have to be scattered throughout those 3 years. Also, be weary about language requirements. Many students try and get out them through AP credit or SAT II scores. The fact remains that 60% of medical schools require language IN COLLEGE. So, unless you want to eliminate 60% of medical schools, you're going to have to take some sort of language during your college years.
|By Annakat (Annakat) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 02:52 am: Edit|
current student. chose it over acceptances to princeton and penn.
|By Classof2008 (Classof2008) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 10:10 pm: Edit|
Hmm... I can't decide among WashU(BME+Chem+Summer Program w/ travel fees partially covered), Swarthmore(Bio),and Northwestern(Biochem). I want the best premed preparation and interdisciplinary (Econ and IR) education. I'm an international student and have never lived in the US.
I don't like big schools. And I want to live somewhere not too far and not too near cities. You know what I mean, somewhere safe and somewhere I can also enjoy the conveniences of a city.
Do you think Swarthmore is my best choice?
|By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:23 am: Edit|
All your schools are great, so congratulations!!
Swarthmore is near Philly - 15 minutes by train from Philly as far as I know. I've visited the campus twice and the train station is in campus (or right outside the walls to be exact), and a few hundred yards from Parrish hall where the admissions office is.
Swarthmore has a very good record with graduate schools and med-schools as far as I know. Econ is great at Swarthmore. Swarthmore Bio is also good. They have new science buildings and equipment and invested a lot in their science departments in recent history.
As to your question of big schools - total population of Swarthmore over 4 years is 1480.
Total population of Northwestern is probably 10,000...I could be wrong. And I don't know about Wash U.
You will have the undivided attention of professors at Swarthmore, that is a guarantee.
|By Achat (Achat) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 08:34 am: Edit|
Total undergraduate and graduate population at Northwestern is 13,614 as of 2007.
Swarthmore is a small town (less than 5000 pop), but close of Philly. A lot of people who work in Philly live there.
|By Dreadpirate (Dreadpirate) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 10:56 pm: Edit|
Whzup's comments apply in spades to several other schools that either prescreen or weed out aspiring pre-meds before constructing the pools that they use for their med school admission stats. If there were a way to determine how good a job a college does in inspiring and encouraging students who start off pre-med to stay on track you might have some stats that mean something. If the requirements for continuation in BA/MD program at USC are reasonable, I would find it hard to pass up. However,45 is a fairly large number for such a program. Be sure to check how many from each class actually go on to USC Med. If it is at least 75%, your best shot at Med school will be USC.
|By Bannana (Bannana) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 06:20 pm: Edit|
i was just up there for their admitted students' program and met several people who were choosing between swat and ivies. i met one girl who had been accepted to princeton and harvard, but because she wanted to focus on international relations was choosing between swat and tufts. i also met two girls who had been accepted to yale. i don't know about one of them, but the other was just about 99% (she was at 95% when i first met her a day earlier) sure she was going to go to swarthmore. there were also a bunch of people who were between brown and swat (including myself) and two or three who were choosing between swat and upenn.
|By Qwy (Qwy) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 12:29 pm: Edit|
I'm a high school senior and really need some feedback on something after I found this wonderful site.
What would you choose right now for a career in medicine: Harvard undergrad of Case Western Bac/MD program?
|By Qwy (Qwy) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit|
sorry, typo in my last message: Harvard undergrad OR Case Western Bac/MD
|By Achat (Achat) on Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 03:06 pm: Edit|
You would be better off asking in the 'Parents Forum' or 'College Admissions' forum. Go back to the 'discussion' frame (back two levels) and you will find the Parents Forum and College Admissions there.
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