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Colleges / Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA 4-Year Private
Acceptance Rate7%

Swarthmore College Admissions

Around 7% of applicants get into Swarthmore College each year. Out of 14,707 applications received in 2023, 1,019 students were offered admission.

If you want to apply to Swarthmore College, the regular decision application deadline is January 4 and the fee for the application is $60.

Students who submit their applications to Swarthmore College for the fall semester should receive an admissions decision no later than April 1.

Swarthmore College Admissions Stats at a Glance

Here is an overiew of some of Swarthmore College's admissions stats.

Swarthmore College 2023 Admissions Statistics
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 89%
Mean SAT Score 1489
Admissions Test Policy Test Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 42%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 19%
Waitlist Yes

Swarthmore College Application Deadlines

These are the application deadlines for Swarthmore College.

Application Type Offered Application Deadline Notification Deadline
Early Decision I Yes November 15 December 15
Early Decision II Yes January 4 February 15
Early Action No – –
Regular Decision Yes 1 4 April 1

Applying Early to Swarthmore College?

Swarthmore College offers early decision but not early action. Early decision is binding, which means you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing.

πŸ—“οΈ Early Decision I applications are due by November 15 EDI applicants should receive a decision by December 15.

πŸ—“οΈ Early Decision II applications are due January 4. ED II Applicants will recieve their decision before February 15.

The early decision acceptance rate at Swarthmore College is 19%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 7%. Last year, Swarthmore College admitted 222 of the 1158 students who applied early decision.

Some students apply to college early to help their chances of being offering admission. When you apply early, your application is considered before all the regular decision applicants apply. Applying early may increase your chance of admission, since it shows that you are very interested in a school.

➑️ Explore a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

More on Swarthmore College Admissions

Transferring to Swarthmore College

For more information on transferring to Swarthmore College, contact the school directly.

For Students Waitlisted to Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What Does Swarthmore College Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when determining who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are given the most weight in the admissions process. When assembling your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis on the areas where you stand out.

Admissions Factors at Swarthmore College

What does Swarthmore College consider during the admissions process? Take a look at the list below to see which factors are most important during the admissions process.

Admissions Factor Level
Character/Personal Qualities Very Important
Class Rank Very Important
Application Essay Very Important
Recommendation(s) Very Important
Academic GPA Very Important
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Extracurricular Activities Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Interview Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
State Residency Considered
Talent/Ability Considered
Volunteer Work Considered
Work Experience Considered
First Generation Considered

Make sure to check with Swarthmore College for more information on admission factors.

Swarthmore College Application Requirements

To apply to Swarthmore College, all applicants must submit the following items. Double check with Swarthmore College's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Other Requirements – – – Statement of good standing from prior institutions.
Transcript(S) of College Record – – – –
Statement of Good Standing From Prior Institution(S) – – – –
Letter(s) of Recommendation 2 – – –
Written Essay or Personal Statement √ – – –
Transcript of High School Record √ – – –

GPA and Testing

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Swarthmore College?

Swarthmore College has not provided an information about GPAs of accepted students. Any questions regarding applicant expectations should be addressed directly with the school.

Out of all students that were admitted, 36% submitted a class rank. At Swarthmore College 89% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school and 100% were in the top 50%.

GPAs of Admitted Students

At Swarthmore College, student GPAs fall in the following ranges.

GPA Percent of Students
4.0 GPA –
3.75 and 3.99 –
3.50 and 3.74 –
3.25 and 3.49 –
3.00 and 3.24 –
2.50 and 2.9 –
2.00 and 2.49 –

This chart depicts the percentage of all enrolled, degree-seeking, first-time, first year (freshmen) students who had high school grade point average within the given ranges.

Note: Some schools choose not release this information. If you have any questions regarding missing numbers, be sure to reach out to Swarthmore College directly.

About GPAs

Your high school grade point average (GPA) is a number that highlights your high school academic performance. A weighted GPA or an unweighted GPA are the two possible GPA scores considered by colleges.

An unweighted GPA is an average of your scores from each class on a four-point scale. Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0. A weighted GPA considers your average grade and the difficulty of your classes. A weighted GPA boosts your average by adding extra points for honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Standardized Test Scores

Swarthmore College is a test optional school. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2022, 42% of Swarthmore College's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 19% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What is a Good SAT Score for Swarthmore College?

To be competitive with other Swarthmore College applicants, you should strive to score between 1455 and 1540 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Swarthmore College 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1540 and 25% of scored lower than 1455, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Swarthmore College student is 1489.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Swarthmore College students scored 790 or higher and 75% of students scored 710 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Swarthmore College students scored 770 or higher, and 75% scored a 710 or higher.

To be most competitive at Swarthmore College, you should strive to earn between 32 and 35 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 35 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Swarthmore College's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 35, and three out of four students scored lower than 35 on the ACT.

A 32 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Swarthmore College students. Only one out of every four students scored below 32.

More Information on Transferring to Swarthmore College

For transfer students wishing to start in the fall, the deadline to apply is April 1. Applicants should hear back by May 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Swarthmore College during the following terms:

β€’ Fall Term

β€’ Winter Term

β€’ Spring Term

β€’ Winter Term

β€’ Summer Term

Swarthmore College Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Swarthmore College?

βœ… Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Swarthmore College.

Does Swarthmore College accept transfer credits?

βœ… Swarthmore College accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Do I have to submit test scores to Swarthmore College?

❌ No, Swarthmore College is test optional, so you can make the call whether or not to send your standardized test scores. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you probably want to include them. If you scored lower than a school's average, you may want not want to include them in your application.

What is Swarthmore College's acceptance rate?

βœ… The acceptance rate for Swarthmore College is 7%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Swarthmore College?

βœ… Swarthmore College's early decision acceptance rate was 19% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Swarthmore College?

Click below to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics, majors and more.


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Connect with other students, parents, and admissions professionals to learn more about about Swarthmore College in the College Confidential forums

Explore other colleges in Pennsylvania or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Swarthmore College Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty




Swarthmore College Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 4

Transfer Applications are Due

Apr 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Swarthmore College is Jan 4.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Swarthmore College is Apr 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Swarthmore College SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1455 - 1540


Math SAT Range

730 - 790


Reading SAT Range

710 - 770

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1540 and Above


1455 to 1540


1455 and Less


SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Swarthmore College students is 1489. Applicants with SAT scores of 1540 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Swarthmore College, while applicants with SAT scores between 1455 to 1540 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1455 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Swarthmore College.

Swarthmore College GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases Β© 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

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Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 4
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