Swarthmore Early Decision Acceptance Rate & Decision Date

Established in 1864, Swarthmore has set itself apart from other liberal arts colleges through its dedication to innovation, inspiration, and dedication to the common good.  

Its bedrock of Quaker values has stood the test of time, shaping its alumni into warriors who fight for the betterment of those around them. 

From famed suffragette Alice Paul to award-winning novelist Jonathan Franzen, Swarthmore College has been home to some of the most ambitious minds in America.

Though this university’s alumni list speaks for itself, little else showcases these values quite like the campus itself.

Established on a sweeping 425-acre property, Swarthmore has been praised as one of the most beautiful in the nation

Filled with carefully cultivated gardens and stunning foliage, every step across this renowned university is all-but-guaranteed to encourage a profound sense of wonder.

As students study on the lawn, they can take a restful break at Crum Woods, observing the beauty of nature that has made this area valuable to a dozen different areas of study. 

Those hoping to get in touch with their creative nature can spend time at the Kitao Art Gallery, a student-run gallery dedicated to showcasing all the campus’s best talent. 

On top of everything this gorgeous campus has to offer, its national ranking demonstrates that education here is not wasted. 

Currently, it stands as the fourth best liberal arts college in the United States.

With a resume like this, it comes as no surprise that it is also one of the most competitive in the nation. 

Students hoping to learn more about Swarthmore’s early decision process, look no further. Read on to take advantage of any opportunity to increase the chance of acceptance into this one-of-a-kind university!

Swarthmore Early Decision Acceptance Rate

Swarthmore College Bond Hall
Swarthmore College Bond Hall – Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Swarthmore’s early decision acceptance rate stands at 24%, making it apparent that early decisions may give students an edge in acceptance to this stunning college.

On average, Swarthmore College is considered one of the most selective in the nation, with a regular decision acceptance rate of around only 9% percent every year. 

According to the most recently released official statistics, Swarthmore college received 13,012 applicants, of which they accepted just over 1,000. 

Of those, roughly half chose to pursue their education at Swarthmore.

While enrolled at Swarthmore College, students have the unique opportunity to stoke the fires of curiosity, taking advantage of any of the 150 clubs on campus to invest in student life.

 A full 96% of students live on campus, taking advantage of its gorgeous and well-designed dorm and other living options, and it’s no wonder why. 

According to recent reports, this college has been ranked within the top fifty in the country for first-year college experiences.

Though this college provides a full and total undergraduate experienced, 66% of students go on to receive even higher degrees, with plenty of options for graduate studies. 

With 40 courses of study and over 600-course options to choose from, this institution hopes to encourage a true sense of curiosity and community in every student on campus.

By encouraging a diverse student body, Swarthmore College showcases the importance of accepting different perspectives to receive an authentic, valuable education. 

This dedication plays out in the form of campus with 50% minority students, as well as representation from all over the nation.

One thing is certain: if Swarthmore is good at one thing, it is encouraging a genuine love of learning in every student on campus.

Swarthmore Early Decision Decision Date

Early decision fall applicants should expect to hear back by December 15th, while winter early decision applicants will expect to hear news by February 15th

With so much on the line, it’s natural to experience some amount of anxiety around this waiting period.

 Students should rest assured that, though tests are critical, this campus is one that truly puts this time to good use, taking a holistic approach to judging each potential student. 

In fact, only around 68% of students even submitted SATs as a part of their application!

Because Swarthmore College places such an emphasis on the importance of dedication and community values, this is the rare college in which class ranking may actually be of more value. 

On average, 93% of students graduated within the top ten of their own high schools.

In place of standardized tests, Swarthmore requests that students complete a short writing assignment. 

This is just another part of their dedication to the written arts, helping establish them as the sixth-best college for writing across disciplines

Optional interviews allow students the chance to make a memorable first impression. 

Though students are not penalized for refusing to participate in these interviews, they can be an excellent way to set themselves apart from the crowd and show their dedication to the university.

As another way of allowing students to present themselves in the best possible light, Swarthmore allows all students interested in the arts to submit an online portfolio of their work, be that in the field of writing, performance, or visual arts.

This dedication to the arts has produced some of the most notable alumni in the arts fields, including choreographer Cynthia Ling Lee, film executive David Linde, and Oscar-winning documentary director Marshall Curry.

Swarthmore Early Decision Deadline

Swarthmore College Building
Tlönorbis, Building at Swarthmore College, CC BY-SA 4.0

Students applying for early decision in the fall have an application deadline of November 15th.

Students applying for early decision in the winter have an application deadline of January 4th. 

Even though applications are not due until these dates, Swarthmore highly suggests that all applicants complete testing in the weeks beforehand. 

For example, though the winter applications are not due until January 4th, it is a good idea to complete any final testing by mid-December to give results time to submit fully.

Though testing is not considered a hugely important part of the application process, waiting until the last possible second may possibly give the impression of procrastination, which does go against the college’s all-important community values.

Though every college takes its values into consideration, Swarthmore College elevates these above all others. 

When looking for a new “Swattie,” the applications team keeps an eye out for bold, curious students who place clear value in helping those around them. 

As a result, the campus flourishes as a shared workspace, with a considerable percentage of the student body participating in volunteer work and their studies. 

Rather than searching for students who are skilled in short-term projects– like timed standardized tests – this college strives to find students who are trained in long-term areas of commitment.

For that reason, employment, caretaking roles, and athletic involvement can improve an applicant’s chances of acceptance. 

Above all, Swarthmore searches for students whose own values align with the campus’s Quaker roots. Regardless of race, religion, or background, all students should showcase an openmindedness towards others and a willingness to learn.

Before applying, it is vital that a potential student thoroughly read through the Swarthmore community values

In doing so, they can strive to hit the best tone in their writing– an essential part of every application– and, most importantly, ensure that they are applying to a college that aligns with their own moral compass. 

How to Apply to Swarthmore for Early Decision

The application process for early decision is a simple one; students simply must submit a regular application by the indicated deadline, along with a completed early decision agreement form

While students are understandably unable to submit all their grades, they should include official transcripts of all courses up to that point as well.

From here, there is nothing more for a potential student to do than wait.

Because each graduating class is so small – typically less than 500 students – the applications team takes their job incredibly seriously. 

Before anything else, two deans sit down to personally review each early application, discussing each applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. 

During this process, they are careful to consider any disadvantages any student may have persevered through, including financial, cultural, or otherwise.

From here, the application moves on to the following committee, working its way through anywhere from two to dozens of eyes before finally receiving an acceptance letter or notice of rejection.

This rigorous scrutiny is not the only thing that sets this college apart in its acceptance process. 

While many other major universities are open to valuing applicants with a clear idea of their goals and area of study, Swarthmore College has no such stipulation.

According to their own website, their “most popular major tends to be ‘undecided.’” 

Rather than looking at students as a way to fill a space of study, they look at them as full individuals, valuing a wholehearted curiosity above any specific goal-oriented way of thinking.

Though Swarthmore College remains one of the most valuable and rigorous educations in the nation, their approach– both to acceptance and education– sets them apart from others in their class. 

With a truly holistic approach to learning, this liberal arts university takes pride in producing well-rounded, generous individuals ambitious in their dreams of changing the world.