About Swarthmore College
One of the finest liberal arts schools in the country, Swarthmore College offers its 1,500 students a passionate learning community that prepares them for full, balanced lives and effective citizenship through rigorous academic study coupled with an emphasis on social responsibility.
Located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Swarthmore has been co-educational since its founding in 1864 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Swarthmore is non-sectarian today but still reflects many Quaker traditions and values.
The College offers two degrees: the B.A. in the arts and sciences and the B.S. in engineering. With a student/faculty ratio of approximately 8:1, Swarthmore ensures that its students have close and regular contact with their professors.
Swarthmore alumni body is small (about 18,000 living alumni) but distinguished. Four Swarthmore graduates have won the Nobel Prize; 36 have earned membership in the National Academy of Sciences and nine in the National Academy of Engineering. Some prominent Swarthmore alumni are David Baltimore '60, James Michener '29, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author; Michael Dukakis '55, former governor of Massachusetts and the 1988 Democratic nominee for president; Eugene Lang '38, founder of Project Pericles; Molly Yard '33, past president of the National Organization for Women; Carl Levin '56, U.S. Senator from Michigan; Peter Schickele '57, composer and creator of "P.D.Q. Bach"; Alice Paul '05, suffragist and author of the Equal Rights Amendment; Jonathan Franzen '81, National Book Award winner; and Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot '66, chair of the board of the MacArthur Foundation.
The College has an endowment of approximately $1 billion. Swarthmore's financial strength enables it to admit academically qualified students without regard to their ability to pay and to meet each admitted student's financial need in full. With one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, Swarthmore awards aid -- most of it in the form of grants rather than loans -- to roughly half its students.
True to its Quaker heritage, Swarthmore maintains a commitment to community service. Students find support for service projects through the Swarthmore Foundation, Lang Opportunity Scholarships, and several other funds maintained by the College. Swarthmore students have a long tradition of working with disadvantaged students, rehabilitating housing, and volunteering in other ways in the nearby communities of Chester and Philadelphia. In addition, Swarthmore is one of 10 charter members of Project Pericles, an initiative founded by Eugene Lang to teach civic and social responsibility in the nation's colleges and universities.
Swarthmore's residential campus features more than 330 wooded acres, which are maintained by staff horticulturists as the nationally registered Scott Arboretum. Adorned by more than 5,000 different plants, the grounds are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk at no charge.
Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world.