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Swarthmore Admission Requirements

Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

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Chances of getting into Swarthmore College

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate
Admission Difficulty for Swarthmore College
Measure Difficulty
Admission StandardsElite
Applicant CompetitionExtreme

How hard is it to get into Swarthmore and can I get accepted? The school has a 9% acceptance rate ranking it #2 in Pennsylvania for lowest rate of acceptance. Last year, 1,054 out of 11,630 applicants were admitted making Swarthmore an extremely competitive school to get into with a very low chance of acceptance - even for applicants with the highest scores and grades.  Academically, it has exceptionally high requirements for admission test scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 5 percent. Swarthmore College typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students. Only 35% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school. Most incoming freshmen graduated in the top quarter of their high school class.

Test Requirements

You must submit admission test scores with your application. Swarthmore College is not a test optional school. Note: Please consult the school directly to determine if testing requirements are temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Swarthmore SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range
Applicants Submitting SAT
SAT Scores for Swarthmore College
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 25th 690
SAT Math 25th 705
SAT Composite 25th 1395
SAT Scores for Swarthmore College
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 75th 750
SAT Math 75th 790
SAT Composite 75th 1540
Average SAT Score 1470

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to Swarthmore College?

Swarthmore College typically prefers applicants to be in the top 100 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1395 on a 1600 scale, below which admission should be considered a reach. We estimate some students could be accepted with SAT's as low as 1320. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1470 out of 1600. The school ranks #3 in Pennsylvania for highest average SAT composite score. A competitive SAT score is critical as 62 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

Swarthmore College admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness Admission Chances
1540 and Above Good >14%
1467 to 1540 Avg + 9%-14%
1395 to 1467 Avg - 6%-9%
1323 to 1395 Reach 3%-6%
Less than 1323 Low <3%
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Connect with Swarthmore

Engage with counselors on a personal level to demonstrate your interest in their school and get answers to all of your admissions-related questions.

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Swarthmore ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range
Applicants Submitting ACT
ACT Scores for Swarthmore College
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 25th 33
ACT Math 25th 29
ACT Composite 25th 31
ACT Scores for Swarthmore College
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 75th 36
ACT Math 75th 34
ACT Composite 75th 34
Average ACT Score 32

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for prospective students to get into Swarthmore?

Admission data indicates that Swarthmore regularly accepts students with ACT's of 31 and above. Successful applicants typically send ACT scores in the top 5 percent nationally. We estimate the school accepting minimum ACT composite scores around 30 in some instances. Prospective students submitting an ACT composite of 32 or higher should be in the upper half of applicants - and students with a 34 and above have very competitive chances. The school ranks #4 in Pennsylvania for highest average ACT composite score. 43 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Swarthmore College.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Swarthmore College admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness Admission Chances
34 and Above Good >17%
32 to 34 Avg + 9%-17%
31 to 32 Avg - 6%-9%
30 to 31 Reach 5%-6%
Less than 30 Low <5%
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Swarthmore GPA

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA
Typical High School Grades

What GPA do you need to get into Swarthmore College?

Applicants require exceptionally good grades to get into Swarthmore. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Swarthmore College was 3.9 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A- students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #5 in Pennsylvania for highest average GPA. Given the school's very highly selective admissions, acceptance at Swarthmore extremely difficult and unlikely even with a 3.9 GPA. The school should be considered a reach even if you have a 3.9 GPA.

 What do these ratings mean?

*This school has not released high school GPA data for its incoming freshmen. In these cases, CollegeSimply employs an artificial intelligence (AI) process to predict GPA based on this school's test scores and a large sample of other colleges' data. 3.9 is an estimate of the school's average incoming freshman GPA.

Similar Requirements

High School Class Rank

93% of Swarthmore College freshman were in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Swarthmore College students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 93%
Top 25% of class 100%
Top 50% of class 100%
Lower 50% of class 0%
Data Source, Peterson's Data


Admission Statistics

Swarthmore College admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 6,832 4,798 11,630
Accepted 539 515 1,054
Acceptance Rate 8% 11% 9%
Enrolled 187 187 374
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 35% 36% 35%
Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Fall 2022 Application Deadline

Applications were Due
Jan 1, 2022
Days left to Apply

The application deadline for Fall 2022 has passed. Applications were due on Jan 1, 2022.

Application Fee

The cost for prospective students to apply to Swarthmore College is $60.

Admission Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Swarthmore College and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Swarthmore College Admission Requirements
Test Scores Required
High School GPA Considered but not required
High School Class Rank Considered but not required
Completion of College Preparatory Program Recommended
Recommendations Required
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Swarthmore College
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit No
Credit for Life Experiences No

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=216287 IPEDS survey data for Swarthmore College.


Does Swarthmore College prefer SAT or ACT?

62% of students submit their SAT scores to Swarthmore. 43% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Swarthmore College?

9% of those who apply are granted admission to Swarthmore. Admission competition is extreme and the college has elite admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Swarthmore College?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1395 and 1540. 62% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Swarthmore College?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 31 and 34. 43% of students submit ACT scores when applying. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.