Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Late last week, admission letters went out to dozens of high school seniors who will join the Swarthmore class of 2013. Together with the Early Decision I group, they total around 165 students. By May, these enthusiastic admits will be joined by around 200 regular decision students to make up the incoming freshman class.
Allaying any fears that the number of applications—at least early ones—might decline because of the worsening economy, Jim Bock ’90, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, reported that 493 students, a record number, applied early this year. 33% of applicants were admitted; this percentage is the same as last year’s, which was the most selective early decision year to date.
The Gazette contacted a few of the future freshmen to hear their thoughts. Ben Kapilow ’13 says he’s “beyond ecstatic” to be coming to Swarthmore in the fall; Aaron Kramer ’13 has been “wearing [his] Swarthmore sweatshirt like a billboard.”
The future Swatties are athletes, musicians and poets. Nick Gettino ’13 has been active in green entrepreneurship projects, Ben and Maya Aiode ’13 both compose music, and Aaron is part of the Chalk Brigade, a group of impromptu poets that roam (and chalk) his neighborhood’s streets.
All of the (self-selecting) group had high praise for current Swatties. Chloe Stevens ’13 says “the people at Swat really set it apart” from other schools and sees students here as “intelligent, unique and down-to-earth.” Aaron describes us well: the typical Swattie, he says, is “philosophically adventurous and spectacularly nerdy” as well as “socially aware.”
Asked how she imagined the typical Swarthmore student, Maya had one word: “Atypical.” The new admits seem to be no exception.