The college received 343 applicants for this year’s Early Decision I deadline, which was November 15. Compared to the number of last year’s ED1 applicants, the College saw an eight percent increase. Swarthmore is not the only college that witnessed an increase; several other schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Northwestern University, also recorded various increases, ranging from less than one percent for Princeton to 14 percent for Northwestern. Each college’s increase occurred despite technical difficulties with this year’s Common Application.
The 343 applicants this year mark the second highest number of fall ED applicants. The College’s record was two years ago, with 346 applicants. The College also recorded its highest number of male applicants for ED1.
This year’s high amount was recorded despite the College’s recent media attention. Vice President and Dean of Admission Jim Bock ’90 said it’s too early to predict if the recent press coverage will affect the overall number of applicants.
“We are still far away from our regular decision deadline, but for those choosing to make Swarthmore a first choice school, there seems to have been little impact.”
ED II, a binding application deadline in the winter, will help determine if these increases are just with the first deadline or will be consistent throughout applications for the Class of 2018. The ED II deadline, as with the regular decision deadline, is January 1. Students who applied ED I will hear their decision on December 15. ED II applicants find out if they are accepted on February 15, compared to regular decision’s April 1 notification.
“The ED I pool is typically larger, and students tend to feel a bit more confident about their applications and their grades from 9th-11th grades, as we do not have senior grades,” Bock said. “We will only have progress reports as of the deadline, and these students will have had a chance to submit all required testing. Many students wait until the January 1 ED II deadline to allow them time to submit the required admission testing and to complete their first semester of senior year and to submit first semester grades. In November, we only have progress reports or first quarter grades. Also, those concerned about financial aid will often wait to apply for the second round, as it ‘forces’ these students to submit their other regular applications at the same time and it gives parents some extra time to fill out the required forms.”
The averaged acceptance rate for the college’s ED I and ED II applicants last year was 31 percent, with an overall acceptance rate of 14 percent.