College Admits 969 Applicants As Acceptance Rate Drops to 6.7 Percent

On March 17, 969 applicants were admitted to Swarthmore’s Class of 2027 from an application pool of 14,287 prospective students, signaling one of the lowest acceptance rates in Swarthmore history at 6.7 percent. This marks a drop in admits from the previous three years, in which 1,021, 1,014, and 1,023 applicants were admitted, respectively. 

In an interview with The Phoenix, Dean of Admissions Jim Bock explained the reason for the lower class admittance.

“We are looking to bring a smaller class to campus this year given the slight over-enrollment of the past two first-year classes, which allowed less room for transfer students. This made the decisions particularly difficult this year,” he explained. 

This year, the class of admits is composed of students from 53 different countries, with 118 students possessing dual citizenship. Bock commented on this international diversity. 

“We continue to see an increase of interest from international students as we reach a broader swath of applicants from around the country and the world,” Bock explained.

Daniel Torres ’22, a senior admissions fellow, had a role as an interviewer and student ambassador. In the role, he interviews students and writes up reports to help the Admissions Office make their decisions, as well as helping applicants learn more about Swarthmore.

He reflected on the type of prospective students to which Swarthmore appeals. 

“Swarthmore attracts not just intelligent, but deeply reflective students who don’t necessarily have everything figured out and see Swarthmore as an opportunity to grow academically and personally,” Torres said. 

The college is committed to evaluating all of these students’ applications fairly through a holistic review process that accounts for academics, individual background, and personal interests.

“Even with the increasing number of applications, we remain committed to a holistic and thorough review of each application,” Bock emphasized. “No one person or applicant is perfect and an admissions decision is never an indication of an individual’s worth.”

This ideology is present in the work of admissions fellows as well. 


“A lot of our work is being extra mindful about the differences in people’s backgrounds and is rooted in ensuring that every student feels confident and comfortable enough to tell us their background and passions without the pressure of saying the ‘right words,’” Torres explained. 

Bock also emphasized the Admissions Office’s focus on welcoming a diverse student body. This work has resulted in 34 percent of admits being first-generation college students.

“Like many things in life, the [admissions] process has never been easy, but we work hard each year to continue to mitigate barriers to welcome a set of students to the College from various backgrounds,” Bock said.

Bock also elaborated on Swarthmore’s current test-optional policy and its role in ensuring an equitable admissions process. 

“One trend we have noticed is about half of all applicants are electing not to submit test scores for admissions consideration. We are in the third year of a five year test optional pilot, and we are heartened that students are able to submit an application to Swarthmore with or without standardized testing who may have hesitated to apply to Swarthmore in the past,” he explained.

The caliber for acceptance remains high, however, with 94% of admitted students in the top decile of their high school class. The most popular majors for the Class of 2027 include engineering, computer science, political science, economics, and biology. 

Admitted students will be welcomed to Swarthmore for Swatlight, an all-expenses paid trip for admitted students from low-income, first-generation backgrounds who have worked with community-based organizations, and Swatstruck, Swarthmore’s admitted students program. Swatlight will take place on April 13 and 20 and Swatstruck on April 14 and 21.

1 Comment

  1. Every time I see how low the acceptance rates are, I think about how I could have gone to any other school.

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