Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 80.24

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore is an elite and demanding liberal arts school founded by the Quakers in 1864. Though relatively small, with about 1,600 undergraduates, the private school offers students unusually expansive opportunities. Swatties can leave the 425-acre campus to take classes at nearby Bryn Mawr, Haverford and the University of Pennsylvania. Swarthmore's own classes are typically small – there is an 8:1 student-faculty ratio – and many students participate in the school's Honors Program. With seven libraries and more than 40 paths of study, Swarthmore appears to instill a love of learning: Some 22% of graduates go on to doctoral programs, the third-highest percentage in the nation. Those who do go on to graduate school are well-prepared, with two-thirds of undergraduate students participating in research or independent creative projects. Swarthmore's 22 varsity teams play in Division III, but school spirit is perhaps better exemplified by another kind of athletic tradition: Once a year, students partake in the McCabe Mile, an 18-lap race named for Tim McCabe, an alum for whom the library is also named and who served as president of Scott Paper Company. Runners vie for a unique prize: a big roll of Scott toilet paper.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$75,800
% of students who get any grants
60%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$21,500
Average price for low-income students
$4,590

Admissions

Acceptance rate
9%
Median SAT/ACT score
1460/29
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
1,580

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
2%
Average merit grant
$50,050

Student Success

Graduation rate
94%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$18,000
Early career earnings
$72,640
% earning more than a high school grad
76%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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