Lydia Tahraoui 3 min read College Essays, Essay Breakdowns

How to the Write Swarthmore College Essay 2016-2017


Beginning with its founding as one of the nation’s earliest coeducational institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College has a long and rich tradition of academic excellence. Founded in 1864, Swarthmore is often ranked among the country’s top three liberal arts colleges, and with good reason. Small class sizes, extensive course offerings, and excellent research opportunities make this Pennsylvania school a top choice for many students every year.


Swarthmore College has an undergraduate population of approximately 1,581 students and approximately 178 faculty members. That makes for an extremely impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, which means that students benefit from direct access to top academic minds and enjoy intimate, personal classroom settings.


However, Swarthmore’s size certainly does not impact the range of its offerings. This college offers 40 different courses of study, and is notably one of the few liberal arts colleges with an engineering program. Swarthmore also boasts a robust course catalog, from which students can choose from over 600 courses.


If in spite of this, a student cannot find exactly what they were looking to study, there’s no need to worry. Swarthmore has fantastic partnerships with other top colleges in the area, in which students are allowed to cross register and take classes at multiple schools. The college is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, along with Bryn Mawr and Haverford, and a member of the Quaker Consortium, which includes the University of Pennsylvania. This means that students have a plethora of exciting academic opportunities readily available to them.


Considering Swarthmore’s strong academic offerings, it comes as no surprise that many students choose to continue their education after graduation. In fact, approximately 90% of grads eventually attend a graduate or professional school, further giving credit to the school’s reputation as a deeply intellectual institution.


Though Swarthmore is largely renowned for its academics, the campus culture is also extremely rich and exciting. Students can choose from over one hundred extracurricular organizations, including the award-winning Mock Trial team and its several a cappella groups. Greek life has a small but still notable presence on this campus, limited to one sorority and two fraternities.


Swarthmore’s strengths make it a top choice for many applicants every year. According to the most recently available data, approximately 7,818 students sought admission to the Swarthmore Class of 2019. Of those, approximately 976, or 12 percent, were admitted.


As admission grows more and more competitive, it becomes all the more important to craft a strong essay to impress admissions officers and bolster your chances for acceptance. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different strategies, tips, and tricks you need to help you write a fantastic Swarthmore supplemental essay.


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Lydia Tahraoui
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Lydia is a Social Studies concentrator at Harvard University who is deeply committed to helping guide students through the college admissions process. In addition to writing for the CollegeVine blog, Lydia enjoys analyzing Middle Eastern and North African politics and keeping up with all things pop culture.