|President:||Rebecca S. Chopp|
|Colors:||Garnet and Gray|
|Mascot:||Phineas the Phoenix|
|Endowment:||$1.508 billion (June 30, 2011)|
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles (17.7 km) southwest of Philadelphia.
Founded in 1864, Swarthmore was one of the earliest coeducational colleges in the United States. The school was organized by a committee of Quakers prominent in abolitionist and women's rights movement, notably the activist Lucretia Mott. Swarthmore was established to be a college, "...under the care of Friends, at which an education may be obtained equal to that of the best institutions of learning in our country." Swarthmore dropped its religious affiliation and became officially non-sectarian in the early 20th century.
Today, the college is known for a rigorous intellectual character, shaped by a commitment to social responsibility and the legacy of Swarthmore's Quaker heritage. Ninety percent of graduates eventually attend graduate or professional school and over twenty percent of graduates attain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in their lifetime, a rate surpassed only by the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College.
Swarthmore is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, a cooperative arrangement among Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, and Haverford College. The consortium shares an integrated library system of more than three million volumes, and students are able to cross-register in courses at all three institutions. A common Quaker heritage amongst the consortium schools and the University of Pennsylvania also extends this cross-registration agreement to classes at Penn's College of Arts and Sciences.
Swarthmore's campus and the Scott Arboretum are coterminous—that is, they are coextensive in land, sharing the same borders.
The name "Swarthmore" has its roots in early Quaker history. In England, Swarthmoor Hall in Cumbria was the home of Thomas and Margaret Fell in 1652 when George Fox, fresh from his epiphany atop Pendle Hill in 1651, came to visit. The visitation turned into a long association as Fox persuaded Thomas and Margaret Fell and the inhabitants of the nearby village of Fenmore of Friendly, and Swarthmoor was used for the first Friends' meetings.
The school was founded in 1864 by a committee of Quakers who were members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting and Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Edward Parrish was its first president. Lucretia Mott was among those who insisted that Swarthmore be coeducational.
By the early 1900s, the college had a big-time sports program (playing Princeton, Columbia, and other larger schools) and an active fraternity and sorority life. The 1920 appointment of Frank Aydelotte as President began the development of the school's modern academic focus, particularly with his vision for the Honors program, based on his experience as a Rhodes Scholar.
Solomon Asch and Wolfgang Köhler were two noted psychologists who were professors at Swarthmore. Asch joined the faculty in 1947 and served until 1966, while Köhler came to Swarthmore in 1935 and served until his retirement in 1958. The Asch conformity experiments took place at Swarthmore.
In its 2012 college ranking, U.S. News & World Report ranked Swarthmore as the #3 liberal arts college, with an overall score of 96/100, behind Williams and Amherst, respectively. Since the inception of the U.S. News rankings, Amherst, Williams, and Swarthmore are the only colleges to have been ranked #1 on the liberal arts rankings list, with the three colleges often switching places with one another every year. Swarthmore has been ranked the number one liberal arts college in the country a total of six times so far (the most recent being in 2002).
In its 2010 ranking of undergraduate programs, Forbes Magazine ranked Swarthmore as seventh in the nation. Placed ahead of Swarthmore were, in order, Williams, Princeton, Amherst, United States Military Academy, MIT and Stanford, while Harvard, Claremont McKenna, and Yale followed Swarthmore to round out the top ten institutions. In a 2008 ranking of undergraduate programs by Forbes Magazine, Swarthmore was ranked fourth after Princeton, Caltech, and Harvard, respectively.
In the March/April 2007 edition of Foreign Policy magazine, a ranking of the top twenty institutions for the study of international relations placed Swarthmore as the highest-ranked undergraduate-only institution, coming in at 15. The only other undergraduate-focused programs to make the list were Dartmouth and Williams, although neither school is exclusively undergraduate.
Swarthmore ranks 10th in a 2004 Wall Street Journal survey of feeder schools to elite business, medical, and law schools.
The Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium published a comprehensive study on the Ph.D. productivity of all undergraduate programs in October 2006. The study found that Swarthmore ranked third among all institutions of higher education in the United States as measured by the percentage of graduates who go on to earn Ph.D.'s. Only Caltech, at number one, and Harvey Mudd, in second, outranked Swarthmore, with Reed, MIT, Carleton, Oberlin, Bryn Mawr, University of Chicago, and Grinnell rounding out the top ten, respectively.
PC World ranked Swarthmore as the 4th most wired college in the nation in a 2006 report.
In 2008, The Princeton Review gave Swarthmore a 99 (the highest possible score) on their Admissions Selectivity Rating.
In the November 2003 selectivity ranking for undergraduate programs, The Atlantic magazine ranked Swarthmore as the only liberal arts college to make the top ten institutions, placing Swarthmore in tenth place.  
In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Swarthmore was named the #1 "Best Value" private college by The Princeton Review. Overall selection criteria included more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs and financial aid. Swarthmore was also placed on The Princeton Review's Financial Aid Honor Roll along with twelve other institutions, including Caltech, Harvard, and Williams, for receiving the highest possible rating in its ranking methodology.
Swarthmore's Oxford tutorial-inspired Honors Program allows students to take double-credit seminars from their junior year and often write honors theses. Seminars are usually composed of four to eight students. Students in seminars will usually write at least three ten-page papers per seminar, and often one of these papers is expanded into a 20-30 page paper by the end of the seminar. At the end of their senior year, Honors students take oral and written examinations conducted by outside experts in their field. Around one student in each discipline is awarded "Highest Honors"; others are either awarded "High Honors" or "Honors"; rarely, a student is denied any Honors altogether by the outside examiner. Each department usually has a grade threshold for admittance to the Honors program.
Unusual for a liberal arts college, Swarthmore has an engineering program; at the end of four years, students are granted a B.S. in Engineering. Other notable programs include minors in peace and conflict studies, cognitive science, and interpretation theory.
Swarthmore has a total undergraduate student enrollment of 1,491 (for the 2007-2008 year) and 165 faculty members (99% with a terminal degree), for a student-faculty ratio of 8:1. Despite the small size of the college, the college offers more than 600 courses a year in over 50 courses of study. Swarthmore has a reputation as a very academically-oriented college, with 90% of graduates eventually attending graduate or professional school. With the highest frequency, alumni earn graduate degrees at UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.
Swarthmore is a member of the Tri-College Consortium (or TriCo) with nearby Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College, which allows students from any of the three to cross-register for courses at any of the others. The consortium as a whole is additionally affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and students are able to cross-register for courses there as well.
While many in higher education recognize Swarthmore College's relative lack of grade inflation,  there is some controversy over the accuracy of such perceptions. One study by a Swarthmore professor in 1993 found "significant grade inflation." However, other professors and students fervently dispute the findings based on their own experience. Current students go so far as to sport Swarthmore t-shirts proclaiming, "Anywhere else it would've been an A." Some have pointed out that statistics suggesting grade inflation over the past decades may be exaggerated by reporting practices and the fact that grades were not given in the Honors program until 1996. In the end, many still credit Swarthmore with having resisted grade inflation, bucking the perceived trend amongst peer institutions. 
Since the 1970s, Swarthmore students have won 30 Rhodes Scholarships, 8 Marshall Scholarships, 151 Fulbright Scholarships, 22 Truman Scholarships, 13 Luce Scholarships, 67 Watson Fellowships, 3 Soros Fellowships, 18 Goldwater Scholarships, 84 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships, 13 National Endowment for the Humanities Grants for Younger Scholars, 234 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships, 35 Woodrow Wilson Fellowships, and 2 Mitchell Scholarships.
In 2011, 14.9% of applicants were admitted to Swarthmore for the Class of 2015. 31% of the admitted students were valedictorians or salutatorians, 51% were in the top 2% of their high school class, and 89% in the top decile. For the Class of 2014, the middle 50% SAT range for mathematics, critical reading, and writing were 670-770, 670-760, and 680-770, respectively. The Middle 50% ACT range is 29 - 33.
The total cost of tuition, student activity fees, room, and board for the 2008-2009 academic year was $47,804 (tuition alone was $36,154).
One hundred percent of admitted students' demonstrated need is offered by the college. In total, about half of the student body receives financial aid, and the average financial aid award was $32,913 during the 2007-2008 year. As a "need-blind" school, Swarthmore makes admission decisions and financial aid decisions independently.
Swarthmore's endowment at the end of FY2008 was $1,412,609,000. Endowment per student was $966,631 for 2007–2008, one of the highest in the country.
Operating revenue for the 2007-2008 school year was $130,536,000, over 40% of which was provided by the endowment. As is the case with most elite institutions of higher education, actual costs as measured on a per-student basis far exceed revenue from tuition and fees, and so Swarthmore's endowment serves to offset ever-rising costs of education, subsidizing every student's education at Swarthmore—even those paying full tuition. For the 2008-2009 year, tuition, fees, and room & board charges ($47,804) fell well short of the actual cost of education per student, which was approximately $81,073 in 2007-2008.
Swarthmore ended a $230 million capital campaign on October 6, 2006, when President Bloom declared the project completed, three months ahead of schedule. The campaign, christened the "Meaning of Swarthmore," had been underway officially since the fall of 2001. 87% of the college's alumni participated in the effort.
At the end of 2007, the Swarthmore Board of Managers approved the decision for the college to eliminate student loans from all financial aid packages. Instead, additional aid scholarships will be granted.
Swarthmore is located southwest of the city of Philadelphia. The campus consists of 399acres, based on a north-south axis anchored by Parrish Hall, which houses numerous administrative offices and student lounges, as well as two floors of student housing. The fourth floor houses campus radio station WSRN-FM as well as the weekly student newspaper, The Phoenix.
From the SEPTA Swarthmore commuter train station and the ville of Swarthmore to the south, the oak-lined Magill Walk leads north up a hill to Parrish. The campus is also adjacent to the Scott Arboretum, cited by some as a main staple of the campus's renowned beauty.
The majority of the buildings housing classrooms and department offices are located to the north of Parrish, as are Kyle and Woolman dormitories. McCabe Library is to the east of Parrish, as are the dorms of Willets, Mertz, Worth, Alice Paul, and David Kemp Hall. To the west are the dorms of Wharton, Dana, and Hallowell, along with the Scott Amphitheater. The Crum Woods generally extend westward from the campus, toward the Crum Creek. South of Parrish are Sharples dining hall, the two non-residential fraternities (Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon), and various other buildings. Palmer, Pittenger, and Roberts dormitories are south of the railroad station, as are the athletic facilities, while Mary Lyon dorm is off-campus to the southwest.
The College has three main libraries (McCabe Library, the Cornell Library of Science and Engineering, and the Underhill Music and Dance Library) and seven other specialized collections. In total, the libraries hold over 800,000 print volumes as well as an expanding digital library of over 10,000 online journal subscriptions, reference materials, e-books, and other scholarly databases.
There are more than 100 chartered clubs and organizations at Swarthmore, in addition to many other unchartered groups. Clubs and organizations are a fundamental part of the College, and the center of many students' energies and social life. This extracurricular involvement contributes to the frequent characterization of Swarthmore students as both motivated and overworked.
Founded in 2007, the Swarthmore Mock Trial program has won numerous accolades and boasts a team of over 30 members for the 2011-2012 season. The 2010-2011 competitive season resulted in all three teams competing at Regional Championships, two teams going on to Opening Round Championships, and one team qualifying and competing at the 2011 National Championships held in Des Moines, Iowa, where the team placed 15th in their section. Mock Trial’s A Team placed first out of 28 teams in the Philadelphia Regional Championship on February 20, 2011.
The Amos J. Peaslee Debate Society, named after a former United States Ambassador to Australia, is one of the few independently endowed organizations on campus. Members of the Society generally debate on the American Parliamentary Debate Association circuit.
The Swarthmore College Democrats are a student-run political organization on campus. In 2008, they brought Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and former Alaska senator and then-presidential candidate Mike Gravel to campus. 
While Swarthmore has historically had a mostly liberal student body, the Swarthmore College Republicans were revived as a group in the spring of 2008. However, they are no longer an active group on campus. Conservatives are now represented in their own Swarthmore Conservatives group.
Two Greek organizations exist on the campus in the form of the fraternities Delta Upsilon and Phi Psi. Notably absent are sororities, which were abandoned in the 1930s following student outrage about discrimination within the sorority system. There is an all-female student group known as LaSS (The Ladies' Soiree Society), which organizes campus wide charity events and social functions.
See also: Bob Maxwell. Swarthmore offers a wide variety of sporting teams with a total of 22 Division III Varsity Intercollegiate Sports Teams. 40 percent of Swarthmore students play intercollegiate or club sports.
Varsity teams including badminton, baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field and volleyball play in the Centennial Conference. Notably lacking among these teams is football, which was controversially eliminated in 2000, along with wrestling and initially badminton. The Board of Managers offered a number of reasons for eliminating football, including lack of athletes on campus and difficulty of recruiting.  Swarthmore also offers a number of club sport options, including men's and women's rugby, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, fencing, and squash.
The official weekly newspaper of Swarthmore College is The Phoenix. It is published every Thursday, except during final week and vacation time. Some staff positions are paid a token amount. The newspaper was founded in 1881, with online editions beginning in 1995. Its current tabloid format is more similar to a newsmagazine than a newspaper, with a color front cover. Two thousand copies, free of charge, are distributed across the college campus and to the borough of Swarthmore. The newspaper is printed by Bartash printing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The newspaper's staff runs The Phoenix's website, with bandwidth provided by the Swarthmore College Information Technology Services. In 2010, The Phoenix was an Online Pacemaker for the Associated Collegiate Press award.
The Daily Gazette is another student newspaper. E-mailed daily to 2,500 people, its coverage includes news, arts, and daily sports reporting. The first issues were distributed through e-mail during the fall semester of 1996, with an online edition soon following. It is partially funded through the Student Activity Fee, with additional income from advertising.
There are a number of magazines at Swarthmore, most of which are published biannually at the end of each semester. One is Spike, Swarthmore's humor magazine. The others are literary magazines, including Small Craft Warnings, which publishes poetry, fiction and artwork; Scarlet Letters, which publishes women's literature; Enie, for Spanish literature; OURstory, for literature relating to diversity issues; Bug-Eyed Magazine, a very limited-run science fiction/fantasy magazine published by Psi Phi, formerly known as SWIL; Remappings (formerly "CelebrASIAN"), published by the Swarthmore Asian Organization; Alchemy, a collection of academic writings published by the Swarthmore Writing Associates; Mjumbe, published by the Swarthmore African-American Student Society; and a magazine for French literature. An erotica magazine, ! (pronounced "bang") was briefly published in 2005 in homage to an earlier publication, Untouchables. Most of the literary magazines print approximately 500 copies, with around 100 pages. There is also a new photography magazine, Pun/ctum, which features work from students and alumni.
The school's yearbook, The Halcyon, has been published annually since 1887. Because Commencement is such an important event, The Halcyon includes professional photos of the ceremony and is therefore printed later, in the fall. The new alumni, however, receive their book in the mail over the summer. The Halcyon is free to all students who attended Swarthmore for at least one semester during the academic year it covers. As a result, The Halcyon is the college's most costly student publication and there is currently a movement to offer books free only to seniors, and to reallocate money towards subsidizing student textbook costs.
As of the 2009-2010 school year, there are five active a cappella groups. Sixteen Feet, founded in 1981, is the College's oldest group, as well as its first and only all-male group. Grapevine is its corresponding all-female group, and Mixed Company is a co-ed group. Essence of Soul is a group whose music focuses on the music of the African Diaspora. Lastly, Chaverim is a co-ed group that includes students from the Tri-College Consortium and draws on music from cultures around the world for its repertoire. Once every semester, all of the school's a cappella groups collaborate for a joint concert called Jamboree.
WSRN 91.5 FM is the college radio station. It has a mix of indie, rock, hip-hop, folk, world, jazz, and classical music, as well as a number of radio talk shows. At one time, WSRN had a significant news department, and covered events such as the "Crisis of '69", extensively. Many archived recordings of musical and spoken word performances exist, such as the once-annual Swarthmore Folk Festival. Today WSRN focuses virtually exclusively on entertainment, though it has covered significant news developments such as the athletic cuts in 2000 and the effects of 11 September 2001 on campus. War News Radio and The Sudan Radio Project (formerly the Darfur Radio Project) do broadcast news on WSRN, however. Currently, the longest running show in WSRN's lineup is "Oído al Tambor", which focuses on news and music from Latin America. The show has been running non-stop, on Sundays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., since September 2006. After its members graduated in December 2009, the show's concept was revived by the show "Rayuela", which has been running since September 2009.
Swarthmore College students are eligible to participate in the local emergency department, the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association. They are trained as firefighters and as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and are qualified on both the state and national level. The fire department responds to over 200 fire calls and almost 800 EMS calls a year.
Swarthmore is known as a center of social and political activism. The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, endowed by philanthropist and Swarthmore alumnus Eugene M. Lang '38 in 2002, prepares students for leadership in civic engagement, public service, advocacy and social action. Swarthmore students are active in the local community, performing outreach programs in nearby Chester. The college has recently received significant coverage due to two student groups founded in 2004, the Genocide Intervention Network (now an independent non-profit organization) and War News Radio. Swarthmore's political landscape is generally considered almost exclusively far-left, though student activism is far less than it was in the heyday of the protest culture of the 1960s. Recent high-profile campaigns included a living wage organization (Swarthmore Living Wage & Democracy Campaign); actions surrounding the electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold Election Systems (now Premier Election Solutions) by campus groups Students for Free Culture and Why War?; and a "Kick Coke" campaign aimed at replacing soda machines offering Coca-Cola with alternative products. The Kick-Coke campaign had a victory in November 2006 when the College agreed to cut its contract with Coca-Cola. However, after finding that the Kick-Coke campaign's assertions had been false, and after the company showed that it did indeed do a thorough investigation about the claims, Coca-Cola resigned a contract with the college in early fall of 2009.
Swarthmore College Computer Society (SCCS) is a student-run organization independent of the official ITS department of the college. In addition to operating a set of servers that provide e-mail accounts, Unix shell login accounts, server storage space, and webspace to students, professors, alumni, and other student-run organizations, SCCS hosts over 100 mailing lists used by various student groups, and over 130 organizational websites, including the website of the student newspaper, The Phoenix. SCCS also provides a number of spaces that are open to members of the student body, as well as to faculty and staff:
The computer lab and Video Pit together comprise the SCCS Media Lounge, located in Clothier basement beneath Essie Mae's snack bar. The SCCS staff consists of a group of students selected by existing staff and approved by members of a student body-elected policy board.
In September 2003, the SCCS servers survived a Slashdotting while hosting a copy of the Diebold memos on behalf of the student group Free Culture Swarthmore, then known as the Swarthmore Coalition for the Digital Commons. SCCS staff promptly complied with the relevant DMCA takedown request received by the college's ITS department.
SCCS was noted in PC Magazine's article "Top 20 Wired Colleges" as one of the reasons for ranking Swarthmore #4 on that list. During the 2004-2005 school year, the SCCS Media Lounge served as the early home of War News Radio, a weekly webcast run by Swarthmore students and providing news about the Iraq war, providing resources, space, and technical support for the project in its infancy.
See main article: List of Swarthmore College people. Swarthmore's alumni include five Nobel Prize winners (second highest number of Nobel Prize winners per graduate in the U.S.), including the 2006 Physics laureate John C. Mather (1968), the 2004 Economics laureate Edward Prescott (1962) and the 1972 Chemistry laureate Christian B. Anfinsen (1937). Swarthmore also has 8 MacArthur Foundation fellows and hundreds of prominent figures in law, art, science, business, politics, and other fields.
Other prominent alumni: Seventh Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook (1970); Congressman Christopher Van Hollen (1983); Senator Carl Levin of Michigan (1956); Author Mark Vonnegut (1969); musical composer and satirist Peter Schickele (1957); astronomer Sandra M. Faber (1966); The Corrections and Freedom author Jonathan Franzen (1981); New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley; Long-time Variety editor, Peter Bart; Caltech president and Nobel laureate David Baltimore (1960); Former Georgetown University Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff (1974); Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.; philosopher and Nietzschean scholar Alexander Nehamas (1967); Justin Hall (1998), widely considered to be the first blogger; eminent Polish theatre director Michal Zadara (1999); Wall Street magnate and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. founder Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. (1946) who also founded the Philip Evans Scholarship Foundation in 1986 at Swarthmore; Jed Rakoff (1964) US District Judge for the Southern District of New York; Kenneth Turan (1967) film critic for the Los Angeles Times; Faux-Christian Music/Comedy duo God's Pottery Krister Johnson (1995) and Wilson Hall (1995); The Gregory Brothers, of internet series Auto-Tune the News fame, Evan Gregory (2001) and Andrew Gregory (2004); Author Kurt Eichenwald; Long-time editor of The Nation, Victor Navasky (1954); Eugene Lang (1938), founder of the I Have a Dream Foundation, who has endowed many buildings and programs on campus, including, as noted above, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility; Eugene's son, film star Stephen Lang (actor) (1973); Cynthia Leive Glamour Magazine Editor-in-Chief;Patrick Awuah founder of Ashesi University; Lisa Albert Emmy Award winning writer and producer for AMC's Mad Men
An internationally important archive of papers and books concerning the work of pacifist organizations and individuals, the Peace Collection forms part of the Swarthmore College Library. Its mission is to gather, preserve, and make accessible material that documents non-governmental efforts for nonviolent social change, disarmament, and conflict resolution between peoples and nations.
Swarthmore College. September 29, 2011. 2011.