How Swarthmore Will Evaluate Applications in the Context of COVID PDF. In Email
Thứ ba, 13 Tháng 10 2020 09:57

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Dear Loi,

We hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe. Now that we have begun the fall semester, we wanted to share some information about our application review process, how we will be evaluating students in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we are supporting Swarthmore students this fall. We hope that this will provide context for the work that you are doing to support students through this process.

Application Deadline Change
In order to better serve students, families, and counselors, we have decided to move our Winter Early Decision and Regular Decision deadlines to January 4, 2021. We hope this will allow students more time after the winter holidays to submit their applications. Our Fall Early Decision deadline (November 15) is remaining the same. As always, we will accept supplemental documents, such as school transcripts, after the deadline for admission. 

Test-Optional Policy
For students applying to Swarthmore in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admissions cycles, we have suspended our requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. Students will be able to report previous testing as part of their application process, if they wish. Until now, students could not report the results of their PSAT or PreACT. They will now be able to do so, along with results of any SAT, ACT, AP exams, or IB exams. Students who either did not take a test or choose not to share results with us will not be penalized in the admissions process. 

This policy will apply to all applicants including domestic and international students, first-year applicants and transfers, and students attending public and private schools and homeschooled applicants. For more information regarding our test-optional policy, please see our Test-Optional Policy Update on our Information for Counselors page.

Context-Based Evaluation
Swarthmore reads applications through a committee-based, contextual and holistic admissions process. We take into account what opportunities and resources students have had access to, high school curricula, geographic location, family background, and cultural identity. This contextual evaluation is even more important this year. We understand that extracurriculars may look different, or not be available at all, this year. Transcripts may look different as students had to adjust to learning from home this past spring and many schools changed their grading policies. Context is crucial to our evaluation of a student’s application, and we will pay even more attention this year to ensure we consider the full context of each student’s background, experiences, and opportunities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If a student wishes to share any additional context with us, they may do so in the new COVID-related questions on the Common Application or Coalition Application. They may also include information in the “Additional Information” section available in the Common Application, Coalition Application, and Questbridge Application. You can read more about how we evaluate applications and what we are looking for in potential Swatties on our Apply to Swarthmore page. 

Textbook Affordability Program
Swarthmore remains committed to equity and inclusion for all students, whether or not they will be on campus this fall. For the 2020-2021 academic year, Swarthmore has introduced a Textbook Affordability Program. Through this initiative, the cost of tuition now includes a $700 allowance for all students to help cover the cost of required course materials. Students can use this allowance to purchase textbooks from our Campus & Community Store and cover the cost of shipping textbooks for students not living on campus this fall. We hope this program will alleviate some of the hidden costs borne by many of our students and their families. Calls
This year, the Swarthmore Admissions Office will not be holding school counselor calls before decision release in order to focus on better serving all students and counselors. After conducting internal analysis, we found that counselor calls were requested disproportionately by private and independent school counselors and rarely by public school counselors and college access advisors. Still, we understand why information related to applicant decisions is important to you.

To ensure all school counselors have access to applicant-related information, we will launch our participation in this year. This will allow counselors to view Swarthmore decisions after decisions have been released to students. We hope this provides valuable information to all school counselors. To register for for free, school counselors can visit

Thank you for your hard work in supporting students as they explore their post-secondary options! Should you have questions, please feel free to reach out to your regional dean. We appreciate all that you do. 

Andrew Moe, Ed.D.
Director of Admissions