Questions about Swarthmore...

<p>The more I research colleges, the more it seems that Swarthmore might be the perfect place for me. The one thing I'm worried about, however, is grad placement. I'm a bit afraid that Swat doesn't have the reputation of, say, Stanford, and that not having grad level classes could work against me in grad school. Otherwise it seems like the perfect fit.
Can you tell me the pros/cons you see about Swarthmore? Those who are applying ED, why is it your first choice?
Also, should I consider ED II? Is that allowed if I applied early to Stanford? I'm scared I might not get in... what do you think my chances are regular? </p>

<p><a href="http://www.*************2009/display.php?user=marlgirl%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.*************2009/display.php?user=marlgirl&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

-1 of 87 at a highly competitive prep school
-3.96 UW, 4.61 W
-white female
-math/physics major
-770 V, 780 M, 1550 SAT 1
-800 Math IIC, 800 Biology (M), 760 Writing
-research @ UCLA in cognitive science, 11th & 12th
-debate, 9-12th, a bunch of regional awards, coach for 7/8th grade team in 11-12th grade
- Model United Nations, a couple of awards at UCB competition
- Piano/music ensemble 9-12th
- math team, 10th-12th
- community service, 10-12th
- varsity badminton 10th
- philosophy club 10th - 12th </p>

<li>I'll have really great recs, and I'm still working on the essay... I might use my Stanford extended essay that I really like about how my friends and I talk a lot about academic-ish stuff, like make math/physics puns all the time and stuff, it's cute and my english teacher thinks it's pretty original</li>

<p>Summer Programs:
-CTY Psychology 2001, Biology 2002
- A community service/ language immersion program in Paris where I studied french and took an art/architecture class in french, 2003
- Stanford University Math Camp, studied advanced math (selected topics from Topology, a class most math majors don't take until soph/junior year of college), 2004 </p>

<p>I think I really am a good match for the school. I really LOVE to learn. Many of the Quaker ideals really match my philosophy on life. To me, hanging out with friends and working together on a Calculus problem set sounds like it has the potential for being really fun. I also love the idea of getting to know my professors, as this year many of my teachers would consider me to be a friend.</p>

<p>I think you can apply ED II, since you'll already know if you got into Stanford (you may want to ask Stanford about it if you are accepted).
As for the rest of your questions, Swarthmore has a very good reputation, and a great grad placement record. You can ask some more specific questions on LiveJournal forum (<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;). Usually a lot of current students will reply with detailed answers. (I think you have to make an account to be able to post there though.)</p>

<p>And, by the way, I am sure you'll be just fine applying RD.</p>

<p>Just fine as in I'm probably in? Or just have a pretty good chance? I'm really scared of not getting in there... it just seems like maybe I found exactly the perfect place for me and I'm scared of the chance that I'd be rejected... But I'm so perfect for them! I really am! I just hope that they see that.</p>

<p>I think you'll get in RD, especially if you feel so strongly that this is the perfect place for you (and can convey that to the adcom through your "Why Swarthmore?" essay;)... My daughter was in similar situation (got into Stanford EA, but opted for Swarthmore). I think RD is a better option, because it gives you some time to weigh your decision.</p>

<p>Why did your daughter choose Swarthmore over Stanford? What did she think she wanted to major in? I'm actually pretty sure that in the end it will come down to Stanford or Swarthmore, so I'm really curious what made her decide on Swarthmore. Is she enjoying Swarthmore? Does she ever wonder if Stanford might have been a better place for her? If there's any way I could contact her and learn a bit about why she decided to go for Swarthmore, that'd be really helpful. Thanks!</p>

<p>My daughter is interested in philosophy. She thought that Swarthmore would have more of a quirky-intellectual community (which is what she likes). One of the most important factors for her were small classes and close relationships with faculty. When she went to visit, she felt at home there, even though it was in February and seemed to be -40 degrees outside.</p>

<p>Does she ever wonder if Stanford might have been a better place for her? She did at first. I am not sure, if she still does sometimes. I guess it's the price you pay for having to chose between 2 awesome schools. She is happy at Swarthmore, and from what I know, I am pretty sure that she made the right decision. Her brother is at Stanford, and is very happy there. But they are two very different people - he has no need what so ever to be friends with professors, and does not mind large lecture classes.</p>

<p>Thanks! Wow, so you probably know a whole lot about both schools. Yeah, I really want to be able to get to know my profs... that's pretty important to me. At Stanford I'd undoubtedly go out of my way to get to know them, whereas at Swarthmore it seems that it would just kinda happen on its own. I really like the idea of being in a quirky-intellectually community. That's basically what my closest friends are like (I think I'll actually use my essay about my friends bringing what we learn in class into everyday life for swarthmore, like lots of bad math/physics puns and such). I will definitely make a point to go visit there when we have a day off at some point so I can see class at Swat without missing school.</p>

<p>There is information, you know, on future graduate school productivity.
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Swarthmore breaks the top ten in eight separate areas. Stanford? exactly once, and that in medical sciences. If grad placement is your sole criteria (it shouldn't be), the two aren't the same, and they aren't close - Stanford is a much inferior institution.</p>

<p>Thanks mini, that's helpful. Grad school placement is not at all my only consideration. I plan to go on to grad school and probably get a PhD as well, and I just want to be sure that I'll be well prepared, and it happens to be the one criterion I'm not sure Swarthmore meets. It's the major criticism many people I've talked to have about smaller schools, and I just want to know if really is a reason I should consider a larger research school over Swarthmore.</p>

<p>If Science and Math are your areas of interest, here is an article (posted in the old forum) on Science and Math at LACs and how they prepare you for graduate school:
<a href=""&gt;;/a> </p>

<p>If you go to the site. you will find many more articles of that nature.</p>

<p>Here is the rank for all US colleges and universities in per undergrad PhD production for the decade from 1990 - 2000:</p>

<li> California Institute of Technology</li>
<li> Harvey Mudd College</li>
<li> Swarthmore College</li>
<li> Reed College</li>
<li> Massachusetts Institute of Technology</li>
<li> Carleton College</li>
<li> Bryn Mawr College</li>
<li> University of Chicago</li>
<li> Oberlin College</li>
<li>Yale University</li>
<li>Princeton University</li>
<li>Grinnell College</li>
<li>Haverford College</li>
<li>Curtis Institute of Music</li>
<li>St. John's College</li>
<li>Pomona College</li>
<li>Kalamazoo College</li>
<li>Rice University</li>
<li>Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins Univers</li>
<li>Juilliard School, The</li>
<li>Amherst College</li>
<li>Williams College</li>
<li>New England Conservatory of Music</li>
<li>Stanford University</li>
<li>Harvard University</li>

<p>Note: This does not include M.D., M.B.A. or Law Degrees.</p>

<p>The rank varies slightly depending on the decade you look at. But, in the last three decades (70's. 80's 90's), Swarthmore has never ranked lower than 6th in per capita PhD. production.</p>

<p>If you look at Science and Engineering fields (physical and social sciences), 248 Swarthmore grads received Ph.D.s from 1991 - 1995. By comparison, Stanford undergrads accounted for 519 Ph.D.s in these fields. Rather striking when you consider that Stanford has almost 5 times more undergrads. If anything, you could probably argue that Swat is perhaps too heavily Ph.D. oriented.</p>

<p>Grad school admissions is definitely a non-issue as illustrated by the Reed link. My son in a Swat freshman. He visited Stanford numerous times for forensics training, debate tournaments, linear accelerator tour, etc. and never warmed up to the place. As a Berkeley grad it didn't really break my heart, though it is 2,500 miles closer than Swarthmore and has the name recognition. While both are stellar institutions S & S are vastly different. Stanford is sprawling and dominated by its beige-on-beige mission architecture. Swarthmore is beautiful and intimate but not small (no, I'm not biased). </p>

<p>My son is studying philosophy, semantics, sociology & music. Extra curric's. options seem limitless. Classes are stimulating and professors are accessable, but peers are the best part of Swat. Late night/early morning/late morning debates on the nature of existence and the meaning of meaning preclude sleep. This weekend is a full court press to register voters in Chester. All classes are canceled on Tuesday and son will be working with a slew of other Swatties driving as many people to the polls as they can.</p>

<p>Stanford or Swarthmore? Philadelphia or Palo Alto? Almost as easy as Tuesday's vote.</p>

<p>Discussions on the nature of existence and the meaning of meaning sound like lots of fun!!! God, it sounds like just a fun place...</p>

<p>Hey marlgirl - im applying early decision to Swarthmore for a number of reasons. I am intrigued by others who are doing the same. My stats are up in the same forum - and as you can see im not a patch on you! If you want to talk about Swarthmore, or philosophy, or the meaning of meaning, add me to AIM: vivaannehru ; we'll have some good discussions. :) peace + good luck [wherever you decide to go, im SURE you will get in, you have excellent stats]</p>

<p>p.s. in my opinion, your stats are outstanding enough so that you don't need to apply early decision ANYWHERE - and you should still probably get in, hands down. so if you have any INKLING of doubt, don't apply early.I promise you are still in the top 5% of apps they will read regular decision.</p>