Why Did YOU Choose Swarthmore?

<p>I'm actually quite surprised this thread isn't on this board already, but anyway, for prospective/current students and alums, why did you ultimately choose to attend (or transfer to) Swarthmore? I hope to visit the campus in the near future to help me decide if I will be applying for admission. Hopefully I will fall in love with the school and come up with a great answer for "Why do you want to go to Swarthmore?" but in the mean time, what were/are your answers to that question?</p>

<p>the people. the campus. the diversity. the social activism. the financial aid. the location. the academic intensity...</p>

<p>ditto all that...</p>

<p>plus they have a class in the linguistics of ASL. <em>dies</em></p>

<li>the people. 2. 'mapping the modern' 3. the people 4. the whole quaker, 'we'll give you money to save the world, we'll let you go to parties and mitch hedburg and zakir hussain and the walkmen for free' thing 5. the location - easy to get to philly for an evening, but with real (and fantastic) campus 6. the stairwell in trotter 7.no math or theology or western cit or anything really requirement 8. the people</li>

<p>Whoa ! I have the same question for all Swatties on this board, for I'm in the preparing stage. I'm hooked on Swarthmore, no doubt but honestly speaking, I'm now really torn between Williams and Swarthmore (We know full well that we can apply early decision to only ONE school, thus I want to make the shrewdest decision possible). So, Swatties-please tell me what make you so much hooked on your school and why I should pick lovely Swarthmore over Williams :)</p>

<p>Thanks a bunch ;)</p>

<p>You should not pick Swarthmore over Williams. Trust me.</p>

<p>I was in love with the school when I was first applying to colleges. I loved everything I heard about it: the intellectual rigor, social activism, campus beauty, small classes, diversity, professors, the "campus culture." That's why it was so disappointing to discover that it was all a sham. The disillusionment sets in for everyone sometime during freshman year, and contrary to all gloating, enthused parent responses, most of the students are severely dissatisfied with the school. Save yourself while you can. I'm not kidding around.</p>

<p>Once again, dude is clearly not a swat student. He is a senior who wants to minimize competition. rorrr.... whats your name?</p>

<p>Swarthmore and Williams are both superlative LACs. The only reason for choosing one over the other as your ED choice is that one may be a better "fit" for you specifically, based on factors like academic strengths or campus atmosphere. Swarthmore, for example, is probably the better choice for engineering; Williams is probably the better choice for skiing. </p>

<p>The locations and "cultures" of these two LACs are quite different, and so most people don't find it difficult to pick one or the other. There are relatively few cross-applicants between the two schools.</p>

<p>first and foremost: the academics. beautiful campus. intelligent group of individuals. not far from home (and close to philly). lots of things really...</p>

<p>and who is this rorrrr person? he has 2 posts, and both posts were bashing swarthmore.</p>

<p>I chose Swarthmore over Williams. I haven't gotten to Swat yet, but I'm just saying that Williams was way too cocky for me. I'm sure the classes are grand etc. the people make your college experience unless you plan to be a hermit, and I just couldn't handle the "we're number one," mentality. It's okay to have pride but the students at Williams took it way to far and it was a serious turn off. </p>

<p>I met quite a few people who were choosing between Swat and Williams when I went up to Williams for the admitted students thing and I think it went about half and half. However the people who went to Williams were interested mostly in their sports (which are way better than Swat) and were preppy esque and the ones who chose Swarthmore were turned off by the atmosphere at Williams. Honestly you just need to visit, because my thing might not be your thing. </p>

<p>Oh yeah, and it's in the middle of nowhere.</p>

<li><p>Because the undergrad education at Swat is better than the Ivy League schools, of which are famous because of the grad schools, law schools, and medical schools with said Ivy names attached</p></li>
<li><p>Because our professors will get to know us, not just the other way around</p></li>
<li><p>Because the people at Swarthmore are amazing</p></li>
<li><p>Because of the campus climate and "social consciousness"</p></li>
<li><p>Because of the flexibility of the curriculum and minimal core requirements</p></li>
<li><p>Because Swatties consistently get into the grad schools of their choice</p></li>
<li><p>Because an Engineering major would not get to take as many electives anywhere else</p></li>
<li><p>Because we will know how to write something meaningful after four years at Swat</p></li>
<li><p>Because we are safe outside of Philadelphia, but are close enough to enjoy the city with a train station on campus</p></li>

<p>and last but not least</p>

<li>Because college is not just about getting an education, but rather an experience and a chance to learn to be a great citizen ... I would not want to go anywhere but Swarthmore</li>

<p>my reason for choosing swarthmore? as stated earlier, it was the 'feel' of the place. i had visited several colleges and universities and one of the things about swarthmore was its lack of real competitive sports. yes, swat has sports but it is rather downplayed whereas at a place like williams, sports is a really big deal. if i could minimize one aspect of the college experience, i would minimize sports and that is what it appears that swat has done. the lack of sports is just one reason amongst many. i also need to add that another reason i applied to swat was because of its reputation and partly, its ranking with usnwr. i am sure that there are many schools that are the equal or really close to swat on an educational level. schools such as bowdoin, colgate, carleton, haverford, wesleyan, colby, bates, but frankly, i didn't kill myself on the sat's and class rank and ec's to go to an lac that doesn't have the oooh factor that amherst, williams and swarthmore has (yes, i know that a lot of people have never heard of amherst, williams and swarthmore, so no ooohs from them, but those that do know of these schools do supply the requisite ooohs). yes, i admit that is immature and shallow, but it's as good a reason as any. so, as much as anything, those are my reasons for choosing swarthmore.</p>

<p>to answer rorr a little, the students i met on campus the four or five times i visited all seemed pretty happy. i remember asking one girl what was currently on her reading list and she reached into her bag and pulled out US magazine and handed it to me. not u.s. news, but US, the gossip rag. pretty cool. so it's not all work and more work and then some work on top of that.</p>

<p>duhvinci (and others) - did you know Williams has the #1 athletics program in Division 3? food for thought :-)</p>

<p>anyway, I picked it for the same reasons as anyone else, except there was virtually no "ooh" factor (maybe 5 people in my entire school - 2,000+ students total - had ever heard of it before). but RTT (the admitted student program) really made up my mind, not that it was much of a choice (Swarthmore and JHU) to begin with.</p>

<p>and also the campus is really nice. and it's not too big. parrish beach is pretty cool. and if you get accepted, there is a really fun admitted students forum :-D</p>

<p>Many reasons have already been mentioned, but my main reason was because it reminded me highly of my HS. Should make the transition much easier (I hope..)</p>

<p>I'd love to hear more about this...current or former Swatties...why did YOU choose Swarthmore?</p>

<p>I grew up in a town with an elite liberal arts college. Many of my friends growing up were the children of professors, and my parents were friends with professors. I had a lot of exposure to the liberal arts way of thinking, and I believed that a liberal arts college was right for me. I investigated a number of top liberal arts schools (and a couple of Ivies as well). My final decision came down to Swarthmore vs. Middlebury, and I chose the former, because I liked the campus better, it was supposedly the more elite and academically powerful of the two, and because I figured that Pennsylvania weather edged out Vermont weather.</p>

<p>Because I want to be surrounded by kids like me, who know a lot about the world. I jwant an enviroment filled with people who aren't afraid of learning or a bit of a challenge.</p>

<p>I read that the students were more intellectually curious than most schools and were willing to have discussions about things that were important. Plus, the teacher-student interaction seemed ideal.</p>

<p>I came across this article about a program at Swarthmore that pairs students for a year with Dining Services and Environmental Services workers to help them understand and appreciate each other. There are several other stories available by following the link below. Since these are student accounts, I thought it could fit on this thread. This does reflect the spirit of Swarthmore!</p>

<p>Swarthmore</a> College | Take Your Partner to Work Day</p>

<p>From the article: One morning about a week before spring break, a group of students got up early for work - a kind different from their usual. Rather than studying in the library or writing papers, these students cleaned - classrooms, hallways, dishes, and yes, bathrooms. For the first time as part of the Learning for Life (L4L) program, students accompanied their partners to work.</p>

<p>The L4L program pairs Swarthmore students with staff members, primarily from Environmental Services (EVS) and Dining Services, to work in partnerships for the year. Each partnership decides what they want to learn together and sets up individual meeting times throughout the semester. Partnership activities range from photography to computer skills and many partners teach each other how to cook or serve as work out partners in the gym.</p>


<p>Take Your Partner to Work Day was enlightening, interesting, and most importantly, fun. Over the past year, I have spent hours with Val Gibson through L4L, but this is the first time I went "behind the scenes," putting on rubber gloves and finishing his janitorial work in Trotter. I gained new respect and appreciation for him and the entire EVS staff as I slowly swept a staircase that usually takes him five minutes. I also believe that it was a moment of pride for Val when he got to show off his prodigious skills and truly expand my knowledge and abilities through his and L4L's help.</p>

<p>When I was looking at Swarthmore as a prospective student, L4L was a program that caught my eye on the web. It interested me because it seemed to epitomize the "think big, act small" philosophy that I had heard about on my tour. It was exciting to envision learning something unique and one on one. This year, I have worked out in the gym with Val and tutored him on Word, Excel, and general computer skills.</p>


<p>I got involved in L4L last year when a friend told me about it. This year, I've been working with people who work the night shift. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings I work out in the gym with my partners. I know a little bit about weight lifting from having had to train for baseball, so for a couple of my partners I've set up programs of routines to follow. Another one of my partners teaches Karate classes in South Philadelphia. His uncle is a professional body builder, so he knows a lot about conditioning and fitness and has shown me a few exercises that I've used for myself.</p>

<p>Most memorable for me about Take Your Partner to Work Day was trying to operate the massive floor cleaner that Charles Thomas, one of my partners, uses to scrub and polish the floors in the Science Center. It's tough to maneuver and I did not have an easy time with it, but Charles navigates it with skill. Going to Take Your Partner to Work Day gave me a chance to see firsthand all of the hard work that goes into keeping this school clean and beautiful, and the tremendous job that the environmental services workers do.</p>


<p>I heard about L4L through a first-year seminar with Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Diane Anderson, the faculty member behind the program. A lot of people in that course wound up doing L4L (including Carson Young '10, who now serves as L4L's treasurer). It just sounded like a really cool program. I thought it would be a good way to get to know more people on campus and to connect with people that I wouldn't typically interact with in a college setting.</p>

<p>After cleaning up a lecture hall with some of the ladies on the night shift, I woke up five hours later to go to work with my partner, Rasheed Willis. I was dead tired, but I realized that many of the staff members only sleep for about four or five hours every night because they're so busy with work, which gave me an even greater appreciation for what they do.</p>

<p>I walked up to campus, watching the sunrise, and met up with Rasheed in Pearson Hall. He had me empty all of the trash and recycling baskets on all three floors of that building. I had never realized how many offices there are in Pearson, each of which has its own trash and recycling cans. After two hours of work, I was finally able to relax while Rasheed headed over to clean another building.</p>

<p>I've worked with Rasheed since the fall of my freshman year. We started focusing on health and fitness stuff for the first three semesters and would work out with each other or go for walks in the Crum. It was good because it kept us active and gave us opportunities to talk - which was especially helpful when I started thinking about my Lang Opportunity Scholarship project and working on the application. I wanted to (and hopefully will) start a program in Chester, where Rasheed lives, so he was incredibly helpful in supporting me, giving me advice about what would work, and helping me to think through my different ideas.</p>

<p>This experience really showed me how much work goes in to maintaining Swarthmore, and I truly appreciate what Rasheed does. It's amazing how much people may take for granted because the cleaning usually happens when no one else is around. I think Take Your Partner to Work Day really opened up my eyes to what happens on campus.</p>