Worth Applying?

<p>I'm pretty interested in Swarthmore but I realize this college is extremely selective and I have very little money to spend on applications so I am only going to be applying to schools I have a reasonable chance of getting into.</p>

<p>The main thing I am concerned about is my GPA, which is a 93% or about 3.7 at a mediocre public high school. I have taken all honors and AP classes but my school does not weigh GPA at all. This hurts my class range significantly because it is very easy to get 95%+ in regular classes. I may or may not be in the top 10%, and if I am it is barely. I have an upward trend if this helps, 90%-93%-96%</p>

<p>My SAT score is 2290 which is well above average so I am not concerned about that. However, I feel like with my grades and class rank I will not be considered since most students accepted here seem to have a 4.0 and class range in the top 1-3%.</p>

<p>My son was admitted with stats very similar to yours. He had taken the most challenging ciriculum his public high school offers. He was not in the top 10% (HS doesn't rank). We'll never know but I think it was his essay that got him in. Both his main essay and his "why Swarthmore" focused on his love of learning and desire to discover how the world works. He did apply ED1, which does help some. So yes, I would say you have a shot. Visit Swarthmore, meet with faculty, do an interview and make sure that your essays really focus on why you would be a good fit at Swat. Good Luck.</p>

<p>Admission to Swarthmore and similar colleges is about so much more than grades and SAT scores. If Swarthmore is a good fit for you in other dimensions and you can demonstrate that in your essay and other aspects of you application, you should certainly consider applying. Your GPA alone by no means rules you out - your challenge is showing other aspects about yourself that rule you in -- remembering that with an acceptance rate of 16% many applicants are rejected. The only way to know for sure whether you could get in is to apply.</p>

<p>The Why Swarthmore essay is extremely important, so I'm told. I wrote a really good one, and I think that's why I was accepted. (among other things, of course)</p>

<p>The Why Swarthmore essay is extremely important, so I'm told. I wrote a really good one, and I think that's why I was accepted. (among other things, of course)</p>

<p>What is the opportunity cost of your applying to Swarthmore. You say you don't have much to spend on college applications, but what are the other options? I'm assuming you've got a couple of safety schools in the mix already, yes?</p>

<p>My safety school is SUNY Binghamton in-state. I would be pretty much certain of getting in and I would not be unhappy with it (though not thrilled). There may not be that much of an opportunity cost besides not applying to a slightly less selective school that I like slightly less (Bowdoin?). Carleton and Colgate are both good LAC's that are free to apply to and more of a match.</p>

<p>In light of this, I might as well apply to Swarthmore. There is very little to lose.</p>

<p>Bowdoin is not necessarily less selective than Swarthmore. I know kids who have been accepted at Swarthmore and waitlisted at Bowdoin.</p>

<p>I agree. Bowdoin accepted about 19% last year, Swarthmore 16%. Not a significant difference. You might want to look a little further down the ladder for a "safety".</p>

<p>I was not considering Bowdoin as a safety, but as a reach that might be slightly more attainable. However, it does seem that there would not be a significant difference. In any case, Carleton, Colgate, and Hamilton are all free to apply to and they are probably more "match" schools for me so I am in good shape with that. I just want to make sure I have a decent chance at my reaches so that they're aren't a complete waste of money and I might actually get in to one.</p>

<p>Sometimes Swarthmore waives the application fee, this is what I've heard. You could ask the admissions office.</p>

<p>Grape1, don't live with regret. Go for it. Coming up with funds for an application fee to obtain an education that rest of the world would envy is worth an attempt.<br>
When you consider your options--they look pretty darn good. Carleton, Bowdoin, Colgate & Hamilton? Come on~? Any one of these provide a first rate education! I remember another student sharing with me about her disapointment in not getting into an Ivy of her choice & so attended one of these LACs you mentioned. She quickly recognized the quality of education she was being introduced to at the school for which she had "settled."<br>
If you can make the time/can afford it/have not already done so--do what Nursekay suggests and visit the campus to get a better sense of fit. Go the extra mile & meet with the profs/admin. That's the goal with our daughter come fall. :)</p>