For having such a tiny student body, Swarthmore sure has an abundance of student life: five a cappella groups, an assortment of newspapers and magazines, and Division III athletics, plus accomplished College Bowl, Mock Trial and Debate Society teams. This top liberal-arts college favors students who are as engaged in their studies as they are in their creative and extracurricular pursuits. Swarthmore is part of the Tri-College Consortium, an integrative cooperative that allows students to also enroll in classes at nearby Bryn Mawr and Haverford colleges.
The numbers: 1,552 full-time undergrads … 2180 median SAT (comparable to a 33 ACT) … $44,718 annual tuition, $12,670 annual room and board … 40 courses of study … Ranked third among national liberal-arts colleges by U.S. News … 14.2% acceptance. Extra credit: The campus doubles as the 400-acre Scott Arboretum. When the weather is warm enough, countless horticultural havens provide serene sanctuaries for outdoor studying. Compare to: Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College. Contact: 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, Pa., (610) 328-8000, swarthmore.edu.