Update from Admissions, Access, and Affordability Working Group

Chair: Tom Spock, Board of Managers

Co-Conveners: Jim Bock, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
Suzanne Welsh, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer

Our work has focused on understanding who we are attracting to Swarthmore, which recruitment and other initiatives are successful in doing so, and how we determine if our students are thriving. We began with a review of the profile of the current class and some of the admissions data known of other institutions, and looked at all of this data in the context of broader demographic trends. We continued our work by focusing on a review of the admissions process and, in particular, how the admissions office approaches the construction of a class.  We have asked a number of questions in light of these presentations, including: What do our recruitment materials, practices, and strategies look like? What is the profile of an admitted class?  What percentages of spaces are taken up by which defined needs of the College?  What are the current priorities and pressures on admissions? Whom do we wish we had more room to admit, and where are our pools limited?  Are there sufficient feedback loops, particularly from faculty and others who work with students once here? What should our priorities be moving forward and how might we best achieve them? We will soon turn to how well are our financial aid policies are working to support the goals of the Admissions Office and, more importantly, the mission of the College.