Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of 1,545 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles (17.7 km) southwest of Philadelphia.
Founded in 1864, Swarthmore was one of the earliest coeducational colleges in the United States. The school was organized by a Committee of Quakers from three Hicksite yearly meetings: Baltimore, New York, and Philadelphia. Many of the founders were prominent in the abolitionist and women's rights movements and other social concerns and included Edward Parrish, Deborah and Joseph Wharton, Benjamin Hallowell, and James and Lucretia Mott. Swarthmore was established to be a college, "...under the care of Friends, at which an education may be obtained equal to that of the best institutions of learning in our country." By 1906 Swarthmore dropped its religious affiliation, becoming officially non-sectarian.
Today, the college is known for a rigorous intellectual character, shaped by a commitment to social responsibility and the legacy of its Quaker heritage. Ninety percent of graduates eventually attend graduate or professional school, and over twenty percent of graduates attain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in their lifetime, rates among the highest of US institutions.
Swarthmore is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, a cooperative arrangement among Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford Colleges. The consortium shares an integrated library system of more than three million volumes, and students are able to cross-register in courses at all three institutions. A common Quaker heritage exists amongst the consortium schools and the University of Pennsylvania also extends this cross-registration agreement to classes at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts and Sciences.
Swarthmore's campus and the Scott Arboretum share the same borders.