Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 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 prominent in the abolitionist and women's rights movements, including notable activist 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." Swarthmore dropped its religious affiliation and became officially non-sectarian in 1933.
Today, the college is known for a rigorous intellectual character, shaped by a commitment to social responsibility and the legacy of Swarthmore's 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, a rate surpassed only by the California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College and Reed College.
Swarthmore is a member of the Tri-College Consortium, a cooperative arrangement among Swarthmore College, Bryn Mawr College, and Haverford College. 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 are coterminous—that is, they are coextensive in land, sharing the same borders.
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