SOLIS Resource Guide

Studying at Swarthmore is extremely difficult, and forces us to confront personal obstacles while navigating social pressures, maintaining our grades, and preparing for our future careers. On top of all that pressure, there are students among us who have to deal with daunting financial burdens that make them question their place at the College.

These struggles often go unrecognized in many ways. Choosing a major is much more stress-inducing when you have to be the primary breadwinner for your family. Balancing sleep, health, and classes becomes much harder with strenuous jobs that you don’t have the option to give up. Dealing with the loss of a family member becomes even more unbearable when you don’t have the funds to go home for their memorial service. Graduation becomes less of a celebration when you have to immediately think about loans that need to be repaid and money that you don’t have. Every faux pas that wealthy students make without a second thought weighs heavily on low-income and first-generation students. We don’t have a safety net in the same way, and so we rely heavily on the College’s resources to keep us afloat.

In the past, there have been insinuations from some wealthier students that we should be grateful to the wealthy that we are receiving anything from them at all. Sentiments like this cause low-income students to question whether they really belong at a wealthy, elite US institution like Swarthmore College. In reality, the College should be grateful for our presence here. Our perspectives give us the experience to fight for initiatives that the wealthy at Swarthmore do not fully understand and/or do not care to fully understand. One such initiative is the newly released SOLIS resource guide.

We are excited to present this comprehensive list of resources, written by FLI students specifically for FLI students. The language is informal, and there are criticisms of the system littered throughout. We acknowledge that our resource guide is a living, breathing document, and is by no means complete. We invite anyone with extra knowledge to contact us at solis.sccs@swarthmore.edu to add contributions or give suggestions about how this guide can better serve low-income students. We intend for it to be updated every year, or sooner if needed.

If you do not identify as low-income, we ask that you consider how your use of these resources may negatively impact students who rely on these resources more heavily than you do. There are some resources in the guide that all students can benefit from, but there are also some that could severely impact low-income students if used by those who have no real need for them. Please use this guide responsibly.

We are so thankful for the collective knowledges brought together to make this resource guide happen. Thank you to the FLI interns for creating the original resource guide, which we expanded upon. We hope that this document will help current and future low-income Swatties with navigating attending this institution, and finding all those nooks and crannies where resources and support can be found.

With love,

The SOLIS Resource Guide Committee