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How to Respond the 2023/2024 Scripps College Supplemental Essay Prompt

Scripps College is a private college located in Claremont, California known for its focus on a liberal arts education for women. If you are interested in attending Scripps, the application process is the first step toward that goal. Keep reading our guide for some tips on answering the Scripps College Supplemental essay prompt!

First, do some research on Scripps College

Scripps College was founded in 1926 by Ellen Browning Scripps. It’s named after Ellen Browning Scripps, who was a teacher, journalist, and philanthropist determined to create a space to educate women. Scripps College is one of seven private institutions known as the Claremont Colleges. Known as one of the most prestigious women’s colleges in the world, Scripps is known for its small class sizes, intellectual community, and beautiful campus. The Scripps College website is the perfect place to gather information to connect all that the school offers to your own unique goals. 

Scripps College traditions

In addition to being famous for being a women’s college, Scripps college has unique traditions that draw students in. From integral parts of the campus to student activities, here are a few of Scripps’ traditions that applicants look forward to:

  • La Semeuse: The seal of the college depicts La Semeuse. It is a French design meaning “she who sows.” The seal also includes the school motto, Incipit Vita Nova, meaning “here begins the new life.”
  • Graffiti Wall: An area between residence halls where the graduate class creates a design and all students in the class sign their names. It reflects the school’s history and creativity. 
  • Afternoon Tea: Started in 1931 and continues today. Every Wednesday afternoon during the school semester, students gather to share refreshments. It’s a great networking and relaxing opportunity for students. 
  • First-year mugging: An event where every first-year student is given a mug and a letter from an alumna. Students treasure this event because it shows a connection between classes and helps first-year students become a part of the school.
  • Matriculation: An occasion when the beautifully ornate doors of the Ella Strong Denison Library open twice a year. First-year students walk through to welcome them to the school the first time it opens. The second time, graduating seniors exit the door, marking their time in school.

The Scripps College supplemental essay prompt

Scripps College is a relatively small private school, with an undergraduate class of nearly  1,200 students. SC is a great option if you prefer smaller class sizes. However, a smaller student body means Scripps College is more selective with its applicants. This guide will help you write a stellar supplemental essay to impress the admissions committee. Before you start writing your response, let’s take a look at the prompt!


Why have you chosen to apply to Scripps College? (200 words)

“Why have you chosen this school” is a common application question, but Scripps desires a not-so-common answer. Don’t restrict your response to what the college offers, such as programs, location, and experiences. Think about zooming in on a specific detail such as the environment, community, and personal values.

First, ask yourself what you value most about receiving a college education. To help get started, make a list of those values. The brainstorming process will help build up your response to the prompt. The next step is making a connection to Scripps College; what part does Scripps College play on your future path? Give yourself the time to write anything that comes to mind and then go back and refine your response through  the editing process.

Questions to consider:

  • 10 years from now, how do you want to remember your college experience?
  • What is one word you associate with Scripps College?
  • Scripps College is one of the 28 women’s colleges in the United States. Why are you interested in a women’s college, and why Scripps?

What sets Scripps College apart from other colleges

To help you think about what you can use to form a connection with Scripps, here is a list of some things that sets them apart from other schools. From clubs and extracurricular activities to campus features, Scripps has a lot to offer:

  • Proximity to Los Angeles: The suburban campus is about an hour-long drive to Los Angeles, offering  students a chance to utilize the resources of a major city without the travails of living there
  • 10:1 Faculty-to-student ratio: With less than 2,000 undergraduate students, Scripps offers a tight-knit community, more opportunities for interactions with professors, and higher graduation rates
  • Athletic Programs: Scripps partners with other colleges in the 5Cs to offer 11 NCAA Division III teams: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Water Polo
  • The Scripps Voice: This student-run newspaper features the news and opinions of the Claremont Colleges community. Scripps students fill all the editing and supervisory positions, but all 5C students are welcome to pitch and submit articles
  • The Scripps College Music Department: The coursework delves into music’s history, cultural significance, and location diversity. Scripps’s music department offers choir, orchestra, piano, violin and chamber music programs, and voice
  • ROTC Programs: Scripps College has an ROTC program for students wanting to gain military experience while at college. Scripps offers two programs: Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC. Scripps ROTC programs serve to build leadership and aid with tuition and expenses

Writing tips for the Scripps supplemental essay

Now that you have an idea of what to write about, and maybe even have your first draft written, it’s time to edit (you might need to do this a few times!).  Here are a couple of tips to help ensure that your response reflects your best writing:

Read your essay out loud

Reviewing your essay multiple times makes it harder to notice errors. Reading your essay out loud or having someone else read helps identify needed edits.

Delete extra words or sentences

If there are sentences or phrases that do not relate to the main idea of your response, remove them to avoid going off-topic. This will help keep the most important information and help you maintain the word count.

Concluding thoughts

At 200 words, you can’t really have an official conclusion. Nevertheless, you can add a sentence or two that works like a conclusion. Tie final ideas together or even recall your hook to bring the essay response full circle. Write concluding sentence/s to ensure a lasting impression on the admission’s team.

Keep it true to yourself

Don’t get caught up in sample essays or examples of the essays that have been accepted in the past. There isn’t a formula you can follow that will guarantee your acceptance to Scripps College. Because you are so unique, let your writing reflect  authentic experiences. 

Summing it up

The Scripps College supplemental essay prompt asks applicants to state “why” they want to attend their college. Keep a couple of things in mind as you write your answer to that question:

  • Prepare to write your final response by drafting
  • As you write, make connections. Describe what you want from your education and connect that to what Scripps College offers 
  • Put as much effort into editing your response as writing. Take your time finalizing your essay response for a more polished response

We hope that you now feel more confident when answering the Scripps College Supplemental Prompts. Best of luck!

Additional resources

Once you’ve finished your Scripps supplemental essay, give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve knocked out one part of your college application process. Once you’ve had some time to relax, check out our collection of resources to help you through the additional steps of the process.

That includes guides on how many colleges to apply to, how to find a safety school, and what looks good on a college application. We can also help you through the Common App essay prompts and give you some insider’s perspective from the admissions office. Throughout your educational journey, make sure that you apply for each and every scholarship you qualify for! 

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