How to Write the Scripps Supplement 2018-2019

Scripps College is a women’s liberal arts college and one of the five Claremont Colleges. With a student body hovering just around 1,000, Scripps boasts small class sizes.  The campus is widely-regarded as one of the most beautiful in the nation. The acceptance rate is under 30 percent.

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

Scripps is, in our opinion, the coolest of the women’s colleges. It’s really nice, it’s in California, it’s on a campus with the other Claremont schools, and there is access to five really great dining halls. Whenever we tour colleges, we talk to at least 20 of the students there. And when we toured the Claremont schools every single student mentioned the food. Multiple times.

Research the academics at Scripps and speak specifically about the professors, classes, and tracks that interest you. Whatever discipline you focus on should make sense with your own personal history. Some students get to school and want a clean break. They’ve been in advanced math for four years and, though their grandmother was really excited to tell her friends that their granddaughter was going to be a pre-med, they just want to study philosophy. You can do that when you get to school, but for the purposes of your college application, stay the course you’ve been working hard to develop for the last four years. Make your grandmother proud and be pre-med on paper.

You should also hit the extra-curriculars. Choose specific activities at Scripps that are, again, an extension of the areas of focus you’ve already pursued. You should also mention the location, and last, but certainly not least, the opportunity to be a part of the five Claremont Colleges. If you don’t talk about Claremont as a whole, you can’t go here.

Choose one of the following (150-300 words):

(1) If you could trade lives with someone (fictional or real) for a day, who would it be and why?

This is a fun one, but it’s also a trick question. The answer has to be just right, and if it’s not, it just evokes follow-up questions like, “why don’t you like your life?” And, “if you like that person’s life better, why don’t you make a change?” If you’re going to answer this question, you have to convey aspiration. That is the only way we see this turning out. Be inspired by someone and start there.

But, honestly, there’s just no good answer to this question. We’ve had multiple conversations as a team about it and can find faults with almost every possible answer to this question. Our best advice? Don’t answer it.

(2) You’ve invented a time machine in your living room – well done! When and where is your first destination and why?

Your answer here shouldn’t be singularly focused on the “you” portion of this question. It’s more about the experience you would want to have. There are a few ways to approach this one: you can be light-hearted or you can be passionate.

Start off by thinking about what areas of interest you haven’t already conveyed in your application. If you are a gymnast, DO NOT say you want to go the Olympics. If you are head of the politics club, you’re not going to the Republican National Convention. None of you, no matter what your interests are, should say Woodstock or 1939 Germany.

So, to recap: choose an experience that shares with the admissions committee something new about you and use this space to tell them WHY you’re choosing what you’re choosing

3) You have just been invited to give a TED talk. What will you talk about and why did you select that topic?

This is the easiest question to answer of the three. There are no variables and we like that. It’s pretty straightforward.  

Start off by picking your topic. Whatever you choose should not be related to your major. It should add another layer of depth to you that the admissions people can’t already derive from your application. If the first scoop is the fact that you’re a really good student, and the second scoop is your interest in international relations, and the sprinkles are your specific interests inside of international relations, and this is the cherry on top. It should be totally different.

Consider that your topic doesn’t need to convey anything about an academic interest at all, or even a hobby or activity. Again, they probably know those things about you. This one could be about a belief, a personality trait, or even the role you play in your family.  

Also, don’t pick something profound. In fact, it doesn’t have to be anything about you at all. You’re 17. You’re **most likely** not an expert in anything. Make this one about something small and specific.


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