Scripps College - Comments and Student Experiences|
I was a Dance major, and I had numerous opportunities every year to perform in both faculty and student work as well as choreograph my own work. I received a lot of support from both students and faculty when I decided to pursue a track within the major that no one had done before, and I really appreciated the noncompetitive environment. Students also have 24/7 access to the dance studio! I loved being able to focus on my dance studies and dance a lot while pursuing other interests like Religious Studies and Sociology. Though the long list of general education requirements can be annoying (and I really hated Core), being forced to take such a wide range of classes actually led me to discover a lot of interests I wouldn't have found otherwise. I never thought I'd be really interested in Neuropharmacology, but it turned out to be one of my most fascinating classes. Classes are challenging and demand effort and participation (you won't find many lecture classes at Scripps). All of the classes I took were very small (fewer than ten students for most of them), though this may vary depending on the department. Professors are approachable and always willing to help.
Because Scripps is small, people with more obscure or extremely specified interests may have difficulty finding the classes and resources they desire, but it is extremely easy to take classes at the other four colleges in the consortium (I ended up taking at least one class from every campus during my time at Scripps) and get credit for self-designed independent study. A group of my friends even created their own class for their third semester of Core. If you want to do something, there will be at least one person of authority at Scripps that will help you make it happen.
The party scene on the Scripps campus is pretty bad, though we do throw at least one good party a year. Most students go to the other four campuses for parties, and there are at least a couple social things happening every night of the week. It is easy to find something to do, and the other campuses are right across the street. The surrounding town of Claremont is cute and has some good little shops and places frozen yogurt, but almost everything is closed by 9 pm. LA and beaches are a bit of a drive, but easily doable if someone you know has a car. The mountains are really close if you like hiking or playing in the snow.
The sense of community in the dorms is unfortunately pretty horrible (though the buildings themselves are gorgeous), which I always thought was weird because everyone I know at Scripps is really nice and friendly. I had a great first year dorm experience (I got lucky and had great roommates, plus I'm pretty outgoing), but most people keep their doors closed and you won't find much socializing in the hallways or common rooms, so plan on looking outside dorm life to find friends. Outside of the dorms, it is easy to connect with people and find your niche. There are plenty of clubs and activities to join. Everyone is really friendly and welcoming, and Scripps students just tend to be awesome in general!
The academics are okay at best. It's true that there are some very challenging and stimulating classes, but most students are more focused on what they're going to drink that night or lying out in the sun then studying. There are a billion requirements and there is red tape everywhere--its not that easy to take classes at the other colleges. They make you register in person, have your advisor SIGN OFF on your classes which I think is a ridiculous policy--shouldn't we be old enough to pick our own classes without someone looking over our shoulder all the time?
As for location, LA is REALLY far away (almost 2 hours by car), although the mountains are close which is great. Claremont is a sleepy and very picturesque and friendly city, but I was so over it by the end of my sophomore year. It can feel extremely claustrophobic and trust me when I say that the 5C's are NOT NOT NOT one big happy family. THere are stigmas attached to Scripps students and most girls at the other colleges are very hostile towards Scrippsies and resent the girls for "stealing" their boys. It begins to feel like high school very quickly.
The 5Cs put together also feel sort of small surprisingly. Its a stifling environment. The resources are also not as vast as the administration would like you to believe--I wanted to major in Middle Eastern History and there was exactly ONE professor who taught that subject at all 5 of the colleges combined (he was at CMC) who left after his first year of teaching, so I was forced to change majors from history to art history.
However, the girls were overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming. But be warned--those are the friends you will be stuck with for 4 years straight, and if you don't find your group at Scripps you'll be screwed (there are only 995 of us!), not nearly enough to offer a vast array of social options. Scripps certainly isn't for everyone. I would tell anyone who wants independence, a stimulating environment, and the opportunity to meet all sorts of people in college to avoid Scripps. Scripps is a bubble to a T, without a large alumni network and a dwindling endowment with red tape everywhere.Think long and hard before coming here! I would personally rather be at a larger and more exciting college with a more vibrant and varied social & academic life. To me, college should be about exploring new avenues--not repeating high school. I'm staying here because of the friends I've made, but all in all, Scripps is nothing special and is DEFINITELY not worth 55K a year.
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