Close

First-Year Applicants

In residence halls

You are considered a first-year applicant if you have not yet earned a high school diploma, including those of you who are enrolled in dual enrollment or early college programs.

Please contact Admission if you have any questions about the application process. We’re here to help you!

Application Checklist

  • Common Application
  • $60 application fee
  • School Report and counselor recommendation
  • Two academic teacher recommendations, preferably from junior or senior year classes
  • Official transcript(s) from all secondary schools attended

Standardized Testing Policy

  • The submission of SAT or ACT exam scores is optional for all applicants to Scripps College.
  • Homeschooled students are strongly encouraged to submit SAT or ACT exam scores.
  • Should a student submit SAT or ACT exam scores, Scripps College will super-score across exam dates.
  • International students educated outside of the U.S. are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS exam. An international student may request a waiver if their primary language is English or the language of instruction of their high school is English. More info can be found here.

Recommended Courses

There are no specific courses required for admission. However, the recommended course of study is five academic subjects in each year of high school, including:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3+ years of mathematics (through the level of precalculus or higher)
  • 3+ years of social studies
  • 3+ years of science (biology, chemistry, and/or physics)
  • Three years of a foreign language or two years each of two different languages; one year may be taken before high school
  • Applicants are encouraged to select Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other advanced-level courses at their high school when available and appropriate.

Early Decision vs. Regular Decision

Early Decision is an excellent option for students who know that Scripps is their top-choice college. Early Decision is a binding process that provides an early application review and notification of admission decision. Regular Decision is our traditional application.

Admission Interviews Available On and Off Campus

An optional part of the admission process, an interview can give you the opportunity to discuss your interests and goals and to learn more about Scripps. On-campus interviews can be scheduled as part of your visit to Scripps; alternatively, off-campus interviews may be available in your local area.

Scholarships and Need-Based Financial Aid

All first-year applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships ranging from $15,000 to $28,000 annually, and the highest award is the James E. Scripps Scholarship. All merit-based scholarships are renewable for four years and applicants are notified whether they have been awarded a merit-based scholarship at the time of admission. No additional forms or early application is required. Visit our Office of Financial Aid page for information about need-based financial aid, including deadlines and required forms.

First-Year Applicants FAQs

Scripps College is committed to a holistic and thorough review of each application, with a careful consideration of the following: academic program and performance; personal essay; recommendations; and co-curricular activities. We imagine what the applicant would be like as a member of the Scripps community, engaged inside and outside of the classroom.

Starting in fall 2021, Scripps is adopting a test-optional policy for all students. This means students are no longer required to submit the SAT or ACT. International students for whom English is not their first language must submit the TOEFL or IELTS.

Yes, if a student takes the SAT or ACT more than once, we will consider your best score. The best SAT score is determined by combining the highest score received on each section from any combination of testing dates; note that we will not combine subscores from the new and old versions of the SAT. Best ACT score is also determined by combining the highest score received on each section from any combination of testing dates.

Students who choose to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their application can send official scores or self-report scores through the Common Application, QuestBridge Application, or through the Self-Reported Test Scores form in the Application Status Portal form checklist. Students who self-report scores as part of their application to Scripps and choose to enroll are required to submit official score reports. If there is a discrepancy between self-reported test scores and official scores, this may affect a student’s offer of admission. Please note that we do not accept self-reported test scores for the TOEFL or IELTS.

The appropriate Scripps academic department will determine waiver of major requirements or placement into advanced courses based upon AP or IB courses and scores. Visit the Registrar’s site for more information.

Yes, you may submit your portfolio as part of your application. A portfolio is optional material and is not required for admission to Scripps College. Please submit your portfolio through SlideRoom in the Common Application.

Scripps will consider all applicants who indicate their legal sex as female submitted through the Common Application, in addition to applicants who self-identity as women. Therefore, an applicant assigned male at birth who self-identifies as a woman is eligible to be considered for admission. Applicants who indicate their legal sex as male submitted through the Common Application and who self-identify as men are not eligible to be considered for admission. Scripps does not require government-issued documentation to verify sex or gender identity.

Early Decision is an excellent option for students who know that Scripps is their top-choice college. It is a binding process that provides an early application review and notification of admission decision.

Regular Decision is our traditional application option, and the majority of admitted students are evaluated and offered admission during Regular Decision. See application deadlines.

If the $60 application fee is a financial burden for you or your family, you may request a fee waiver on the profile screen in the Common Application fee waiver section.

Scripps College meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted students. Financial aid for first-year applicants is awarded at the time of admission. Submission of the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and FAFSA is required for first-year students who wish to be considered for financial aid. Financing an education can be a confusing and sometimes daunting task, and the College is committed to working with families to best understand a student’s individual financial situation and provide concise, timely information. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

All first-year applicants are considered for scholarships ranging from $15,000 to $28,000 annually, and the highest award is the James E. Scripps Scholarship. Scholarships are awarded to applicants whose strong academic performance and school or community involvement indicate they will add vitality and intellectual value to our campus. All scholarships are renewable for four years and applicants are notified whether they have been awarded a scholarship at the time of admission. No additional forms or early application is required. Please contact the Admission Office for questions about scholarships.