Scripps has no housing: Why 2025 students should (maybe) reject acceptance

Hello, I am a current student of Scripps.

Class of 2025, gonna give a bit of advice to you. Class of 2021 had 38 first years forced into off-campus housing provided by Claremont Graduate University. Be wary of coming here especially since it is very likely that they will repeat a similar policy during this upcoming fall. We probably will be overcrowded once again since Scripps accepts too many people, and some folks (seniors and juniors) had taken a leave of absence because of the pandemic. Just want to give potential first years this warning before you accept your decision to Scripps. Even in non-pandemic circumstances, Scripps always had issues with providing enough housing to students that was not suffocating. A lot of first years are placed into triples or really tight doubles. It is pretty outside, but rooms inside can be a different story. I lived in a triple during my first year and had a really great time, but it doesn’t mean that I felt cheated in terms of how expensive room and board is.

Just so folks know, I am not a first year trying to get off of the waitlist lol. I have just watched Scripps housing and Scripps Admissions make bad decisions.

Housing for the entering class of 2017 was absolutely bungled. I do not think Scripps will make those same mistakes again. Will they make new mistakes? Possibly - the question is whether they’re any worse of a bet than other schools that are facing the same challenges.

The history of the incident cited above: In the early spring of 2017, a gifted and well-loved Scripps student took her life (in part because of cyber-bullying and doxxing instigated by the nationally-funded right-wing 5C’s publication). The student was also an RA, and the incident galvanized the other RA’s to protest the pressures of their positions and, when dissatisfied with the response, to go on strike. There was bad press, and campus visits for prospective students were disrupted because of the turmoil, and because tour guides also went on strike in solidarity. The admissions office became convinced that yield would drop. They admitted more students than normal, anticipating a lower yield… and yield did not drop. They were faced with an unmanageably large entering class, on top of the existing challenges.

When the housing shortage became evident, Residential Life began asking upperclassmen, who already had room assignments for the fall, to give up their housing and move off campus. Upperclass housing is very nice, and students wait years to get the best rooms and suites… and the incentives offered were insultingly weak. Not surprisingly, there were few takers. Rather than suck it up and make a more compelling offer, Res Life made a poor and lazy decision, and placed first-years off campus instead. It is now clear to absolutely everyone that this was a terrible way to handle the problem. I think it is abundantly clear that they cannot do this again. I don’t even think that any of the same people who made this decision are working at Res Life anymore.

When the pandemic struck, and it became clear that housing density would have to be reduced when students returned to campus, Scripps made a concerted effort to secure appropriate supplemental housing off campus. This did not include apartments at CGU, after the negative experience the entering first-years had there in 2017… although I don’t know for sure that CGU apartments won’t be utilized in Fall 2021. Res Life has also been careful to postpone making housing assignments until the situation is more clear.

Admissions has also been more careful not to over-admit, since 2017, utilizing the waitlist to fine-tune class size instead.

I completely agree that prospective students should ask probing questions about how students will be accommodated in on-campus and off-campus housing. Will triples be reinstated? How much space will be reserved for quarantine housing? How much off-campus housing inventory has been secured? Who will be asked to live off campus, and how will housing assignments be handled? How many “extra” students will be on campus as the result of pandemic LOA’s?

To be fair, though, most colleges are facing these same issues and need to be asked these same questions. What is unique to Scripps is 1) the bungled housing problem in 2017 that undermined trust, and 2) a lack of precedent for positive off-campus living experiences, since all students have normally lived on campus in the past.

Ask good questions, of Scripps, and of every other college you’re considering. There will be tough decisions to be made about housing, almost everywhere. (For example, are UC’s going to resume packing first-years into triples and quads? If not, where are those students going to go?) Press for specifics, and then if you can, cross-check with current/continuing students and parents to make sure that what you’re hearing is compatible with what they are hearing and expecting. This thread raises important issues that will affect the student experience just about everywhere.


Hi. I was just accepted to scripps and am choosing between Occidental and Scripps. Is a year of off-campus housing really enough to not attend a school with one of the very best liberal arts educations out there? I guess it is a matter of preference!

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Honestly I have to say that I would never trade the education that I have received at Scripps. I completely adore and love all of the professors that I have met so far (esp the Politics profs!! They are so amazing). I still really do hope for students to come to Scripps. I just wanted to express warning since the price tag is expensive. Overall, I believe that mistakes will be made this coming fall, but I know that there are some really amazing students and faculty who will try to stand up and say something. In terms of organizing and activism, Scripps students do not back down.

I think they will be wary after what happened in 2017. The following year I believe they utilized the waitlist more to have more control over the enrollment. I have a feeling all colleges are going to have trouble planning this year, though, given the Covid related uncertainties.

There have been more communications from the Scripps administration now. They have secured a nearby off-campus apartment building that will house 120 students. There will be no triples on campus, only singles and doubles. First-years, and sophomores who spent their first year remote, will be prioritized for on-campus housing - so entering students need not worry about being placed off campus. Since seniors have priority over juniors, it will be juniors (and post-gap-year sophomores who already lived on campus in '19-'20) who will end up off-campus, unless the apartments are appealing enough for seniors to choose them voluntarily.

Even if an off-campus rotation for juniors ends up becoming normal in the future, I don’t see this as a reason to be wary of committing to Scripps. That kind of pattern works very well at some other schools, like Rice. Of course there are any number of reasons why Scripps might not end up as a given student’s first choice; but I’m not seeing any big red flags in terms of how housing will impact student quality of life this year or in the future. If anything, this year’s entering class will be spared paying their proverbial dues in crowded triples, as past classes have had to do.

Best of luck to everyone making their decisions this week!

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Hello Ma’am, I have recently committed to Scripps over Cal haha tough decision, wonder if I can add you on ig or something plz?