Bowdoin vs Scripps: A Comprehensive Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Unknown person using a laptop.

Bowdoin vs Scripps: A Comprehensive Look

Are you considering attending a liberal arts college and are torn between Bowdoin and Scripps? Making such a big decision can be overwhelming, but do not worry. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive comparison of Bowdoin vs Scripps to help you make an informed choice.

Introduction: Why Compare Bowdoin and Scripps?

Bowdoin and Scripps, both highly selective liberal arts colleges, are often compared due to their similar academic programs and student demographics. However, there are significant differences between the two institutions that prospective students should be aware of before making a decision.

One major difference between Bowdoin and Scripps is their location. Bowdoin is located in Brunswick, Maine, a small town with a population of around 20,000. In contrast, Scripps is located in Claremont, California, a suburban area with a population of over 35,000. This difference in location can greatly impact a student’s college experience, as it affects the surrounding community, weather, and access to resources.

Another difference between the two colleges is their approach to athletics. Bowdoin is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and has a strong tradition of varsity sports, with over 30 teams competing at the Division III level. Scripps, on the other hand, is a member of the Claremont Colleges Athletic Conference (CCAC) and has a more relaxed approach to athletics, with only a few varsity teams and a focus on intramural and club sports. This difference in athletic culture can also impact a student’s college experience and should be considered when making a decision.

Location: How Do the Campuses Differ Geographically?

Bowdoin is located in Brunswick, Maine, which is a small town outside of Portland. The campus is nestled within a residential community and is surrounded by beautiful forests, hills, and beaches. Scripps is situated in Claremont, California, which is located just outside of Los Angeles. Claremont is a small college town with a warm climate and a laid-back vibe. The campus itself is surrounded by lush gardens, and the nearby mountains are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

a building in Bowdoin College

Despite their differences, both campuses offer unique opportunities for students to explore their surroundings. At Bowdoin, students can take advantage of the nearby coastline and participate in activities such as sailing, kayaking, and beach cleanups.

In contrast, Scripps students can explore the vibrant city of Los Angeles and all it has to offer, from museums and galleries to music festivals and food trucks. Both campuses also offer opportunities for students to engage in community service and make a positive impact on their local communities.

History: A Brief Overview of the Founding and Evolution of Bowdoin and Scripps

Bowdoin was founded in 1794 in response to the need for a college in Maine. The college has a long-standing tradition of excellence in liberal arts education, and its alumni include two U.S. presidents, among other notable individuals. Scripps was founded in 1926, as part of a move to establish a consortium of colleges in the Claremont area. The college has always maintained a dedication to preparing women for leadership roles in a rapidly changing world.

Over the years, Bowdoin has undergone significant changes and expansions. In the early 1900s, the college began to focus on science and technology, and in the 1960s, it became coeducational. Today, Bowdoin is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmentalism, and its campus is home to a number of environmentally-friendly initiatives and programs.

Scripps, too, has evolved since its founding. In the 1970s, the college began to offer majors in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as economics and politics. In recent years, Scripps has also placed a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion and has implemented a number of programs and initiatives aimed at creating a more welcoming and supportive campus community for all students.

Academics: Curriculum, Majors, and Programs Offered at Bowdoin vs Scripps

At Bowdoin, students can choose from 43 majors and 12 interdisciplinary minors. The college operates on a liberal arts model, which means students take courses in various fields to acquire a broad-based education. Scripps, on the other hand, offers more than 50 majors and minors, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. The college has gained a reputation for its strong programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Both Bowdoin and Scripps offer a variety of study abroad programs for students who want to gain international experience. Bowdoin has partnerships with universities in over 40 countries, and students can choose from semester-long or year-long programs. Scripps has its own study abroad program, which allows students to spend a semester or year studying in Europe, Asia, or Latin America.

In addition to traditional majors and minors, both colleges offer unique programs that allow students to explore their interests in more depth. Bowdoin has a Coastal Studies Center, which offers courses and research opportunities related to marine biology, ecology, and environmental studies. Scripps has a Media Studies program, which focuses on the intersection of media, technology, and society. Both programs provide students with hands-on experience and opportunities to conduct research in their respective fields.

Faculty: Quality, Experience, and Diversity of Professors at Bowdoin vs Scripps

Both Bowdoin and Scripps have highly qualified and experienced faculty members who are dedicated to their teaching and research. The faculty at Bowdoin are committed to undergraduate education, and 97% of them have earned a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. At Scripps, the faculty boasts a diverse range of perspectives and backgrounds, with a focus on addressing issues of social justice in their research and teaching.

In addition to their academic qualifications, the faculty at both Bowdoin and Scripps are actively engaged in their respective fields, regularly publishing research and presenting at conferences. Bowdoin professors have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including Fulbright Scholarships and Guggenheim Fellowships.

Similarly, Scripps professors have received accolades such as the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize. This dedication to scholarship and innovation ensures that students at both institutions are learning from experts who are at the forefront of their fields.

Student Life: Dorm Life, Clubs, Social Activities, and Extracurricular Opportunities at Bowdoin vs Scripps

Both colleges offer a vibrant campus life with a variety of clubs, organizations, and social activities. Bowdoin has a strong athletic culture with many teams for students to participate in, while Scripps has a thriving arts scene. Both colleges have residence halls that offer different living options, including themed halls with a particular focus, such as environmental sustainability or language immersion.

Four students walking next to a building.

Additionally, both Bowdoin and Scripps offer numerous opportunities for students to get involved in community service and volunteer work. Bowdoin has a community service club that organizes events and projects throughout the year, while Scripps has partnerships with local organizations for students to volunteer with. These opportunities allow students to give back to the community and make a positive impact.

Furthermore, both colleges have a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Bowdoin has a multicultural center that hosts events and provides resources for students of different backgrounds, while Scripps has a diversity and inclusion office that offers support and programming for underrepresented groups. Both colleges also have student-led organizations that promote diversity and inclusion on campus.

Admissions: Acceptance Rates, Application Requirements, and Demographics of Student Body

Bowdoin and Scripps are both highly selective colleges, with a rigorous admissions process. Bowdoin has an acceptance rate of around 9%, while Scripps has an acceptance rate of 30%. Both colleges consider factors such as academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and personal essays in their admissions decisions. The student body at Bowdoin is relatively homogeneous, with 65% of students identifying as white. At Scripps, the demographic breakdown is more diverse, with 41% of students identifying as students of color.

Additionally, Bowdoin and Scripps have different application requirements. Bowdoin requires applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, while Scripps is test-optional. Scripps also requires applicants to submit two letters of recommendation, while Bowdoin only requires one. However, both colleges highly value community involvement and leadership experience in their applicants.

Rankings: Where Do Bowdoin and Scripps Stand in National Rankings?

Bowdoin and Scripps consistently rank highly in national college rankings. Bowdoin is ranked #6 for overall national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report for 2022-2023. Scripps is ranked #34 for overall national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

Campus Resources: Libraries, Health Centers, Athletic Facilities, etc.

Both colleges have state-of-the-art resources to support student learning and well-being. Bowdoin’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library is considered one of the best liberal arts college libraries in the country, while Scripps’ Denison Library has an extensive collection in the arts and humanities. Health and wellness resources are also readily available on both campuses, with counseling and medical services provided to students. Athletic facilities are modern and accessible on both campuses, with numerous options for recreational sports and fitness.

In addition to the resources mentioned above, both colleges also offer a variety of academic support services to students. Bowdoin’s Center for Learning and Teaching provides tutoring, study skills workshops, and academic coaching, while Scripps’ Writing Center offers one-on-one writing consultations and workshops. Both colleges also have career centers that provide guidance and resources for students exploring career paths and searching for internships and job opportunities.

Alumni Network: Career Services, Alumni Associations, Networking Opportunities

Bowdoin and Scripps both offer extensive career services to alumni, with job fairs, networking events, and job search resources available. The alumni associations at both colleges are highly active and engaged, offering numerous opportunities for networking and mentorship.

Additionally, both colleges have established alumni chapters in major cities across the country, providing a platform for alumni to connect and network with each other. These chapters organize various events and activities, such as happy hours, panel discussions, and community service projects, that allow alumni to stay connected with their alma mater and with each other.

Furthermore, Bowdoin and Scripps have robust online alumni communities, where alumni can access exclusive job postings, career advice, and networking opportunities. These online platforms also allow alumni to stay up-to-date with the latest news and events happening at their respective colleges, and to connect with alumni from different generations and backgrounds.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition Fees, Financial Aid Packages Available for Students at Bowdoin vs Scripps

Both Bowdoin and Scripps are expensive colleges, with tuition fees covering room and board, administrative fees, and other expenses. However, both colleges offer generous financial aid packages to help alleviate the cost of attendance. Bowdoin meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, while Scripps offers a need-based financial aid program that provides grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities.

unidentified person filling out a scholarship form

In addition to financial aid, both Bowdoin and Scripps offer various resources and programs to help students manage their expenses. Bowdoin has a student employment program that allows students to work on campus and earn money to cover their expenses. Scripps has a financial literacy program that provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at Bowdoin and Scripps may vary depending on factors such as the student’s major, housing preferences, and personal expenses. Students are encouraged to carefully review the cost of attendance and financial aid options before making a decision on which college to attend.

Conclusion: Which College is a Better Fit for You?

Choosing between Bowdoin vs Scripps ultimately comes down to personal preference and fit. Both colleges offer a world-class liberal arts education and an unparalleled college experience. Consider your academic interests, location preferences, social and extracurricular goals, as well as the financial situation before making a decision. With careful consideration, you will undoubtedly find the perfect liberal arts college for you.

Want to learn more about comparing Bowdoin with other top and well-known Universities and Colleges in the country? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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