Carleton vs Scripps: A Comprehensive Look at the Two Colleges

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a woman thinking about college

Carleton vs Scripps: A Comprehensive Look at the Two Colleges

Choosing a college can be a daunting task for any high school student, but it’s especially challenging for those who aspire to attend one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Carleton College vs Scripps College: both are known for academic excellence, vibrant student life, but each has its own approach to diversity and inclusion. In this comprehensive article, we’ll take a deep dive into all aspects of both colleges, so that you can make an informed decision about which one to attend.

Carleton vs Scripps: Location and Campus

The location and campus of a college is often a significant factor in students’ decision-making process. Carleton College is located in Northfield, Minnesota, a small town south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The campus spans over 1,040 acres, and is known for its picturesque and historic buildings, tree-lined pathways, and beautiful arboretum.

Scripps College is situated in Claremont, California, a suburban town on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. The campus covers 37 acres and boasts a blend of Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, with lush gardens and fountains throughout the grounds. Both colleges offer a unique and welcoming atmosphere that reflects their distinctive locations.

Aside from their physical locations, both Carleton College and Scripps College offer a variety of opportunities for students to engage with their surrounding communities. Carleton College has a strong partnership with the town of Northfield, with many students volunteering at local organizations and businesses.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Scripps College is part of the Claremont Colleges consortium, which includes five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. This allows students to take classes and participate in activities at any of the colleges, and to access resources such as libraries and research centers across the consortium.

Carleton vs Scripps: Academic Programs Offered

When it comes to academics, Carleton and Scripps are both highly regarded liberal arts colleges that offer a wide range of subjects and disciplines. Carleton College offers 33 majors and 31 minors, as well as several interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore various fields of study.

Scripps College offers 48 majors, minors, and interdisciplinary programs, with a particular focus on the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Both colleges emphasize small class sizes, faculty-student collaboration, and experiential learning opportunities, such as research, internships, and study abroad programs.

In addition to their academic programs, both Carleton and Scripps offer a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. Carleton has over 200 student organizations, including a student-run radio station, a literary magazine, and a social justice advocacy group.

Scripps has over 70 student clubs and organizations, including a student-run newspaper, a dance team, and a community service club. These extracurricular activities provide students with opportunities to pursue their interests outside of the classroom and to connect with like-minded peers.

Admission Requirements and Application Process Comparison Between the Two Colleges

Applying to Carleton or Scripps can be a highly competitive process, but both colleges have their unique admission requirements and application processes. Carleton College requires applicants to submit standardized test scores (ACT or SAT), transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and an optional interview.

Scripps College has a test-optional policy, where applicants can choose to submit SAT or ACT scores, or other standardized tests like AP, IB, or A-levels. The application requirements for Scripps also include transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and an optional interview.

It is important to note that both Carleton and Scripps also consider extracurricular activities, community involvement, and leadership experience when evaluating applicants. Carleton College values students who have demonstrated a passion for learning and intellectual curiosity, while Scripps College looks for students who have a strong commitment to social justice and community service. Additionally, both colleges offer need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships to help make their education accessible to all qualified students.

Carleton vs Scripps: Student Life and Culture

College is not just about academics, but also about student life and culture. Carleton and Scripps both offer a rich and diverse student life, with a plethora of clubs, organizations, and activities that cater to various interests and passions. Carleton has over 250 student-run organizations, ranging from cultural and identity-based groups to sports and recreational clubs.

College students walking together outdoors. Group of young people in college campus.

Scripps has over 50 student-led organizations, including student government, service and activism groups, and arts and cultural clubs. Both colleges also have a strong sense of community, with students who are actively engaged in campus life and passionate about making a positive impact on the world.

Aside from the numerous clubs and organizations, Carleton and Scripps also offer a vibrant social scene. Both colleges have a variety of events throughout the year, such as dances, concerts, and festivals. These events provide opportunities for students to socialize and connect with their peers outside of the classroom.

Additionally, both colleges have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with initiatives and programs that promote equity and social justice.

Furthermore, Carleton and Scripps offer unique opportunities for students to explore their interests and passions. Carleton has a renowned off-campus studies program, which allows students to study in over 20 countries around the world. Scripps has a strong emphasis on the arts, with a variety of programs and resources for students interested in visual and performing arts. Both colleges also have strong internship and research programs, providing students with hands-on experience in their fields of study.

Carleton vs Scripps: Faculty and Research Opportunities

The quality of faculty and research opportunities at a college can significantly influence students’ academic and professional success. Carleton College has a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, and 98% of its faculty holds a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field. Scripps College has a student-faculty ratio of 10:1, and all of its classes are taught by professors, not teaching assistants.

Both colleges have a strong commitment to undergraduate research, offering various opportunities for students to work with faculty mentors on research projects, independent studies, and senior thesis projects.

Carleton College’s faculty members are not only highly qualified, but they are also dedicated to teaching and mentoring their students. The college has a program called “Faculty-Student Collaborative Research,” which allows students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. This program has been highly successful, with many students presenting their research at national conferences and publishing their work in academic journals.

Scripps College also offers unique research opportunities for its students. The college has a program called “Summer Undergraduate Research Program,” which provides funding for students to conduct research with faculty members during the summer months. This program allows students to fully immerse themselves in their research and gain valuable experience that can help them in their future careers or graduate studies.

Carleton vs Scripps: Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Options

One of the most significant considerations for many students when choosing a college is the cost of tuition and financial aid options. Carleton College and Scripps College are both private colleges that have high tuition fees, but also offer generous financial aid packages to eligible students. The tuition fees for Carleton are $59,514 per year, while those for Scripps are $57,552 per year.

Both colleges offer need-based and merit-based financial aid, as well as scholarships and grants that can significantly reduce the cost of attendance. It’s important to note that the actual cost of attendance may vary based on individual circumstances and eligibility for financial aid.

Additionally, both Carleton College and Scripps College offer work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. These programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus or in the local community, and the earnings can be used to offset the cost of tuition or other expenses.

the word scholarship flashed unto a laptop screen

Work-study programs can also help students develop important skills and connections that can benefit them in their future careers. It’s important for students to explore all of their financial aid options and to speak with a financial aid advisor to determine the best strategy for financing their college education.

Carleton vs Scripps: Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

For students who enjoy sports and other extracurricular activities, Carleton and Scripps have a lot to offer. Carleton has 20 intercollegiate sports, with a strong emphasis on cross country, track and field, and soccer. Scripps has 11 intercollegiate sports, including basketball, soccer, and swimming, and also offers a range of intramural sports and fitness classes. Both colleges also have numerous facilities for recreational sports and fitness, including gyms, yoga studios, and outdoor adventure programs.

Additionally, both Carleton and Scripps offer a variety of clubs and organizations for students to get involved in outside of athletics. Carleton has over 200 student-run clubs, including a debate team, a robotics club, and a community service organization. Scripps has over 50 student clubs, including a feminist club, a sustainability club, and a film club. These clubs provide opportunities for students to explore their interests, meet new people, and develop leadership skills.

Carleton vs Scripps: Alumni Network and Support Services

After graduation, the support and guidance of an institution’s alumni network and support services can make a significant difference in students’ lives and careers. Both Carleton and Scripps have comprehensive alumni networks and support services that provide mentorship, job search assistance, and resources for personal and professional development.

Carleton’s Career Center offers one-on-one counseling, career fairs, and workshops, while Scripps’ Career Planning & Resources Center offers various career development programs, internships, and networking events.

Carleton’s alumni network is particularly strong, with over 30,000 alumni worldwide. The college’s alumni association hosts events and programs throughout the year, including regional gatherings, networking events, and career panels. Additionally, Carleton’s alumni network offers a mentorship program that connects current students with alumni in their field of interest.

Scripps’ alumni network is also robust, with over 20,000 alumnae worldwide. The college’s alumnae association hosts events and programs throughout the year, including regional gatherings, networking events, and career panels. Additionally, Scripps’ alumnae network offers a mentorship program that connects current students with alumnae in their field of interest.

Carleton vs Scripps: Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

As institutions that value diversity, equity, and inclusion, Carleton and Scripps are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, regardless of their background or identity.

Carleton has various programs and initiatives, such as the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, and the Gender & Sexuality Center, that provide resources, support, and advocacy for underrepresented communities. Scripps has several centers and programs, such as the Office of Black Student Affairs, and the Queer Resource Center, that support the academic, social, and personal needs of diverse students.

In addition to these programs, both Carleton and Scripps have implemented diversity and inclusion training for faculty, staff, and students. These trainings aim to increase awareness and understanding of different cultures, identities, and experiences, and to promote respectful and inclusive interactions within the campus community.

Furthermore, both institutions actively recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff, and offer scholarships and financial aid to support students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Carleton vs Scripps: Campus Sustainability Efforts

In today’s world, environmental sustainability is a critical issue that affects every aspect of human life, including college campuses. Carleton and Scripps are both committed to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting sustainability in their daily operations and long-term planning.

View of a man having breathing exercise.

Carleton has several sustainability initiatives, such as the Campus Energy and Sustainability Office, and the Student Sustainability Corps, that focus on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable transportation. Scripps has a Sustainability Committee, which develops and implements various sustainability projects and programs, such as composting, water conservation, and sustainable food sourcing.

Carleton’s Campus Energy and Sustainability Office has implemented several energy-saving measures, such as installing LED lighting and upgrading HVAC systems. The Student Sustainability Corps also organizes events and campaigns to raise awareness about sustainability issues and encourage behavior change among students and staff.

Scripps’ Sustainability Committee has also taken steps to reduce waste on campus, such as implementing a single-stream recycling program and encouraging the use of reusable containers and utensils in dining halls. The committee also works with local farmers and food suppliers to source sustainable and locally grown produce for the campus dining services.

Student Housing Options and Accommodations at Carleton vs Scripps

Where students live during their college years can significantly impact their academic and personal success. Carleton and Scripps both offer a range of housing options and accommodations that cater to various needs and preferences. Carleton has 19 residence halls, including traditional and suite-style rooms, as well as apartments and theme houses.

Scripps has 10 residence halls, including single and double rooms, as well as apartments and townhouses. Both colleges prioritize providing safe and comfortable living environments that foster a sense of community and belonging.

In addition to traditional housing options, both Carleton and Scripps offer accommodations for students with disabilities or medical needs. These accommodations may include accessible rooms, private bathrooms, and other necessary features to ensure that all students can live comfortably on campus.

Additionally, both colleges have staff members dedicated to supporting students in their housing experiences, including resident advisors and housing coordinators who can assist with any issues or concerns that may arise.

Study Abroad Programs and International Opportunities Offered by Both Colleges

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience that broadens students’ horizons and exposes them to different cultures and perspectives. Carleton and Scripps both have robust study abroad programs and international opportunities that allow students to explore the world and deepen their academic and personal growth.

A woman holding the different flags of students.

Carleton offers over 200 study abroad programs in 70 countries, with a particular emphasis on language immersion programs and off-campus studies. Scripps has several study abroad programs, including partnership programs with other colleges and universities, as well as its own program in London.

Additionally, both Carleton and Scripps offer various international opportunities beyond traditional study abroad programs. These opportunities include research projects, internships, and service-learning programs in different parts of the world. These programs provide students with hands-on experience in their field of study and allow them to make meaningful contributions to communities around the globe.


Choosing between Carleton College and Scripps College can be a challenging decision, but both colleges offer a wealth of opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth.

By considering all the factors discussed in this article – location and campus, academic programs, admission requirements, student life and culture, faculty and research opportunities, graduation outcomes and career opportunities, tuition fees and financial aid options, athletics and extracurricular activities, alumni network and support services, diversity and inclusion initiatives, campus sustainability efforts, student housing options and accommodations, study abroad programs and international opportunities, and institutional rankings and reputation comparison – you can make an informed decision that aligns with your interests, needs, and aspirations. Good luck!

It’s worth noting that both Carleton and Scripps have strong reputations in specific academic fields. Carleton is particularly well-regarded for its programs in the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, while Scripps is known for its strengths in the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

However, both colleges offer a wide range of majors and minors, and students have the flexibility to explore different academic areas and interdisciplinary studies. Additionally, both colleges have a strong emphasis on undergraduate research and experiential learning, providing students with opportunities to engage in hands-on projects and collaborate with faculty members.

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