Scripps Adapts to Over-Enrollment

Scripps College
announced a new enrollment target of 980 students, formalizing the population growth that the college has experienced in recent years. Despite its previous goal of 950 students, the college had enrolled 979 students due to an unexpectedly high number of applicants
accepting admission offers. 

Vice President for Enrollment Victoria Romero wrote in
an email to TSL that the college has set a model for a first-year class of 250 students.

“However, this new enrollment model does not dramatically change
enrollment for the first-year class because for the past five years, the
first-year class has remained, on average, at 256 students,” Romero wrote.

She added that, in addition to the model for the first-year class, Scripps plans to
enroll 15 transfer students per year beginning in fall 2016, although some transfer students may be enrolled in fall 2015.

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean
of Students Charlotte Johnson said that admitting more transfer students will offer the
Admissions Office greater flexibility and “add to the vibrancy and diversity”
of campus life.

The new model is “a way to ensure
strong enrollment numbers, and we’ve had strong enrollment numbers for a long
time,” Johnson added. “We want to make sure we are providing resources
consistent with the students we’re educating.”

To help accommodate the increase
in enrollment, Scripps will build a new residence hall set to open fall 2016. David Andrews, the Gabrielle Marie-Louise Jungels-Winkler Chair in Contemporary European Studies and the chair of the faculty executive committee (FEC), wrote in an email to TSL that the hall will reduce Scripps’s need for off-campus housing.

“At present we have a
sizeable number of students living in off-campus apartments or in Pomona
College dorms,” Andrews wrote. “Once the new residence hall is complete we should be able
to repatriate those students and offer them housing here at Scripps.”

According to Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of
Faculty Amy Marcus-Newhall, the
plans for population growth were announced at an FEC meeting.

Marcus-Newhall wrote in an email to TSL that faculty members are generally satisfied with the new enrollment model and
the promise of three new faculty tenure lines. Andrews explained that this addition of three new tenure-track faculty positions is possible because the college can now budget for 980 students.

Julia Liss, a history professor, believes that the new positions will help the
faculty meet their many obligations while providing additional support for

“We have been anticipating
adding faculty and, consequently, expanding the curriculum for some time,” Liss
wrote in an email to TSL. “Our departments and programs are, by any measure, very
small, and even a few more individuals can make a very big difference.”

Population growth at Scripps and
the other Claremont Colleges would also affect the Motley, Scripps’s popular student-run
coffee shop, which has experienced an uptick in customer traffic in recent

“We’re kind of at capacity now,
so if we do see more dramatic population growth over the next five or 10 years,
there will be a point when we need to address some sort of new arrangement or
expansion,” said Katy Keisling SC ’15, the head manager of the Motley. “That’s
definitely something we’re aware of and that we hear from customers a lot.”

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