Admissions Redux

by Devon Nunes '01

Ten years after I applied to Scripps, I find myself crossing paths with the office of admission again. I must have been fascinated by the admissions process because, soon after I started my first semester at Scripps, I returned to the very same office where I had interviewed to work as a student assistant. Today, as an off-campus alumna interviewer, I happily discover myself involved in that process once again.

I volunteer to interview prospective students in my local area who, for various reasons, cannot travel to the campus for an interview. This is a great opportunity for them to learn more about Scripps and for the admission committee to gain deeper insight into the applicants beyond what they would glean from their paper applications. I meet with these students and write detailed, confidential reports about our conversations, including my impressions of each student from my particular alumna perspective.

Each meeting with an applicant is a new adventure. The five students from the greater Sacramento/Davis area whom I met with this year were a diverse bunch, with interests ranging from traditional Indian dance to community theatre, from engineering to origami. One young woman was in the midst of planning a fashion show benefit, with proceeds going to a local teen substance abuse program. Listening to her was like watching an episode of The Apprentice: she was a project manager disguised as a high school senior. Another applicant had been working to expand volunteer programs for underprivileged villages in the Philippines. I thought of her as the next Angelina Jolie.

Three of the applicants I interviewed this year were accepted to Scripps, one as a James E. Scripps scholar. Overall, the office of admission received a total of 1,872 applications, and, after intense deliberations, tendered offers to 843 exceptionally qualified women (a competitive acceptance rate of 45%). Two hundred thirty-three first-years will arrive on campus in the fall, including 18 National Merit Scholars, as well as 34 semifinalists or commended students. Not only the numbers, but the sometimes unquantifiable caliber of young women that Scripps attracts, is increasingly impressive.

I encourage others to connect with Scripps as an alumna admission interviewer. Not only is it a great feeling to help advance Scripps’ future and reputation, but it’s also incredibly motivating to meet young women applicants. Their experiences and interests inspire me to get more involved in my own community.

To find out more about the alumnae volunteer program in the Office of Admission, contact: Natalie Miller at