Pitzer Essay

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Pitzer College is 13%. For every 100 applicants, only 13 are admitted.

This means the school is extremely selective. Meeting their GPA requirements and SAT/ACT requirements is very important to getting past their first round of filters and proving your academic preparation. If you don't meet their expectations, your chance of getting is nearly zero.

After crossing this hurdle, you'll need to impress Pitzer College application readers through their other application requirements, including extracurriculars, essays, and letters of recommendation. We'll cover more below.

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

The average GPA at Pitzer College is 3.86.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.86, Pitzer College requires you to be near the top of your class, and well above average. Your transcript should show mostly A's. Ideally, you will also have taken several AP or IB classes to show that you can handle academics at a college level.

If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.86, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

Pitzer College has indicated that the SAT or ACT is required for some applicants. This can mean a few things:

  • The SAT or ACT is optional, but recommended by the school to improve your application chances.
  • You might be able to get admitted with through your GPA or class ranking alone.
  • Only specific departments at the school require the SAT or ACT.
If you're applying to this and other schools, it's safest to take the SAT or ACT. This will maximize your chance of getting into the best school possible, especially since most other students will be submitting their scores.

Pitzer College SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1400 (Old: 1342)

The average SAT score composite at Pitzer College is a 1400 on the 1600 SAT scale.

On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1342. (According to our records, this school requires only Reading and Math, so this score is out of 1600.)

This score makes Pitzer College Competitive for SAT test scores.


Pitzer College SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1310, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1510. In other words, a 1310 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1510 will move you up to above average.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math700650750
Reading353338
Composite140013101510

Pitzer College SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1250, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1440. In other words, a 1250 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1440 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math673630720
Reading669620720
Composite134212501440

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Pitzer College has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."

This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

SectionR+WMathComposite
Test 17003001000
Test 23007001000
Test 3300300600
Superscore7007001400

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, Pitzer College will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1000 to 1400 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Pitzer College forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 1510, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


Exclusive: Want to learn how to improve your SAT score by 160 points?

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.


Pitzer College ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Pitzer College likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 30

The average ACT score at Pitzer College is 30. This score makes Pitzer College Strongly Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 29, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 32.

Even though Pitzer College likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 29 or below, you'll have a very hard time getting in, unless you have something else very impressive in your application. There are so many applicants scoring 30 and above that a 29 will look academically weak.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 32 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

However, in our research, we found that Pitzer College does in fact offer an ACT superscore policy. To quote their Admissions Office:

Test Optional. Contact school for information.

Source

Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that Pitzer College receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:

EnglishMathReadingScienceComposite
Test 13216161620
Test 21632161620
Test 31616321620
Test 41616163220
Superscore3232323232

Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, Pitzer College will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 20 to 32 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Pitzer College forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your ACT score is currently below a 32, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.


SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Pitzer College requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.


SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that Pitzer College requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.



Pitzer College is located in Claremont, CA and is one of the Claremont Colleges. The other colleges in the consortium include Harvey Mudd, Pomona, Claremont College, and Scripps. Pitzer has about 1,000 students and emphasizes student participation and mindfulness (their motto is “Mindful of the Future”). As such, their supplement is outward-facing and asks you to write about your contributions to and observations about the world. Our advice on how to ace this supplement below.

We want to preface Pitzer’s supplement by talking about the nature of the questions. #1 is asking about your thoughts on tackling an external issue, and #2 is asking about your own personal experience. Our instinct is always to choose a question that draws out more personal stories and that is asking about something that happened to you that you can discuss. That said, #1 might be a draw for you if you feel particularly passionate about an issue. One thing to consider with this response is the length—650 words. That is as long as your Common App Personal Statement. As such, you could use a topic that you didn’t write about in your Common App. It’s important to consider the topics before choosing your question. As a general rule, if you’re in doubt at all, go with question #2.

At Pitzer College, five core values distinguish our approach to education: social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement, and environmental sustainability. As agents of change, our students utilize these values to create solutions to our world's challenges. Please choose from one of the following prompts and answer below: (650 words)

1. Incorporating one or more of our core values, how would you contribute to solving a local or global issue of importance to you?

If this question calls to you, by all means go for it. We must send you off with some words of advice, though: the smaller the issue, the better. When given the option of going local or global, we essentially always advise going local because you can tell more of a story, extract more significant meaning, and illustrate more impact with a local issue versus a larger, more global issue. This is a great essay option for those students who have already spent a significant amount of time tackling an issue of importance to them.

The reason why we always advise students against tackling bigger (political and social) issues, Syria for example, is because it’s difficult to personalize it. While in many ways it might seem weird to say, “you have to make the issue about you,” it’s true. Everyone cares (or should care) about Syria. Your caring about Syria does not make you stand out. Global issues simultaneously affect everyone and no one. Choosing an issue that affects you personally will make more of an impact on the person reading your application. Writing about an issue that you have dealt with directly will also inevitably make your writing stronger because not only do you know the issue, you’ve experienced it. If a global issue does directly affect you, then and only then should you write about it.

We advise starting there—with the impact, and then working backwards. Why and how has this particular issue resonated with you and affected your life in a significant way? Talk about how it became important to you, and get bigger from there by incorporating what you’ve learned and how your perception of culture, society, others, etc. has broadened. How have you worked for change, both internally and externally? This scale of issue is so much easier and more meaningful to relate to. That is ultimately set of goals, after all, right? To force the admissions readers to relate to you, feel drawn in to your story, and be compelled to admit you.

2. Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one or more of Pitzer's core values?

A big fat warning here: this is not the time to repeat the Activities section of your Common App.

They are familiar with how you were involved in your school and/or community. Colleges ultimately want students who are eager to jump in to their community and make an impact. This essay is your chance to illustrate how you’ve jumped in to your various communities at home and how you plan to continue to make those jumps in meaningful ways.

If you’re looking at this question and aren’t sure what you’re going to write about because you don’t feel like you’ve been very involved, then read up. Get involved. Or call us so that we can help you come up with something great to write about.

We digress. This is the time to tell a story about something that you did that created an impact in any way. It can be small. In fact, the best stories come from a brief interaction or small action. What we want to make sure of is that this is new information that you’re bringing to the table. While the admissions readers know about the community service work that you did because it’s your Activity #4 on your Common App, they might not know the story behind it.

Tell your story, and from there incorporate two values from Pitzer’s core values listed above. Two that come to mind that we feel are easiest to incorporate are student engagement (this very concept is inherent to your response because it’s the topic of the question) and social responsibility (contributing to and interacting with humanity in search of meaning is our social responsibility, or so one will certainly argue to get into college). Also, feel free to be creative with this. You’re should incorporate some personality and genuine humor into this piece. We always encourage our students to strike a balance of meaning, self-awareness, reflection, and humor with their essays. It’s the best combination because it’s memorable. Not that many essays will force the application readers to smile.  

Let us know if you need a second (or tenth) pair of eyes. We have a number of great pairs and an abundance of good advice.

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Pitzer Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *