Pitzer supplemental essays; collegeadvisor.com image: a photo of Brant Clock Tower on Pitzer's campus

Not sure how to get started on your Pitzer supplement essay? CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Pitzer supplemental essays will provide you with the Pitzer core college values, the Pitzer College ranking, and the Pitzer acceptance rate. We’ll also discuss tips for writing an engaging Pitzer core values essay to maximize your chances of admission. If you need help writing your Pitzer supplemental essays, create your free CollegeAdvisor.com account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.

Pitzer Supplement Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • The Pitzer acceptance rate is 17.0%—U.S. News ranks Pitzer as a most selective school.
  • The Pitzer College ranking is #35 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (U.S. News)
  • There is only one Pitzer supplemental essay: the Pitzer core values essay.

Does Pitzer College have a Supplemental Essay?

Yes, in addition to your Common App Personal Statement, you will also write one Pitzer supplement essay. The Pitzer supplemental essay is required, so all applicants will need to submit Pitzer supplemental essays. The Pitzer supplemental essay is also known as the Pitzer core values essay.

Need some help writing your Common App essay? Get great tips from our Common App essay guide.

How do I Write a Pitzer College Supplemental Essay?

Your Pitzer supplemental essays let you impress your reader by telling a story about who you are while engaging with the Pitzer core college values. The key to writing a standout Pitzer supplement essay isn’t having a flashy story or being clever. Instead, it’s giving yourself a proper writing process. This means you should brainstorm, draft, revise, and proofread. By investing in every step of the process, you’ll give yourself time for your ideas to develop. Once you reach your final draft, you’ll have written a Pitzer core values essay that expresses your best traits.

If you are looking for Pitzer-approved inspiration before getting started on your brainstorm, check out Pitzer’s Application Advice. On the website, you’ll find tips and tricks to aid you through every part of the application process, including your Pitzer supplement essay. For more information on the Pitzer core college values, check out their Admissions Blog for posts like “Pitzer Core Values as Famous Shakespeare Quotes” and a Buzzfeed quiz, “Which core value are you?”

To get started on your Pitzer supplemental essays, you’ll need to pick which prompt to respond to. We have provided the 2021-2022 Pitzer supplement essay prompts below. You’ll find a breakdown of how to approach the Pitzer core values essay prompts as well as tips for writing Pitzer supplemental essays that will stand out.

Pitzer Supplement Essay – Question 1 (Required)

At Pitzer, 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 answer only ONE of the following prompts (650 words or less).

  • Reflecting on your involvement throughout high school or within the community, how have you engaged with one of Pitzer’s core values?
  • Describe what you are looking for from your college experience and why Pitzer would be a good fit for you.
  • Pitzer is known for our students’ intellectual and creative activism. If you could work on a cause that is meaningful to you through a project, artistic, academic, or otherwise, what would you do?

Before you start writing your Pitzer supplemental essays, you need to pick the prompt you feel most confident answering. If one prompt jumps out at you, go with your instinct! However, you might be struggling to pick a prompt for your Pitzer supplement essay. If so, it’s always a good idea to do a quick brainstorm for each of the prompts. Then, you can choose a prompt based on the ideas you generated.

Prompt 1

To begin your brainstorm, list your activities, both in and out of school, alongside the Pitzer core college values. Your activities could include student groups, volunteer work, sports teams, after-school jobs, anything you’ve participated in. Focus on the activities that matter most to you.

Once you have your list of activities, you need to connect them to the Pitzer core college values. For example, let’s say you choose to reflect on Student Engagement. It isn’t enough to only say you were the treasurer of your school’s drama club. You need to detail the contributions you made and the effects your actions had on your community.

The prompt asks you to talk about one of Pitzer’s core college values. So, if you choose to talk about multiple experiences you’ve had, they all need to relate to the same core value. You should also think about the rest of your application. If you can, try to include experiences that your reader won’t learn about anywhere else.

Prompt 2

This prompt doesn’t specifically ask you to identify one of Pitzer’s core college values. However, you should still frame your essay around one (or two if needed). Think of the Pitzer core college values as the lens through which you’ll answer the prompt. Your ideal college experience should reflect the Pitzer core college values as they relate to you.    

You need to include specific details about the school. These shouldn’t be statistics like the Pitzer acceptance rate or the Pitzer College ranking, but facts relating to Pitzer’s programs. This might include class sizes, academic programs, student groups, research opportunities, or other offerings. Once you’ve established the things Pitzer has to offer you, then it’s time to discuss what you will offer Pitzer.

Even though the prompt asks why Pitzer would be a good fit for you, a good way to approach this prompt is to imagine how you’d enrich the Pitzer community. This lets you showcase specifics about your background, experiences, interests, or modes of thinking that matter to you. Think of this connection as a causal chain: What are the specific things about Pitzer that interest you? Why are they important to you? How will your values allow you to flourish at Pitzer, and in turn help Pitzer to flourish?

Prompt 3

This prompt asks about activism and causes that you care about. The prompt, therefore, inherently connects to the core value of Social Responsibility. However, depending on what issue you choose to discuss, it may connect to one of the other Pitzer core college values. For example, if your project relates to climate change, then your essay may also touch on the value of Environmental Sustainability.

This prompt is perhaps the hardest because it asks you to fully imagine a project you might create. In your essay, you will first need to identify the issue that is important to you. Then, you should outline the project and describe the impact you hope your project will make. This prompt will only work if you can get specific.

For example, if you have a passion for painting and care about public health, don’t just say you will make art inspired by health care inequalities. You’ll need to get more in-depth about how your actions will affect you, your collaborators, and your intended audience. 

Prompts 1-3

No matter which of the three Pitzer core values essay prompts you respond to, make sure your essay tells a clear story. Your essay should have a strong beginning, middle, and end. It should also have no spelling or grammatical errors. Ensure your Pitzer supplemental essays are as clear and polished as possible, as this will help your reader focus on your story.

What are the Pitzer College core values?

Before you begin writing your Pitzer core values essay, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Pitzer core college values. 

There are five Pitzer core college values: Social Responsibility, Intercultural Understanding, Interdisciplinary Learning, Student Engagement, and Environmental Sustainability. Check out the Pitzer College core values page to see how these values will shape your college experience and learn what they mean to Pitzer students.

What is Pitzer College ranked?

U.S. News ranks Pitzer College #35 in National Liberal Arts Colleges. Below are a few of U.S. News’ other rankings:

  • Pitzer College ranking is #68 for Best Undergraduate Teaching.
  • The Pitzer College ranking in Best Value Schools is #88.
  • For Most Innovative Schools, the Pitzer College ranking is #42.
  • The Pitzer College ranking for Top Performers on Social Mobility is #142.

The Princeton Review doesn’t offer a specific Pitzer College ranking but does include them in The Best 387 Colleges: 2022 Edition. They recognize Pitzer in several of their “Great Lists,” including Great Financial Aid, Most Politically Active Students, LGBTQ-Friendly, and Great Campus Food. The Pitzer College ranking, according to Forbes’ 2021 Top Colleges In America, was #299 among the 600 top-ranked colleges, universities, and service academies in the U.S.  

What is the Pitzer College acceptance rate?

According to U.S. News, the Pitzer acceptance rate is 17%. The Pitzer acceptance rate reflects how many students applied compared to the number of students admitted. 

Of the students admitted to Pitzer, half had an SAT score between 1325-1510 or an ACT score of 31-33. The Pitzer acceptance rate is similar to the other Claremont Colleges, which have an average acceptance rate of 15.03%.

If you’re concerned about the Pitzer acceptance rate, remember every student who now attends Pitzer was once in the same position you’re in now. Rather than focusing on the Pitzer acceptance rate, focus on your Pitzer supplemental essays. If you write the best Pitzer core values essay you can, you’ll strengthen your odds against the Pitzer acceptance rate. 

Want more information on Pitzer College as well as targeted advice on approaching the Pitzer supplemental essays? Check out the video below from the Assistant Director of Admissions!

Pitzer Supplemental Essays: Final Thoughts

Just as you are more than your grades and test scores, Pitzer is more than its statistics. Knowing the Pitzer acceptance rate or the Pitzer College ranking will not help you write a better Pitzer supplement essay. Before you pick a Pitzer supplement essay prompt, take some time to learn more about the Pitzer core college values and what they mean to you. As you listen to how Pitzer’s students embody these values, you’ll probably find you have already begun to embody these values yourself.

Once you’ve developed your ideas for your Pitzer supplemental essays, don’t worry about making your first draft perfect. Focus on getting your ideas down on paper, and then follow through on your writing process. Give yourself plenty of time ahead of the deadline to revise and edit your Pitzer supplemental essays and refine your ideas. Once you feel like you have a solid draft, ask a teacher, guardian, or any other mentor to read over your Pitzer supplemental essays. Address their feedback, proofread your work, and your Pitzer supplemental essays will be sure to stand out.


This 2021-2022 essay guide on Pitzer was written by Stefanie Tedards. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources on Pitzer, click here. Want help crafting your Pitzer supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.