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Santa Clara University 2019-20 Supplemental Essay Guide

Regular Decision: 

Santa Clara University 2019-20 Application Essay Question Explanations 

The Requirements: 1 essay of 200 words; 1 essay of 150-300 words

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Community


Briefly describe what prompted you to apply to Santa Clara University. If you have had the opportunity to visit campus, please describe what aspect of your experience most influenced your impression of SCU.

Take some time to reflect on the factors that led you to Santa Clara University. Were you taken with a specific program? Do their professors publish research on a topic you’re particularly interested in? The more research you can do on SCU the better — your tenacity for detail will put your academic potential on display! If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit campus, this is also a great opportunity to get specific about what you saw, heard, and felt during your tour. Welcome the reader into your mind and help him or her see how Santa Clara University checks all the boxes for you. 


Driven by the Jesuit values outlined in our mission statement, Santa Clara University promises to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion. We strive to cultivate knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world. Write about an experience from your life that embodies an aspect of our mission.

First off: take some time to actually read the full mission statement. Think it over and jot down some notes about the parts that speak to you and the memories it evokes in your mind. Don’t worry about covering every part of the charge — as they say in the prompt, choose “an experience from your life that embodies AN aspect of [their] mission.” Don’t bite off more than you can chew; rather, zoom in on one aspect and tell them a story that relates to it. Think micro over macro, a certain day or person that affected you (or vice versa). You don’t have to be Mother Theresa here, but try to highlight your empathy, compassion, or conscience in concrete ways. You’re most likely not the first candidate they’ve seen with a resume of volunteering or community service, so try to get specific with what speaks to you about their mission. Get a little vulnerable and be willing to share an experience that not only shows you care, but also perhaps changed you in some way.

Please note: the information below relates to last year's essay prompts. We are going to update this guide with the prompts for 2021-22 as soon as they become available. Check back soon!
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