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Santa Clara University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Guide

Regular Decision: 

Santa Clara University 2020-21 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 or experienced Santa Clara virtually, please share 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. Or, if you’ve visited virtually, talk about the experiences you had from the comfort of your own desk chair! 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. How do you plan to live out and implement these values in your own life to create a more equitable society?

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 possibilities it evokes in your mind. Don’t bite off more than you can chew; rather, zoom in on one aspect of the mission and tell them a story in your own words about how you plan to implement this aspect in your own life. Think micro over macro: a certain line or sentence within the statement that affected you, for example. You don’t have to be Mother Theresa here, but try to highlight your commitment to demonstrating 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 a vision of the future that not only shows you care, but also might allow you to better the world around 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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