Check out our YouTube Channel!
The Requirements: Two essays of 150-300 words each; one optional essay of 50 words
This is your opportunity to not only show admissions how you face challenges, but also demonstrate your creativity and vision. Start by brainstorming a few ethical dilemmas or challenges—big and small—that bother you or impact your life. Maybe it’s rising sea levels, or the impact of diet culture on the minds and bodies of vulnerable teenagers. Although the scope and scale of your problem can vary, remember that SCU is looking to accept applicants who want to be a part of the solution. Show that you’re not only informed and concerned, but also actively engaged in addressing the problem head on.
Admissions officers want to know not only that you value diversity and inclusivity, but which experiences or circumstances have shaped the person you are today and, in turn, the ways in which you will contribute to Santa Clara University. Where do you come from? Who have you looked up to? What kinds of experiences have you had? What makes your background different from your peers? What you address can be reflective of larger cultural constructs, like being a woman of color, or an experience specific to you and only you, like an eye-opening experience or treasured relationship with a relative and mentor. Consider why your particular background or experience will enable you to contribute to SCU in a unique way. Will you inspire and/or inform others? Will you apply some of the things you’ve learned about life so far; if so, what will that look like? What do you believe and how will your worldview bring something of value to the community at Santa Clara University?
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: the three steps to writing a good Why Essay are research, research, and research. In this particular case, admissions wants to know about your interest in academics, specifically, so spend some quality time on the school website (or visit campus, if you can) and get to know Santa Clara University’s academic offerings beyond the basic facts and figures. Learn about the department, faculty, notable alumni, and any special programs or opportunities for undergrads within your desired field. Once you have some notes jotted down, see if you can put together a brief response that addresses what you want to study, why you want to study it (including future career goals, if applicable), and finally, if you have the space, why SCU is the perfect place for you to explore this field.