How to Write the Santa Clara University Essays 2021-2022

 

Santa Clara University is a private school in California with a total of 5,500 undergraduate students with a high acceptance rate of 50%. Located in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University combines Jesuit values with the pursuit of technological innovation.

 

If you’re dreaming of attending Santa Clara University, you want to be confident your application will stand out. One of the best ways to improve your chances of acceptance during the admissions process is to submit thorough, creative essay responses.

 

In this post, we’ll share how to write strong supplemental essays to improve your chances of acceptance at Santa Clara University. Want to know your chances of acceptance at Santa Clara? Calculate your chances for free using our admissions calculator right now.

 

Santa Clara University Supplemental Essay Prompts

Prompt 1: Briefly describe what prompted you to apply to Santa Clara University. Based on what you know about SCU and our Jesuit mission to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion, how do you envision your life at SCU and beyond? (100-200 words)

 

Prompt 2: At SCU, we push our students to be creative, be challenged, and be the solution. Think about an ethical dilemma that you care about that society is currently facing. This can be something happening in your local community or more globally. How can an SCU education help you prepare for and address the challenge? (150-300 words)

Prompt 1

Briefly describe what prompted you to apply to Santa Clara University. Based on what you know about SCU and our Jesuit mission to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion, how do you envision your life at SCU and beyond? (100-200 words)

Santa Clara’s first prompt falls under the standard “Why This College?” category. To answer this prompt, you’ll need to highlight your fit with SCU. Share your goals and how Santa Clara University can help you achieve them, and show how you’ll contribute to the campus community.

 

First, you’ll need to outline your academic and professional goals. Do you want to start a business that gives back? Do you want to perform research on a specific topic? Is medical school in your future? 

 

Then, do some research on the university’s website to find resources to support your goals. Which classes, extracurriculars, programs, and professors interest you? These are your tangible connections to the university. You want to focus most of your essay on your tangible academic reasons for applying to SCU, but make sure to include at least one extracurricular reason as well. Remember that the prompt asks you to “envision your life at SCU and beyond.”

 

It’s important to share resources specific to the university and not something you can generally find at most schools. For instance, rather than saying you like SCU for their business program, say you want to engage in the Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment (IWEE), whose goal is to “accelerate economic empowerment of women leaders in Silicon Valley, STEM disciplines, and in the developing world as social entrepreneurs.”

 

​​Be sure to also connect the resource you mention to your personal goals. Anyone can name unique SCU resources, but you want to underline who these opportunities support your ambitions. For the above example, a student who has campaigned to address women’s unpaid labor would naturally fit that resource. 

 

Next, take some time to reflect on Santa Clara’s mission, vision, and values and understand how they appeal to you. These are your intangible connections to the university. Think about:

 

  • Which of these values is more important to me?
  • Why am I a good fit for Santa Clara’s community?
  • How will these values impact my experience at Santa Clara and my life post-college?

 

Although you don’t need to answer all these questions verbatim in your response, you need to have a clear understanding of each to guide your answer. Maybe you’ve recently started attending mass, and you’re excited for the chance to continue exploring your Catholic faith in college. Or perhaps you’re passionate about global missions, so you’re interested in the university’s cultural immersion program that will give you the chance to visit underserved communities. Remember to use the values you pick to connect you with the Santa Clara community.

 

Prompt 2

At SCU, we push our students to be creative, be challenged, and be the solution. Think about an ethical dilemma that you care about that society is currently facing. This can be something happening in your local community or more globally. How can an SCU education help you prepare for and address the challenge? (150-300 words)

Santa Clara’s second prompt falls under the “Political and Global Issues” category. This prompt has two primary goals. The first goal is to show you’re an engaged citizen who cares about your community and wants to make a difference in the world. The second goal is to ensure your values align with the values of Santa Clara.

 

First, you’ll need to choose a topic. It’s important to select a topic that’s not too broad. For example, while “world hunger” and the “global water crisis” are both important issues, they are such large issues that it would be impossible to develop a feasible plan of action, let alone in 300 words.

 

Instead, the best strategy is to choose a sub-issue of a more significant problem, specifically one that you have a personal connection to. A common mistake students make when answering this prompt is explaining ethical dilemmas or social issues in broad terms without sharing their story, personality, or goals for the future.

 

For example, instead of addressing the global water crisis, you can share your proposal to bring clean water to a small village in a third-world country. You can connect this issue with your experience of watching children suffer from water-related illnesses, like Cholera and Giardia, during your visit to this village during a humanitarian trip you took in high school.

 

Since Santa Clara University is a Jesuit school, it’s also important to be mindful of the school’s beliefs when choosing a topic—you want to discuss an issue that aligns with the school’s values. Typically, religious schools like Santa Clara tend to be more conservative in their political beliefs. If this doesn’t align with your beliefs, you may want to consider if Santa Clara University is the right college environment for you.

 

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you’ll also need to address the second half of the prompt: “How can an SCU education help you prepare for and address the challenge?” This requires you to 1) research the university’s tangible resources that can help you solve the ethical dilemma and 2) explain your action plan to address the challenge.

 

For instance, this student may mention they are excited to take the Groundwater Hydrology class with Professor Maurer, who has worked to bring clean water to rural communities in Peru. This student might suggest that they hope to work with Professor Maurer to develop safe, low-cost, durable wells that can be maintained easily and implemented in different locations, including the village they visited on their humanitarian trip. 

 

Some pointers:

 

  • Although you might be passionate about multiple ethical dilemmas, use this essay to focus on just one. This will keep your writing focused and engaging.
  • Use specific examples and stories so your reader can follow the point you’re making.
  • Don’t forget to share how your education at the university will equip you to solve the ethical dilemma you choose.
  • Share your personality, values, and story–not just your opinions. This will make a more significant impact on your reader!

 

How to Get Your Santa Clara Essays Edited for Free

 

Remember, the purpose of each essay is to showcase your personality to the admissions officers. Share your passions to make a compelling case for why you’re an excellent fit for their university!

 

We hope this guide will help you write your essays for Santa Clara with confidence. However, if you’re still looking for some extra help, we have some fantastic resources for you to use.

 

First, sign up for a free CollegeVine account to earn access to our essay guides, courses, and Essay Manager while you’re writing your essay. You can also use our Peer Essay Review tool, where you can get a free review of your essay from another student!


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Our college essay experts go through a rigorous selection process that evaluates their writing skills and knowledge of college admissions. We also train them on how to interpret prompts, facilitate the brainstorming process, and provide inspiration for great essays, with curriculum culled from our years of experience helping students write essays that work.

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