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How to Respond to the Santa Clara University Essay Prompts

This year’s Santa Clara University supplemental essay prompts are available and they’re waiting for you to give them an answer! If Santa Clara is on your list of schools, we’re here to help you prepare the best possible answers for your SCU supplemental essays. So, let’s jump in!

Introducing Santa Clara University 

Santa Clara University has had a long and rich history steeped in tradition and their Jesuit roots. This university welcomes people of all religious backgrounds to their school in order to promote a dialogue between faith and culture. 

In addition to religion, Sant Clara is committed to providing a community of rigorous academic quality through the courses they offer and the faculty they employ. At Santa Clara,  you can find degrees that range from bioengineering to theater and dance. 

Supplemental essay 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? (maximum 200 words)

The first of the SCU supplemental essays is a classic. Colleges often give students an opportunity to speak about why they chose their school specifically. But in this case, Santa Clara wants to know more than just why you chose them. They also want to know how you envision the time you’ll spend there and what it will do for you once you leave. Let’s break this down into three parts.

We’ll begin where you always should with college applications: research! If you haven’t spent any time on the Santa Clara university website, you should do so before moving forward. It’s important to know how you and a school connect before answering their questions. Take your time finding out if becoming a Bronco is right for you by visiting their website.

Questions to consider

  • What first drew you to Santa Clara? 
  • What values do you and the University share?
  • Are they known for the type of degree you want to pursue? 

Now that you’ve got a good foundation, you can start to envision how you’ll spend your time at Santa Clara. It can be a bit difficult to say specifically how you will spend your time on campus. You aren’t sure exactly what opportunities will come or clubs that will pop up that  you’ll want to join, that’s okay. Remember, this is just a vision you’re sharing.

For this portion of the prompt, try to highlight the ways in which you’d like to spend your time. Share some details about why you are motivated to attend their college and how previous experiences during high school are going to translate to college. 

 Questions to consider

  • Do you intend to be a part of on campus clubs, sports, or activities?
  • Are you planning to be involved in community activities outside of the university?
  • How do you plan to seek out opportunities to be involved on campus or further your education with tools outside the classroom? 

The last part of this prompt asks you to talk about how your time at Santa Clara will influence your future once you graduate. If you thought the previous sentient was tricky, this section is asking you to look even further into the future. 

But again, Santa Clara knows you can’t see the future. They know that the details you write in your college application are subject to change. So, don’t worry too much about having to know exactly how your time in college is going to affect you after. 

Instead, this is a perfect opportunity to let your values shine through. You might not know exactly how you will use your degree, but you can talk about how earning your undergraduate degree and gaining experience will lead to jobs where you can make a real impact in the world. Thinking about the prompt this way is a great way to show that you plan to use this time wisely. 

Questions to consider

  • Why are you pursuing your undergraduate degree? Do you plan to attend graduate school or another program after receiving it? 
  • What do you think the purpose of attending college is?
  • How will your time in college impact who you are and the career you intend to pursue?

Don’t miss: How to write an essay about yourself

Supplemental essay 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 our 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 this challenge? (150-300 words)

The tone in Santa Clara’s second essay prompt is a bit similar to the first prompt. Again, they again want to know why you are choosing their school. They also want to hear more about your values and the things that matter to you. So, let’s break this question into two parts. 

In the first part, we will explore why you feel drawn to Santa Clara. This time, however, we’ll focus on answering questions that ask more about what Santa Clara values you are drawn to and less about what opportunities, classes, or professors they have to offer you.

Questions to consider

  • What about SCU’s values and yours align?
  • Are there any areas at SCU that you would like to see a change in and be an active part of that change?
  • What issues do you know of that SCU has attempted to address?

The second half of this question wants to hear what ethical dilemmas you personally are aware of and invested in. You have the freedom to talk about global or local issues in your answer, so don’t feel constrained to only write about one or the other. 

Perhaps some ethical dilemmas that are happening on a large scale are also occurring around you locally. There is no limit on what issues you can talk about. Know that Santa Clara wants to learn how attending their school is going to help you become someone who can have an impact on the issue at hand. 

Questions to consider

  • What ethical dilemmas is our society currently facing?
  • Which of those dilemmas stand out to you as significant?
  • What skills would you like to personally improve on at SCU that would help combat that dilemma? 

Further reading: 10 tips for successful college applications

Wrapping up with the SCU supplemental essays

Tip #1

Before we finish up with your SCU supplemental essays, let’s address a few quick tips for these prompts. Both of these essays ask about similar themes. They want to hear about your values and why their school is the right choice for you. Be careful when answering that you don’t give them two answers that are the same. Take advantage of the space offered by showing off the various sides of yourself. 

Tip #2

Make sure your values are yours. When researching schools and writing applications, it is easy to simply agree with their values. Remember, your values should come from you! Take time to write out a short list of what you find important and from there, find schools that align with your list. 

Tip #3

Check out our other articles! Our website has plenty more articles just like this one that can help you write a top notch essay. Check out our guides on how to write a great supplemental essay, how to respond to the Common App prompts, how to write an essay about yourself, and how to write 250 or 500 word essays. And once you’re all done writing, we’ve still got you covered! Don’t miss our guides on 5 things to do after you submit your college application and how to choose a college. Good luck!

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