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    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Santa Clara University Essay Prompts

    By Cait Williams

    Cait Williams is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cait recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications. During her time at OU, was active in the outdoor recreation community.

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    Reviewed by Bill Jack

    Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: November 1st, 2023
    How to Respond to the 2023/2024 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

    At Santa Clara University, we value our diverse and inclusive community. Our campus learning environment is enriched by the lived experiences of people from different backgrounds. What people, places, events, or circumstances have shaped the individual you are today and how you could contribute to our community? (150- 300 words)

    The first prompt on the Santa Clara application is a fairly common essay prompt. They want to know about you and how who you are will add to their campus. So, let’s break this question down into two parts.

    Part one

    Let’s start with thinking about the people, places, events and circumstances that have shaped you. It’s probably not difficult for you to think of at least one thing that is significant in your life, but the key here is thinking of something significant that will also be related to how you add to campus. So, take some time to think about what things are significant to you. You may come up with more than one! 

    Part two

    Part two of this question is where more of the heavy lifting will come in because you will need to translate the things that have been significant in your life into things that you will bring to campus. You may do this in a lot of ways. Perhaps you will start a club, become involved in an on campus volunteer organization, work on campus as an RA, or a number of other things. There’s no right or wrong way to add to campus; the admissions team wants to know that you will bring something to the table that will enrich your own life and others. 

    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)

    This question is set up in a very similar fashion to the first one. So, let’s also break this question into two parts. 

    Part one

    The first part of this question asks you to think about an ethical dilemma you care about. It’s important to note that they specifically ask for a dilemma that our society is currently facing. So, think of the big picture issues in your county, on major news networks, or statewide! Maybe there’s an issue that people in your community will be voting on soon, or that the Supreme Court will be ruling on, or perhaps another dilemma has something to do with the choices our military is making. 

    Take some time to think about ethical dilemmas that you particularly care about! This might take some time, but it’s important to do your research and find an issue that you care about! Some ethical dilemmas that are happening on a large scale may even be occurring around you locally.

    Part two 

    Part two of this question is a bit more in depth because it requires you to understand the values that are taught at Santa Clara and how those values will help educate you so that you are prepared to address these ethical dilemmas. 

    So, start by looking at the values that Santa Clara holds to. These can usually be found on their website fairly easily. Santa Clara wants to learn how attending their school is going to help you become someone who can have an impact on the issues at hand. 

    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?

    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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