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How to Respond to the 2023-2024 University of San Francisco Supplemental Essay Prompt

The University of San Francisco is a private Jesuit university located in San Francisco, California. In this guide, we’ll walk through the required USFCA supplemental essay prompt so you can impress the admission’s reader with your very best response. Keep reading to learn more!

First, a little background about the University of San Francisco 

The University of San Francisco was founded in 1855. In the 1950s, USFCA was one of the first racially integrated universities in the country. Today, USFCA has 6,018 undergraduate students, 80 undergraduate programs, and more than 117,000 alumni. USFCA’s most popular undergraduate major is nursing, with over 200 graduates each year.

See also: Jesuit colleges and universities: Are you a fit?

The University of San Francisco supplemental essay prompt

In addition to the common application, USFCA requires a 200-word supplemental essay. The short word count allows for a quick but lasting impression of applicants’ unique personalities to shine through. In this guide, we’ll focus on the required supplemental essay prompt. Let’s dive in!

See also: How to answer the 2023-2024 Common App essay prompts

The prompt: 

The University of San Francisco’s Jesuit tradition emphasizes community engagement and education for social justice, inspiring our students to become passionate agents for others. How do you see yourself becoming a part of this mission?

This prompt specifically mentions USFCA’s Jesuit tradition. The prompt then asks applicants to explain their connection to the values of the University. First, if you are not familiar with what Jesuit values are, do your research. To get started:  

The main Jesuit values are:

  • Being open to the spirit of God
  • Practicing reflection to pause before making decisions
  • Following Magis (Latin for “more”) to go beyond expectations
  • Serving alongside one’s community

Before you begin writing, think about what those values mean to you. What career are you pursuing? What part does the university play in helping you get there? To begin drafting, focus on an aspect of the university’s mission in order to form a relevant connection to the University (remember it’s important to focus with that 200 word limit!)

USFCA’s mission statement presents the Latin phrase “cura personalis,” which means “care for the whole person.” Applicants could use this phrase to tie together their goals for their future and reasons for applying. For example, if you plan to go into teaching,  you will commit to cura personalis to best serve your students. 

Questions to consider:

  • How will you use your degree to promote cura personalis?
  • How has your faith contributed to your career aspirations?
  • Where do you see yourself contributing on campus?

Also see: How to write a great supplemental essay

Final thoughts for USFCA applicants

The University of San Francisco is an excellent choice for applicants interested in an institution that promotes a Jesuit education. Applicants must submit the supplemental essay response in addition to their Common Application essay. To write your response, remember to:

  1. Research the university’s mission 
  2. Consider what the University of San Francisco values and how it relates to you
  3. Explain that connection to show how you will contribute to the university and the world beyond

With the 200 count word limit, it is best to freely write and fully answer the prompt. After,  go back and cut out what is not absolutely necessary to reveal your unique personality and perspective. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to present your best self via your written response!

Don’t miss: Our full database of supplemental essay guides

Additional resources 

Before you start writing your University of San Francisco supplemental essay, check out our Guide to the Common App essay prompts and what looks good on a college application. If you are just starting your college search, learn more about reach, match, and safety schools and learn how many schools to apply to. Best of luck on your higher education journey!

Also see: How to make a college comparison spreadsheet

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Frequently asked questions about the University of San Francisco supplemental essay prompt

Does University of San Francisco require personal statement?

The University of San Francisco  requires a supplement to the Common App. The response to the short answer question should be 200 words. See above for tips on how to best respond!

How long is a 200 word essay?

Not very! 200 words is roughly three to five paragraphs and a little less than a single page of double spaced text.