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How to Write a Great USF Application Essay 2019-20

Every school has a different approach to supplemental essays. Does USF require an essay? They do... and it's a great way to show how you'll fit in with this school's Jesuit tradition of social justice.

Note:  Last year, USF allowed you to choose between two prompt options.   This year, they've narrowed it down to one.  Let's take a look at the prompt you'll be answering for your USF Application essay!


Option 1:

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?

You may be interested in attending the University of San Francisco because you’re drawn to a Jesuit education. Maybe you’re interested in attending a college that shares your faith, or you may appreciate the way Jesuit values shape USF’s curriculum or student life. If attending a Jesuit college is important to you, this prompt is a good option for your USF application essay.

If you pick this prompt, you’ll need to provide at least one specific example of how you’ll be a “passionate agent for others” as a USF student.

Research will help you develop your topic. Explore USF’s website and learn about the ways Jesuit tradition influences USF students’ community engagement. Jot down some notes about the opportunities that interest you. For example, you may be interested in volunteering with the University Ministry or the Solidarity-In-Action programs. You might like the way service learning is incorporated into the curriculum, and plan to take the Community Organizing course. You may even be interested in taking your service learning to another country through the Privett Global Service-Learning program.

Or maybe you’re a leader and you want to use your skills to serve the community. Do you want to establish a new community service event or student group at USF? That could be a great topic! (Note: if you go this route, carefully check the list of student groups and explore the website to make sure your idea doesn’t already exist.)

Once you’ve identified 1-3 service opportunities, you’ll be ready to write your 200-word USF application essay.

Let’s look at an example student’s brainstorming list:

  • Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars
  • Wishmakers of USFCA
  • I run a yearly book drive at my high school, and I’d like to continue this at USF



Attention: the following prompt option was cut for 2019-20.  For more updates on changing requirements, check out our Essay Updates page!

A USF education is intensely personal and intellectually demanding, emphasizing disciplined thinking and life-changing experiences. As you think about the many academic programs offered at USF, what fields of study are you drawn to and why?


Click here for our guide to writing the Common App Essay

Prompt’s Essay Specialists reviewed 13,000 admissions essays in 2018, helping thousands of students submit their applications with confidence.

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