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New Santa Clara University Essay Prompts for 2019-20

Santa Clara University has updated its essay prompts for this admissions cycle. The good news? Instead of writing three short supplemental essays, you just have to write two. Let's take a quick look at the new Santa Clara supplement, and see how it differs from last year's.  (Click here for our new, updated full guide to the 2019-20 Santa Clara University essay prompts.)

  • Briefly describe what prompted you to apply to Santa Clara University. If you have had the opportunity to visit campus, please describe what aspect of your experience most influenced your impression of SCU. (Maximum 200 words)


Note: this prompt replaces two 150- word prompts: "Briefly describe how you learned about Santa Clara University." and "If you visited campus, describe what aspect of your visit experience most influenced your impression of SCU."

This updated version is more of a standard "Why This School" essay prompt, and it gives you more flexibility to address academics and extracurriculars. However, the second half of the prompt shows you that Santa Clara really wants to hear about how you feel personally connected to their school.

  • Whether or not you were lucky enough to visit campus, the key thing here is to pick a resource unique to SCU that connects to your goals. For example, if you are interested in being an ethical business leader, you might talk about listening in on a Bannan Forum discussion on spirituality, business leadership, and Jesuit education.


The second prompt relates to SCU's mission, and it gives you the opportunity to tell a story about your life.

  • Driven by the Jesuit values outlined in our mission statement, Santa Clara University promises to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion. We strive to cultivate knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world. Write about an experience from your life that embodies an aspect of our mission. (between 150 - 300 words)

This prompt replaces another with the same word count: "What aspect of SCU’s strategic vision appeals to you? Why?"

Here at Prompt, we think this is an improvement. Why? Because instead of just asking you to state that you are a good fit for SCU's values, it asks you to prove it by discussing your experiences. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss an activity or extracurricular where you took initiative or had an impact on others, but if you are having trouble thinking of something like that, a key learning moment will also work well. (Prompt's brainstorming modules might help you think of something that you haven't already covered in your Common Application personal statement.)

  • Regardless of what topic you pick, it's important to start these short essays with a sentence or two that will lay out the most crucial facts for the reader. Don't waste too much time setting the scene!

If you want to read about the old Santa Clara University essay prompts, check out last year's guide!


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