Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University - Undergraduate Admission

Counselor Newsletter Articles

  •  Applying Early?

    Monday, Sep. 28, 2015

    We hope some of your students are already placing SCU on their college lists and considering our various application plans: Early Action (Nov. 1), Early Decision (Nov. 1), and Regular Decision (Jan. 7). For those of your students who already are set on SCU, we encourage them to consider the Early Decision process.

    Approximately 35% of our applicants choose the Early Action or Early Decision plan. If you have questions about either process, please feel free to contact the representative for your geographic region.

  •  Visit SCU!

    Monday, Sep. 28, 2015

    As the school year starts and your students begin to apply to colleges, please encourage them to consider a variety of opportunities to learn more about SCU.

    Our largest prospective student event of the year, Open House, is set for Oct. 17 and 18. There's no better way for students to discover whether SCU is the right fit than to spend time on campus. During Open House, you'll have an opportunity to learn from our admission staff and current students, who will share their college-life experiences.

    As a high school counselor we realize you may be planning some college visits with groups of your students. We offer a comprehensive visit program for large groups. Please book in advance as our sessions are limited and fill quickly.

  •  Money Matters

    Monday, Sep. 28, 2015

    College is a huge investment and is a worry for many families. As students are focused on the daunting task of filling out applications, financial aid forms and deadlines are occasionally missed. Please remind your students to fill out the required documentation to ensure they are being considered for all possible aid.

    We require the FAFSA and CSS Profile, and for California residents we also require the CA GPA Verification Form. If your student is applying Early Action or Early Decision, he or she should submit the CSS Profile by November 15 in order to receive a financial aid package.

    Although we encourage families to apply for need-based scholarships, we also offer merit-based scholarships that do not require a separate application. All students who apply, regardless of timing, are considered for merit aid. These scholarships are selective and are typically awarded to our top 10% of applicants. We will be looking at academic rigor as well as extracurricular involvement.

    Merit scholarship awards vary in terms of dollar amount. However, one of our most selective scholarships is the Johnson's scholarship, which covers full tuition and room and board, in addition to a stipend. For deadlines and more information regarding applying for financial aid at SCU please visit our Financial Aid website.

  •  A Global Pool of Applicants

    Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015

    Some quick facts about SCU’s 2014-15 Global Application Pool:

    •             82% growth of international applicants in the past 3 years

    •             816 applications from high schools overseas

    •             77 countries represented in applicant pool

    •             238 applications from international students at U.S. high schools

    •             284 U.S. citizens/U.S. permanent residents applied from high schools in 47 different countries

    Below we offer a few tips and reminders about out application process as you work with international students in your respective U.S. high schools.

    1.            Proof of English Proficiency: SCU requires a non-native English speaker’s entire high school experience to be conducted in English in order for the English Proficiency requirement to be automatically waived. Otherwise, we accept either the TOEFL or IELTS exams, along with a few other exams. SCU does not offer any ESL programs or support; therefore, demonstrating proof of English proficiency is an essential aspect of the application for a non-native English speaking international applicant.

    2.            Transcripts- we do require official transcripts from all schools attended. Therefore, students who have spent time overseas for any part of their secondary school education will need to submit those transcripts with their application materials.  Schools that offer “Passes” and credit for foreign school work, please be sure the foreign transcript with grades is submitted.

    3.            SAT or ACTs are required for all applicants to Santa Clara, including international students.

    4.            Financial documentation: SCU requires proof of funding at the time of application for all international students. SCU does consider international students for the Dean’s Merit Scholarship which is $6,000 per year; however no need-based financial aid is offered.

    For questions about international admission at Santa Clara University, please contact Becky Konowicz, Director of International Admission and Vice President for Professional Development for the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling (OACAC) at

  •  Choosing the Right Academic Division

    Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015

    Our undergraduate student body is comprised of roughly 5,400 students. About 60% of our students are pursuing a major within the College of Arts & Sciences. This college houses the most majors and has the most flexibility for course selection and changing of majors.

    The Leavey School of Business houses 25% of our students. This program will require a strong math background and will build a foundation in all areas of business, regardless of major. Completion of calculus will make a business applicant more competitive in our pool.

    Our School of Engineering is the smallest of the three schools, consisting of approximately 15% of our total student population. The School of Engineering will require a strong math and science background. We will look for calculus, biology, chemistry and physics as foundational classes, and ideally would like to see four years of science as well.

    Students are admitted into the academic division they select during the application process. If they would like to switch after being admitted, they will need to apply for an internal transfer at the end of the first year of enrollment at SCU. Please visit the Leavey School of Business and School of Engineering’s websites for more information regarding an internal transfer to these programs. If interested in switching into the College of Arts & Science, students are advised to work with the Drahmann Center.

    For last year’s class profile information by academic division, please visit:

    Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the academic programs and application process at Santa Clara University.

  •  Deferred Students

    Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015

    A student is deferred for various reasons -- sometimes we want to see their 1st semester grades in order to see progress, other times the pool of applicants for Early Action was strong and we would like an opportunity to review them amongst our larger pool of applicants in Regular Decision. 

    There are a couple reminders we'd like to offer these students as you counsel them:

    1) Send 1st semester (or 1st trimester) grades as soon as they become available. We realize that sometimes grades don't come out until the end of January or early February. Please send them as soon as possible -- we cannot review a deferred student in our Regular Decision process until we receive the updated transcripts. We will close out files for those who do not submit 1st semester grades by mid-February. Students can ensure all necessary documents have been received to complete their application by logging on to their eCampus portal.

    2) If the student has retaken the SAT or ACT test prior to January 7th, they may send in those official test scores no later than mid-February. 

    3) Send any relevant updates to the territory manager who will be revisiting the applicant's file during Regular Decision. Find out who is the correct territory manager here. Updates would typically include any new information that was not presented in the Early process. For instance, new awards or honors, new projects, extra curricular involvement, or visits to campus etc.

    4) Final decisions will be available for all applicants around the 3rd week of March. Students will be able to view their application status online through eCampus. 

    5) Take a deep breath and wait patiently. 

  •  Common App 4

    Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

    The new and improved Common Application and SCU Member Page is live! We are excited by many of the improvements to the user experience. SCU offers three admission programs for incoming freshman: Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision. In late September, students that submit an application will receive a link to access their application checklist via our eCampus portal. We encourage students to check their email spam folders regularly to ensure they are receiving correspondence from SCU.

    Please contact the territory manager for your region if you have any questions or need materials to support your efforts. You can meet our counselors at the following link:

    Note: SCU requires test scores to be sent directly by the testing agency. We do not complete this checklist item if scores are submitted on the transcript.

  •  Tips for Letters of Recommendation

    Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013

    We understand that writing letters of recommendations can take a HUGE amount of your time. As readers, we appreciate the care that you devote to this process. With this in mind, we wanted to share a few thoughts that may help you make this task more manageable and productive. The good news is that one page is plenty.


    We rely on you to set the stage for the applicant - providing the backlight for the overall high school experience. (Alternatively, we look to the Teacher Evaluations put a spotlight on specific examples of performance and growth.) As a counselor, you are in a unique position to reinforce and provide a context for the application. We hope to gain your insights regarding the applicant’s story, curriculum choices and transcript. In the process, we hope that you’ll highlight trends and interpret the transcript if there are specific circumstances that impacted performance. We like to understand transitions from other schools, unique program opportunities, and the ability of the applicant to overcome adversity. The heart of a recommendation is the candor and examples that you share. We are looking for quotes that capture the essence of individual that we can share with the admission committee. Ultimately, we hope to see a clear recommendation that differentiates the student beyond the transcript.

    Some themes that you might want to highlight include:

    Core Strengths

    Intellectual Abilities

    Leadership Skills

    Communication Skills

    Character & Integrity,

    Initiative & Creativity

    Volunteering & Social Impact


    Thanks to Martin Walsh (SCU ‘87) at the Harker School for providing the framework for these suggestions.