Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University - Undergraduate Admission

Counselor Newsletter Articles

  •  Deferred Students

    Friday, Jan. 3, 2014

    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 pieces of advice we'd like to offer these students as you counsel them:

    1) Make sure to "opt in" to the Regular Decision process by following the instructions in the deferral notification. This is done through the eCampus portal. The deadline was January 7th.

    2) If the student originally applied into Business or Engineering, they will be prompted to consider the College of Arts and Sciences as an option. If a student is not set on a particular major or emphasis it may be a good option to be considered for both programs depending on selectivity and demand.

    3) Send 1st semester 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.

    4) Send any additional test scores (if applicable) for consideration in Regular Decision.

    5) Send any 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.

    6) Final decisions will go out around the 3rd week of March. Check the eCampus portal to ensure all necessary documents have been received.

    7) 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.