Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University - Undergraduate Admission

Counselor Newsletter Articles

  •  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.