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Santa Clara University

Understanding the Review Process

Each application is read and evaluated by a review committee of trained SCU faculty/staff using the Application Criteria and Essay Grading Rubric. Study abroad staff evaluate every application to verify eligibility requirements. 

After evaluating, each application receives a recommendation from the Committee. We nominate as many applications as the Study Abroad Program budget allows.  

There will be a waitlist and applicants who are placed on the waitlist can expect that there may be some movement from the waitlist during the process.  

While GPA is a component that is reviewed as part of an applicant's submission, applications are not ranked by GPA.  


Nominated, Not Nominated or Waitlisted

An applicant may be notified of three possible responses:

  1. Nominated – The application is approved for the student’s first, second, or third preference program abroad. 
  2. Not Nominated - The application is not approved. The most common reasons for applications that are not nominated include: not meeting program eligibility requirements, GPA, major declaration, language preparation, academic preparation, or less compelling articulation of alignment between program preference and academic, professional, or personal goals.
  3. Waitlisted – Some applications will be waitlisted initially and after the waitlist period concludes, will either be moved from the waitlist to Nominated or Not Nominated

Waitlisted Students

The number of nominations that can be extended to waitlisted students is contingent on the number of responses to the initial offers of nomination. It is not possible to know an applicant’s position on the waitlist, because the waitlist is not ranked. As positions open up, waitlisted students will be nominated using the same holistic review process used in the initial evaluation and will depend upon funding, availability of spots in programs, etc.

The percentage of students who are nominated who then accept their offer to study abroad is typically about 95%. Movement off the waitlist can vary from year to year and has ranged from two to thirty applications being moved from the Waitlist.