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University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA

The University of California at Santa Cruz, founded in 1965, is a public, comprehensive university. The campus was established with a unique purpose: to combine the university's strengths in scholarship and research with an academic program devoted to undergraduate education. The school offers a small college setting paired with the considerable resources of a major public university. Every undergraduate is a member of the eight residential colleges. In the colleges, the students, faculty and staff are members of a small intellectual and social community where learning is an integral part of living. Each college has a complement of faculty members and 1,000 to 1,400 students drawn from all disciplines. About half of the students live on campus. While students participate in campus-wide academic programs, each college of the university provides new students with academic advising and an introductory core course. Its 2,000-acre campus is located on a former ranch, overlooking Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean and downtown Santa Cruz.

Institution TypePublic
Undergraduate Students16,231
   Women8,524 (52.5%)
   Men7,707 (47.5%)
Graduate Students1,637


Entrance DifficultyVery difficult
Overall Admission Rate51% of 44,871 applicants were admitted
Early Action OfferedNo
Early Decision OfferedNo
Regular Admission DeadlineNovember 30
Selection of Students
FactorVery ImportantImportantConsideredNot Considered
Academic GPAX
Standardized TestsX
Extracurricular ActivitiesX
Qualifications of Enrolled Freshmen
Average GPA3.76
SAT Math608 average
550-670 range of middle 50%
SAT Critical Reading578 average
520-640 range of middle 50%
SAT Writing576 average
520-640 range of middle 50%
ACT Composite26 average
23-29 range of middle 50%


Cost of AttendanceIn-state: $31,286
Out-of-state: $57,968
Tuition and Fees
In-state: $13,515
Out-of-state: $40,197
Room and Board
Average Percent of Need Met83%
Average Freshman Award$24,936
Average Indebtedness of
2016 Graduates


Academic Calendar SystemQuarter
General Education/
Core Curriculum
Full-Time Faculty
Teaching Undergraduates
Not reported
Regular Class SizeNot reported


Santa Cruz Population62,041
Nearest Metropolitan AreaSan Francisco, San Jose
Freshman Housing GuaranteeFreshmen are guaranteed housing
Students in College Housing 98% of freshmen, 53% of all students
Athletic ConferencesNCAA Division III
MascotBanana Slug
Sororities7% of women participate
Fraternities 5% of men participate


Ethnicity of Students from U.S.0.1% American Indian/Alaskan Native
21.8% Asian
2.0% Black/African-American
32.3% Hispanic/Latino
7.6% Multi-race (not Hispanic/Latino)
0.2% Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
34.2% White
1.7% Unknown
International Students3.6% from 50 countries
First-Year Students Returning87.4%
Students Graduating
Within 4 Years
Graduates Offered Full-Time
Employment Within 6 Months
Not reported
Graduates Pursuing
Advanced Study Directly
Not reported
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CLASS OF 2022 Profile of Students on COLLEGEdata
Interested in This College
Average 3.55 3.86 640 631 27
Low 2.70 3.00 420 460 17
High 4.00 4.70 800 770 35
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• The official mascot of UC Santa Cruz is the banana slug.

• UCSC fosters partnerships with businesses, schools and research centers in nearby Silicon Valley.

• The annual UCSC "Charles Dickens Universe" features lectures, films, performances and exhibits about the author, as well as a Victorian Dessert Party.

A portion of the College Profile data is provided under license by:
Annual Survey of Colleges 2016, copyright © 2016 The College Board. All rights reserved.
Peterson's Undergraduate and Undergraduate Financial Aid Databases,
copyright © 2017 Peterson's, a Nelnet company. All rights reserved.
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