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Colleges / Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University Admissions

If you are thinking about applying to Santa Clara University, the deadline for Fall 2022 admissions is January 7 and the application fee costs $70.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students who are struggling to afford application fees may qualify for for an application fee waiver.

Students who apply for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than April 1.

Santa Clara University Admissions Stats at a Glance

Santa Clara University 2021 Admissions Statistics
Mean Unweighted GPA 3.7
Admitted Students in Top 10% of Graduating Class 40%
Mean SAT Score 1351
Admissions Test Policy Optional
Applicants Who Submit SATs 68%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 39%
Waitlist Yes

Applying Early to Santa Clara University?

Santa Clara University offers early decision and also offers early action. Early decision is binding, meaning you must attend if you are admitted, while early action allows you to apply early without committing. Early Decision 2 applications are due 1/7.

Mark your calendar!

The Early Action deadline is November 1, which is coming up fast! Santa Clara University will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 23.

The early decision acceptance rate at Santa Clara University is 69%, compared to an overall acceptance rate of 51%. Santa Clara University accepts about 71% of early action applicants and 51% all applicants for all deadlines. Last year, Santa Clara University admitted 398 of the 577 students who applied early decison. Last year, Santa Clara University admitted 4,335 of the 6,7 who applied early action.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

Is Santa Clara University Hard To Get Into?

Santa Clara University is a very difficult school to get into. Santa Clara University evaluates applicants carefully based on multiple criteria to decide who to admit, and who to deny or waitlist.

In 2021, Santa Clara University accepted 51% of all applicants, around 8,362 of the 16,488 students who applied.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like Santa Clara University, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

It is very difficult to be admitted as a transfer student.

In 2021, Santa Clara University waitlisted 2,749 students. Of those, 1,747 eventually received an admissions offer.

What Does Santa Clara University Look For in an Applicant?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college decides which factors are they consider most important in the admissions process. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the admissions factors where you shine.

Admissions Factors at Santa Clara University

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Important
Character/Personal Qualities Important
Geographical Residence Considered
Class Rank Important
Work Experience Considered
Extracurricular Activities Important
Level of Applicant's Interest Considered
Application Essay Very Important
First Generation Important
Interview Not Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Important
Recommendation(s) Important
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Very Important
State Residency Considered
Talent/Ability Important
Standardized Test Scores Important
Volunteer Work Important

Santa Clara University 2021-2022 Application Requirements

To apply, all applicants to Santa Clara University must submit the following items. Double check with Santa Clara University's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

Area Required Recommended Required for Some Details (If Any)
Written Essay or Personal Statement
Letter(s) of Recommendation 1
Transcript of High School Record

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Santa Clara University?

Students admitted to Santa Clara University have an average unweighted GPA of 3.7.

Out of all students that were admitted, 13% submitted a class rank. At Santa Clara University 40% of students ranked in the top 10% of their graduating class in high school, 73% were in the top 25% and 95% were in the top 50%.

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

At Santa Clara University, student GPAs fall in the following ranges
4.0 GPA 13%
3.75 and 3.99 40%
3.50 and 3.74 35%
3.25 and 3.49 15%
3.00 and 3.24 4%
2.50 and 2.9 1%
2.00 and 2.49 0%

Santa Clara University does look at standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Santa Clara University is a test optional school. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 68% of Santa Clara University's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 39% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for Santa Clara University?

To be competitive with other Santa Clara University applicants, you should strive to earn between 1280 and 1430 (or higher!) on the SAT. At Santa Clara University 25% of admitted students scored higher than 1430 and 25% of scored lower than 1280, but the majority of students scored somewhere in between these two numbers.The mean composite SAT score for a Santa Clara University student is 1351.

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Santa Clara University students scored 750 or higher and 75% of students scored 630 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Santa Clara University students scored 700 or higher, and 75% scored a 630 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Santa Clara University?

To be most competitive at Santa Clara University, you should strive to earn between 28 and 32 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 32 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Santa Clara University's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 32, and three out of four students scored lower than 32 on the ACT.

A 28 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Santa Clara University students. Only one out of every four students scored below 28.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Santa Clara University

For transfer students, it is very difficult to get admitted to Santa Clara University.

For transfer students wishing to start in the Fall, the deadline to apply is April 15.

Transfer students can enroll in Santa Clara University during the following terms: - Fall Term - Winter Term - Winter Term

Santa Clara University Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Santa Clara University?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Santa Clara University.

Does Santa Clara University accept transfer credits?

Santa Clara University accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Does Santa Clara University accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Santa Clara University accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Santa Clara University?

No, Santa Clara University is test optional, so it's up to you if you want to submit test scores or not. If your scores are higher than the school's average, you should strongly consider submitting them. If you scored lower than a school's average,, you may want not want to include them in your application..

What is Santa Clara University's acceptance rate?

Santa Clara University's acceptance rate is 51%.

What is the early decision acceptance rate at Santa Clara University?

Santa Clara University's early decision acceptance rate was 69% in 2021.

What is the early action acceptance rate at Santa Clara University?

The early action acceptance rate at Santa Clara University was 71% in 2021.

Want To Learn More About Santa Clara University?

Choose one of the options below to find out more about about Santa Clara University:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Santa Clara University

Explore other colleges in California or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Santa Clara University Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective


How hard is it to get into Santa Clara University? Santa Clara University is a very selective institution. The Santa Clara University acceptance rate is 51%. This means that the institution accepts 50 out of every 100 applicants.



Wondering what your chances are of getting into Santa Clara University?

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Santa Clara University Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 7

Transfer Applications are Due

Apr 15

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Santa Clara University is Jan 7.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Santa Clara University is Apr 15.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Santa Clara University ACT Scores


ACT Range

28 - 32

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

32 and Above


28 to 32


28 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to Santa Clara University is 30. Students with an ACT score of 32 and above have a good chance of getting into Santa Clara University. Students with an ACT score that falls between 28 and 32 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 28 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

Santa Clara University SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1280 - 1430


Math SAT Range

640 - 750


Reading SAT Range

630 - 700

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

1430 and Above


1280 to 1430


1280 and Less


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SAT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median SAT score for Santa Clara University students is 1351. Applicants with SAT scores of 1430 and above have a good chance of being admitted to Santa Clara University, while applicants with SAT scores between 1280 to 1430 have an average chance of admittance, and prospective students with an SAT score below 1280 have a low chance of being offered a spot at Santa Clara University.

Santa Clara University GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)


GPA Needed to Get Accepted

At Santa Clara University, the average unweighted high-school GPA for admitted students is 3.68. This is the average, which means that some applicants submit GPAs lower than this and some applicants submit GPAs above this level. If your GPA falls below the average, strong test scores or other qualifications may help you make you a more competitive applicant.

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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