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Colleges / University of California, Santa Cruz

About UC Santa Cruz

University of California, Santa Cruz is a public, state school located in the small town setting of Santa Cruz, CA, less than an hour from San Francisco, San Jose.

Founded in 1965, UC Santa Cruz currently enrolls around 19,161 students a year, including 17,207 undergrads. The institution runs on a quarter academic calendar.

UC Santa Cruz's endowment was valued at $221,500,000 in 2021. For each full-time student, UC Santa Cruz spends about $10,540.

Admissions Facts About UC Santa Cruz

Acceptance rate: 65%

Average GPA: 3.51

Early Decision or Early Action: No/No

2022 Regular Decision Deadline: November 30

2022 Regular Decision Notification Date: March 31

UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate 2021

It is very difficult to get into University of California, Santa Cruz. UC Santa Cruz accepts around 65 percent of applicants each year.

Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 3.51 out of 4.0.

In 2021, 16,484 applicants were waitlisted and 8,870 waitlisted students got accepted.

Is UC Santa Cruz a good school?

Different people have different ideas about what makes a "good" school. Acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how competitive an institution is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are.

Retention and graduation rates

Out of the 4,019 students who started at UC Santa Cruz as first-time freshman, 2,204 graduate within four years.

Around 76 percent of students who started at UC Santa Cruz earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61 percent for public schools, and 67 percent for private, non-profit schools.

Job outcomes and student debt

Job placement and student debt statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers. Students in the class of 2021 who had taken out student loans graduated with an average of $21,189 of debt. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

Based on this information, how does UC Santa Cruz sound? Remember, the best school for one person may be a terrible fit for someone else! So the real question to ask yourself: is UC Santa Cruz a good school for YOU?

Is University of California, Santa Cruz on your list?

Click the heart icon to save UC Santa Cruz to your own personal list of schools that you'd like to attend!

UC Santa Cruz's application deadline is November 31. All applicants will receive an admissions decision by March 31.

Read on to find out more about the admissions requirements and deadlines, student life, academics and majors and more. You can also see what others are saying about UC Santa Cruz in the College Confidential forums and get personalized recommendations for colleges and universities that offer what you're looking for in a school.

College Info

1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Campus Setting: Small Town

UC Santa Cruz Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Nov 30

Transfer Applications are Due

Nov 30

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to UC Santa Cruz is Nov 30.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to UC Santa Cruz is Nov 30.

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


Wondering what your chances are of getting into University of California, Santa Cruz?

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UC Santa Cruz ACT Scores


ACT Range

24 - 30

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

30 and Above


24 to 30


24 and Less


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ACT Scores Needed to Get Accepted

The median ACT score of an admitted student to UC Santa Cruz is 29. Students with an ACT score of 30 and above have a good chance of getting into UC Santa Cruz. Students with an ACT score that falls between 24 and 30 have an average chance of getting admitted, and students with an ACT score of 24 or below have a low chance of being offered admission.

UC Santa Cruz SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

Not available


Math SAT Range

600 - 710


Reading SAT Range

590 - 680

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score

Estimated Chance

0 and Above


0 to 0


0 and Less


UC Santa Cruz Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at UC Santa Cruz is like? There are approximately 19,494 students enrolled at UC Santa Cruz, including 17,517 undergraduate students and 1,977 graduate students. 97% percent of students attend school full-time, 96% percent are from CA and 4% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC. All rights reserved.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Nov 30
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