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Colleges / University of California, Santa Cruz

About UC Santa Cruz

University of California, Santa Cruz is a public, state school in a small town setting in Santa Cruz, California. UC Santa Cruz was founded in 1965 and now enrolls around 19,161 students a year, including 17,207 undergrads. UC Santa Cruz offers housing for students. Most students live in off campus housing.

There are many ways for students to get involved at UC Santa Cruz! Love music or performing? Join a campus band, sing in a chorus, or perform with one of UC Santa Cruz's theater groups.

Interested in journalism or communications? UC Santa Cruz students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

Excited for Greek life? UC Santa Cruz has fraternities and sororities.

Planning to play sports? UC Santa Cruz has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at UC Santa Cruz on the Student Life page.

Learn more about life at UC Santa Cruz on the Student Life page.

Mark your calendar! November 30, 2022 is the final deadline to submit an application for Fall. Regular decision applicants for Fall 2022 should find out if they got admitted by March 31.

2021 UC Santa Cruz Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Quarter
Overall Acceptance Rate 65%
Average GPA 3.5
In-State Tuition $11,442
Out-of-State $43,196
Percent of Need Met 78%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $22,365

Is UC Santa Cruz a Good School?

The definition of a "good school" is different for different people. Admissions criteria, acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how competitive an institution is, but they don't say much about the quality of the education or the student experience. There are a few statistics that can give you a good idea of how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its students.

Let's take a look at all of these areas to get a clearer sense of what UC Santa Cruz offers and if it might be a good choice for you.

2021 Acceptance Rate for University of California, Santa Cruz

It is very difficult to get into UC Santa Cruz. Around 65% of applicants get into UC Santa Cruz each year. Out of 54,041 applications received in 2021, 35,174 students were offered admission.

Retention and Graduation Rates at UC Santa Cruz

Retention is the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. This is a way to get a sense of how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

About 85% of students who start at UC Santa Cruz come back the next year. Around 76% of students who started at UC Santa Cruz earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. Compare this to the average six-year graduation rate for colleges and universities in the U.S., which is around 61% for public schools and 67% for private.

Job Outcomes for UC Santa Cruz Grads

Job placement statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers.

UC Santa Cruz's Endowment

An endowment is the total value of a school's investments, donations, and assets. Endowment is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of a school, but it can give you a sense of how much money a college can afford to invest in expanding programs, improving facilities, and support students. As of 2021, the total market value of the school endowment was $221.5 million. The average college endowment was $905 million in 2021. The school spends $10,540 for each full-time student enrolled.

Tuition and Financial Aid at UC Santa Cruz

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need. UC Santa Cruz meets 78% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. The average financial aid package for a full-time, first-year student is around $22,365 a year.

Graduates in the class of 2021 had an average of $21,189 in student loans per borrower. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA asap. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! You should never have to pay to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so be very wary of anyone asking you for money.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at UC Santa Cruz. Based on this information, how does UC Santa Cruz sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may be a terrible fit for another! So ask yourself: Is UC Santa Cruz a good school for you?

If University of California, Santa Cruz seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

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Where is University of California, Santa Cruz Located?

UC Santa Cruz is located in the small town setting of Santa Cruz, California, less than an hour from San Francisco and San Jose.

If you want to see UC Santa Cruz for yourself, plan a visit. The best way to reach campus is to take U.S. Highway 101 to Santa Cruz, or book a flight to the nearest airport, San Jose International.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what UC Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges and Universities in California?

See a full list of colleges in California and save your favorites to your college list.

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


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UC Santa Cruz ACT Scores


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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 19,161 students enrolled at UC Santa Cruz, including 17,207 undergraduate students and 1,954 graduate students. 96% percent of students attend school full-time, 97% percent are from CA and 3% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



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

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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