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UCSC 2018 Acceptance Rate: Class of 2022

So, you’re thinking about applying to the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), and you’re curious about your chances of admission. There are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores.

Test Type
SAT Score: 1600
GPA: 4

Percent change to get into :100 percent

With an acceptance rate of 51%, admission to UCSC is extremely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class and have an SAT score of close to 1400, or an ACT score of around 27.

Not quite there? Try taking our SAT prep course and You’ll still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at UCSC’s admission statistics.


UCSC 2018 Admissions Statistics: Class of 2022

  • UCSC’s acceptance rate in 2018 was 51%
  • For the class of 2022, out of 34,553 applicants, UCSC admitted 17,792
  • The average GPA of admitted applicants was 3.93
  • The average ACT score was 26
  • The average SAT score was 1330

For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 23, and the 75th percentile score was 29.

For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1150. The 75th percentile score was 1380.


If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.

Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

Even if UCSC is your dream school, and even if you’re in the 75th percentile, you’ll still want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.

Generally, you should have:

  • Three safety schools (where you are in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores)
  • Three reach schools (where you are in the 25th percentile of GPA/test scores)
  • Three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores)

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took a look at UCSC’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.


UCSC 2018 Application Requirements: Class of 2022

Here’s a full list of application requirements:

  • Students must complete UC-approved courses in 7 different subject areas and submit the $70 application fee
  • Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 (for in-state) or 3.4 (out-of-state residents) in the UC-approved courses, via those courses taken during 10th and 11th grades
  • Students must submit scores from either the ACT Assessment plus Writing or SAT Reasoning Test

Have you been admitted to UCSC? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse of what your classmates will be like.


UCSC Admitted Students Profile

If you matriculate at UCSC, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • Roughly 50.6% are male and 48.4% are female
  • 10.3% of students are international

UCSC has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:

  • African-American: 4.4%
  • American Indian: 0.7%
  • Asian: 27.7%
  • Chicano/Latino: 25.5%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.3%
  • European American: 29.7%
  • International: 10.3%
  • Not Stated: 1.4%

What do these admitted students plan to study? UCSC offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of the top programs:


  • Psychology
  • Computer Science
  • Sociology

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

man confused

UCSC Tuition Figures

At $62,090, UCSC’s cost of attendance is astronomical. Most incoming students receive some form of financial aid, and the average award is $20,041.

Here’s a fuller look at UCSC tuition and financial aid in 2017:

  • Total budget: $62,090
  • Average financial aid package: $20,041
  • The average student debt of a UCSC graduate is $22,582

Now, what is life like at UCSC? Let’s take a look.


UCSC Location

UCSC is located in Santa Cruz, California.

The campus itself is located on a former ranch overlooking Monterrey Bay, the Pacific Ocean as well as downtown Santa Cruz itself.

Remember, you’re going to UCSC for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.


UCSC Academics

UCSC has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:

  • Anthropology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer Science
  • Developmental and Child Psychology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Family and Community Services
  • German Language and Literature
  • International Economics
  • Latin American Studies
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
  • Molecular Biology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Russian Studies
  • Sociology
  • Women’s Studies

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at UCSC.


Student Life at UCSC

UCSC has hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and political interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of UCSC’s student activities:

  • Anthropology Society
  • Community Unified Student Network (CUSN)
  • Mock Trial at UCSC
  • Queer Student Union (QSU)
  • eWomen at UC Santa Cruz
  • Organic Business Club
  • Student Environmental Center (SEC)
  • Brain, Mind, Consciousness Society
  • Cosplay Club at UC Santa Cruz
  • Santa Cruz Fighting Game Community
  • Comedy Joust
  • People of the Islands (POI)
  • Banana Slugs for Animals
  • American Fisheries Society at UCSC (AFS)
  • University Economics Association (UEA)
  • The Balloon Art Brigade
  • Rainbow TV

Are you an athlete? UCSC’s got plenty of options for you.


UCSC Athletics

UCSC offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. 

UCSC’s sports include:

  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Soccer
  • Water Polo
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis

Who might you become with a UCSC degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:


Notable Alums

UCSC has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • HuffPo Founder Jonah Peretti
  • Director Cary Fukunaga
  • Author Reyna Grande
  • Actress Maya Rudolph
  • Political activist Huey P. Newton
  • Actress Maya Rudolph
  • Comedian Andy Samberg
  • Artist Miranda July
  • Feminist social critic bell hooks
  • Singer Jello Biafra
  • Singer Antony Hegarty
  • Actress Rebecca Romijn

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into UCSC is competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no.

If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the more competitive schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are.

If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States.

For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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