So, you’re thinking about applying to University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, 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. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.
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 1600, or an ACT score of around 35.
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 Admissions Statistics
UCSC’s acceptance rate in 2017 was 51%. For students applying to the class of 2021, out of 45,532 applicants, UCSC admitted about 22,897. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 3.76, the average ACT score was 26, and the average SAT score was 1260.
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.
As we said, admission to UCSC is pretty competitive. 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 at least 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) and three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores) on your list.
OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took a look at UCSC’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.
UCSC Application Requirements
To apply to UCSC, you’ll need to meet the minimum subject requirements, submit either ACT scores or SAT scores, and complete the UC undergraduate application for admission and scholarships to meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Everything should be submitted on November 30th.
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 47.5% are male and 52.5% are female
- 3.6% 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:
- International: 3.4%
- Underrepresented minority: 1.7%
- Two or more races: 7.6%
- White: 34.2%
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:
- Computer Science
Now, how are you going to pay for this?
UCSC Tuition Figures
At $62,090, UCSC’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! 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 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 has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:
- 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
- Russian Studies
- 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 politics 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 offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.
UCSC’s sports include:
- Swimming & Diving
- Water Polo
- Track & Field
Who might you become with a UCSC degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful 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 work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.
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.
Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics or Science.
Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later. We have helped hundreds of students get the scores they need to attend the school of their dreams.
Best of luck with your applications and go check out Prep Expert!
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