About University of California-Santa Cruz

Founded in 1965, University of California-Santa Cruz. is a Public college. Located in California, which is a city setting in California, the campus itself is Urban. The campus is home to 16,962 full time undergraduate students, and 1,821 full time graduate students.

The University of California-Santa Cruz Academic calendar runs on a Quarter basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 18:1. There are 591 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at University of California-Santa Cruz include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate57%
Application Deadline
Application Fee70
SAT Range1060-1290
ACT Range25-30

Admissions at UCSC are considered Selective, with ,82% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 9 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

100% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 100% were in the top quarter, and 96% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.


We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at University of California-Santa Cruz.

University of California-Santa Cruz REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    273 Students rated on-campus housing 3.5 stars. 13 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    250 Students rated off-campus housing 2.8 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    281 Students rated campus food 3.4 stars. 12 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    283 Students rated campus facilities 4.1 stars. 31 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    283 Students rated class size 3.4 stars. 13 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    281 Students rated school activities 3.8 stars. 29 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    282 Students rated local services 3.7 stars. 26 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    284 Students rated academics 3.7 stars. 24 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of University of California-Santa Cruz?

117 Students rated University of California-Santa Cruz

Zuni - 01/19/2023

I like it but they don't offer a major I'm really interested in, the campus isn't accessible to people with disabilities, and it's insanely expensive for an average education and experience. But the people are mostly great, the campus is beautiful and profs are usually amazing.

Jamie - 08/04/2022

I love UC Santa Cruz, I have a lot of pride and love for my university. However, our chancellor does NOTHING useful and/or helpful for the student body. She actually made a new regulation for the new school year of meal plans MORE expensive, with only there being 15 meal swipes A WEEK- that's 2 meals a DAY. Not to mention she refuses to listens to students, despite our numerous asks of help. Besides that, the strength of the student body and beauty of UC Santa Cruz keeps me.

Dezirae - 07/27/2022

My opinion on UCSC is that it is a decent school. For everyone, the experience will be different. I had my freshman year online mostly so I didn't have a full experience. I did work at one of the dining halls though. The food is better than high school food but not gourmet. There are a ton of different options regardless of what you like. There are also a lot of vegan options. People are super friendly and interactive. This school does not have a football team so if you were hoping to go to games for football that will not happen. A lot of people shop at trader joes and the buses will take you everywhere. All you have to do is show them your id and they will let you on. The teachers are nice and most are understanding. There are always little events going on and things to do. The school is very natural and scenic. Kind of like you live in the middle of the forest so if you're into that this is a great choice. I personally like this school although there are some downfalls like the housing issue and just a need for new things and maintenance.

Emily - 07/08/2022

UC Santa Cruz is a fair institution overall. In my personal experience, the academics are average and professors are available in class and oftentimes offer office hours. I would say that more effort can be put into the curriculum for many majors and that the professors and staff could do more to check in with students. The services and facilities at the school are a good space for students to study and enjoy their time on campus. Despite this, UC Santa Cruz has a terrible housing crisis and students are constantly struggling to secure a place to live. There is a lot of progress that could be done but the school is slowly taking steps to make the campus and housing a place for students to succeed.

University of California-Santa Cruz FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at University of California-Santa Cruz?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for University of California-Santa Cruz is 57%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    Dearest (past) Christina: Please, for the love of everything, concentrate. You're in a rough place right now, and I know it's tough to balance everything, but you have to focus on what matters. I love our friends, too, and I haven't forgotten any of them, but if you want that theology degree that we always wanted, you're going to have to escape from the school with good grades! I know we tried so hard, but I think we could have done better. Forget about the teachers and the other students harassing you. Forget about the way that one principal always has to have something to say. Forget the girl in choir who outshines everyone. We could have done this! I'm sorry I can't change you, but I can change me, and right now I'm trying so hard to do right by us, to do right by everybody: so I guess this is a bit useless. But I'm going after that degree—and I have high hopes. I'm on the way. I know we didn't do so well back then, but I wouldn't be here without you. Love, (present) Christina.

    Read all  271 answers
  3. Describe the students at your school.

    they are people.

    Read all  125 answers
  4. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    Hiking, surfing, tree climbing, going to the gym, video games, you name it some one hears probs into it

    Read all  100 answers
  5. Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

    Yes, it's lame, but the people are nice too.

    Read all  83 answers
  6. What are the academics like at your school?

    Some of the professors kinda suck but others are great, like anything else it's the luck of the draw

    Read all  83 answers
  7. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    I love it here!! Where else could you wander through the woods to get to a midterm? It's great. The atmosphere is relaxed, the foods amazing (compared to other schools at least) the people are nice and excepting.. I mean yea it's a little more liberal than an average school but the student body is diverse enough you'll find ppl perfect for you

    Read all  83 answers
  8. What is the stereotype of students at your school?

    Really laid-back, "hippie" school. Pot smokers.

    Read all  77 answers
  9. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    My school contains many support systems that help students with issues beit school, work, social issues, and even family issues. Many professors try their best to help students comprehend the materials they present in the class. There are many retention programs within the school that supports the student in any way possible that may help them stay in school. Another unique thing about my school is the fantastic housing they have. Since the school is somewhat isolated from the city of Santa Cruz, the school has tried to provide every type of housing possibly for every student in the school.

    Read all  70 answers
  10. Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

    My school is a diverse place with an amazing atmosphere. I love my surroundings and the people are always friendly. I do not feel that I am at school when I am in the university of california, santa cruz. That is the best part of my school having such a fresh and clean environmnet.

    Read all  69 answers
  11. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    don't know

    Read all  69 answers
  12. What's unique about your campus?

    it has a small feel sometimes because i came from a tiny private highschool so it almost allows me to remember how i was in highschool. even though it is a large school the separation between the colleges gives you a more unique closer smaller feeling with the college.

    Read all  54 answers
  13. What kind of person should not attend this school?

    Someone who isn't open to new ideas.

    Read all  40 answers
  14. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    I wish i had known the difference between high school and college. I did not know that there was such a big difference. But in the end, I got used to living on campus and the life of a college student.

    Read all  39 answers
  15. Describe the dorms.

    Porter Kresge Apartments Living Room

    Read all  38 answers
  16. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    The scenery of the school is beautiful and the Jewish Studies Department is great. We also have the top astronomy and anthropology departments in the nation which is not very known. I had a lot of great professors but the few that stood out were the ones that were completely open to the students and available for their needs.

    Read all  36 answers
  17. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    I am proud to say, with it being my major, that the linguistics department of UC Santa Cruz is number one in North America. Let me say that again: # 1 in the WHOLE continent! We are also known for the naked run during the first rain of the season. We have a farm on campus that is completely sustainable on its own. My school is, as I have mentioned before, in a very geographically diverse area which leaves many things to do when the monotony of studying sets in. And again, everyone here is very outgoing and relaxed.

    Read all  32 answers
  18. What kind of person should attend this school?

    This school has a stereotype of being a "hippie" school where a majority of artistic caucasians attend. While there may be students who express their individuality at this school, I also recommend this school for students who are environmentally aware and those who would prefer a small community, within the school and the city, the occasional cliques, and do not mind the caucasian atmosphere.

    Read all  31 answers
  19. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    The most frustrating part about my school is the fact that my peers never want to leave their campus apartments and dorm rooms. I think it is ridiculous how much beauty we are literally surrounded with, and no one ever wants to step outside of their warm, cozy, and comfortable caves. Sure, it may be a little colder, a little less comfortable, and a little more of an effort to step outside for an hour or two a day, but it is frustrating that my peers are not taking advantage of the beautiful scenery around them.

    Read all  27 answers
  20. What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

    Super liberal shoeless h

    Read all  18 answers
  21. Tell us about the food and dining options.

    Oakes Café is a popular café for students from every college. There is a pool table and big screen TV there. Their food is okay, but it beats dining hall food any day. They sell Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, which is very popular among students. They also accept meals, so a student who has a 75 meal plan can trade in his meal to buy food at Oakes Café. Each meal is worth $8, so a meal can get you $8 worth of food at Oakes. Students who hate the dining halls will live off of Oakes Café and Owl’s Nest, which also accepts meals.

    Read all  15 answers

Student Body







Total Undergrad Enrollment


Total Grad Students









Student Organizations







On-Campus Housing


of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
% Asian/Pacific Islander
% Black or African-American
% Hispanic/Latino
% White or Caucasian


All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

77% of students attending University of California-Santa Cruz receive some sort of financial aid. 36% were awarded federal grants. While 47% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State


Tuition and fees(Out of state)


Books and Supplies


Room and Board


Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
$0 - $30K
$30 - $48K
$48 - $75K
$75 - $110K
$110K & UP

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.


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