UC Santa Cruz: Acceptance Rate and Admissions Statistics

UC Santa Cruz

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Located 75 miles south of San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz is a public university with an acceptance rate of 47%. Students will generally need a strong application and good test scores to be admitted. As part of the application, students will need to write four short personal insight essays. Since UC Santa Cruz is a part of the University of California system, students can easily apply to multiple schools in that system with one application.

Considering applying to UC Santa Cruz? Here are the admissions statistics you should know, including SAT/ACT scores and GPAs of admitted students.

Acceptance Rate

During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, UC Santa Cruz had an acceptance rate of 47%. This means that for every 100 students who applied, 47 students were admitted, making UC Santa Cruz's admissions process competitive.

Admissions Statistics (2017-18)
Number of Applicants 56,625
Percent Admitted 47%
Percent Admitted Who Enrolled (Yield) 14%

SAT Scores and Requirements

University of California, Santa Cruz requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 84% of admitted students submitted SAT scores.

SAT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
ERW 580 680
Math 590 720
ERW=Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Santa Cruz's admitted students fall within the top 35% nationally on the SAT. For the evidence-based reading and writing section, 50% of students admitted to UC Santa Cruz scored between 580 and 680, while 25% scored below 580 and 25% scored above 680. On the math section, 50% of admitted students scored between 590 and 720, while 25% scored below 580 and 25% scored above 720. Applicants with a composite SAT score of 1400 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at UC Santa Cruz.

Requirements

UC Santa Cruz requires the SAT writing section. Note that UC Santa Cruz considers the highest SAT with essay score from a single test date. Subject tests are not required for admission to UC Santa Cruz.

ACT Scores and Requirements

University of California, Santa Cruz requires that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. During the 2017-18 admissions cycle, 37% of admitted students submitted ACT scores.

ACT Range (Admitted Students)
Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
English 24 31
Math 25 30
Composite 24 31

This admissions data tells us that most of UC Santa Cruz's admitted students fall within the top 26% nationally on the ACT. The middle 50% of students admitted to UC Santa Cruz received a composite ACT score between 24 and 31, while 25% scored above 31 and 25% scored below 24.

Requirements

UC Santa Cruz requires the ACT writing section. Note that UC Santa Cruz does not superscore ACT results; your highest combined score from a single test administration will be considered.

GPA

In 2018, the middle 50% of University of California, Santa Cruz's incoming class had high school GPAs between 3.76 and 4.16. 25% had a GPA above 4.16 and 25% had a GPA below 3.76. These results suggest that most successful applicants to UC Santa Cruz have primarily A and B grades.

Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph

UC Santa Cruz Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph
UC Santa Cruz Applicants' Self-Reported GPA/SAT/ACT Graph. Data courtesy of Cappex.

The admissions data in the graph is self-reported by applicants to UC Santa Cruz. GPAs are unweighted. Find out how you compare to accepted students, see the real-time graph, and calculate your chances of getting in with a free Cappex account.

Admissions Chances

University of California, Santa Cruz, which accepts approximately half of applicants, has a selective admissions process. If your SAT/ACT scores and GPA fall within the school's average ranges, you have a strong chance of being accepted. Keep in mind that California residents who apply must have a GPA of 3.0 or better with no grade lower than a C in 15 college preparatory "a-g" courses. For non-residents, your GPA must be 3.4 or better. Local students from participating high schools may also qualify if they are in the top 9 percent of their class. See how to calculate your UC Admissions Index.

UCSC, like all of the University of California schools, has holistic admissions, so the admissions officers are evaluating students based on more than numerical data. Students who show special talent or have a compelling story to tell will often get a close look even if their grades and test scores are a bit below the norm. Impressive extracurricular activities and strong essays are all important parts of a successful application to UCSC.

Among the University of California schools, only Berkeley has a higher percentage of students going on to earn doctorate degrees. The university has a 19-to-1 student/faculty ratio, and for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, UC Santa Cruz was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Since its founding in 1965, the university has been known for its progressive curriculum and politically active students. On the athletic front, the Santa Cruz Banana Slugs compete in the NCAA Division III as an independent. Popular sports include swimming, soccer, track and field, and basketball.