University of California – Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064

The University of California, Santa Cruz is a renowned public research university located in Santa Cruz, California. Since it was founded in 1965, it has gained recognition for its distinctive approach to education, interdisciplinary studies, and commitment to social justice. With its stunning campus nestled among redwood forests and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, UC Santa Cruz offers a unique and inspiring setting for academic exploration and a thriving community dedicated to making a positive impact on society.

UC Santa Cruz Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate 59%
Acceptance Deadline 11/30

UC Santa Cruz Tuition

As students prepare for the application process, they should consider UC Santa Cruz tuition and fees. UCSC tuition costs will vary based on a student’s residency status. 

For students who live in California, the UC Santa Cruz tuition cost will be lower. However, for out-of-state students, the cost of UCSC tuition will likely be higher.

The UC Santa Cruz tuition cost may be a significant factor in whether a student decides to attend UCSC. UC Santa Cruz is part of the University of California system and is one of the best public colleges in California. Like other public colleges, UC Santa Cruz tuition will vary based on residency status, financial need, and other factors. 

How much does UC Santa Cruz cost?

As stated, UC Santa Cruz tuition costs are different for in-state versus out-of-state students. According to U.S. News and World Report, UC Santa Cruz tuition costs $14,634 per year for in-state students and $45,660 per year for out-of-state students. 

Students can also calculate how much money they should budget for their UC Santa Cruz tuition and living costs with UCSC’s budget breakdown. These budgets incorporate the basic expenses of living in California and attending UCSC, including UC Santa Cruz tuition. The budget breakdown also shows how much financial aid students may expect to receive. 

Additionally, note that the UC Santa Cruz cost of attendance extends beyond the cost of UC Santa Cruz tuition. The average net cost of attending UC Santa Cruz as estimated by CollegeBoard is $17,889 per year. This breakdown takes into account the average financial aid package that students receive as well as additional UCSC tuition fees.

Many students attending UC Santa Cruz also receive financial aid to alleviate the costs of UC Santa Cruz tuition. For students looking to apply for aid, UC Santa Cruz provides a timeline for how to fill out and submit the FAFSA. After students receive financial aid, the UC Santa Cruz tuition costs should be more affordable. Students can also compare financial aid packages for multiple schools to see if there are more affordable options than UC Santa Cruz tuition.

Other UC Santa Cruz Fees

Like all universities, the UC Santa Cruz cost of attendance each year is more than the UC Santa Cruz tuition cost alone. In fact, other UC Santa Cruz fees contribute to the overall UC Santa Cruz cost of attendance.

In terms of straightforward UC Santa Cruz fees, these fees are included in the tuition cost breakdown. These UC Santa Cruz fees are generally listed under “tuition and fees” in budget breakdowns. The total UCSC tuition and fees will include costs associated with housing, textbooks, application fees, transportation fees, and health insurance. 

Overall, the cost of UC Santa Cruz tuition is only one portion of the full UC Santa Cruz cost of attendance. 

Comparing UC Santa Cruz tuition out of state vs. in state

UCSC tuition is different for in-state students than out-of-state students. The UC Santa Cruz tuition out of state will be higher than the in-state tuition. This is the case with nearly all state universities. 

UC Santa Cruz is part of the University of California system and is funded by the state of California. This means that the UC Santa Cruz tuition out of state will cost more than for in-state students. The UC Santa Cruz tuition out of state is $45,660, and is $14,634 for in-state students.

Overall, the UCSC tuition price varies widely based on residency. If a student is applying from California, the cost of their UCSC tuition will be around $30,000 cheaper per year than UCSC tuition for out-of-state students.

For students living in other states, comparable in-state universities may offer a more affordable college experience. For example, tied with UC Santa Cruz on the U.S. News ranking is the University of Iowa as well as Binghamton University located in New York. Students located in Iowa or New York would qualify for in-state tuition at these colleges. 

Out-of-state students who are deterred by the UCSC tuition cost can also elect to establish a permanent residence in California while they are attending. This will allow them to qualify for in-state tuition for later years of school. 

UC Santa Cruz tuition vs. UCLA tuition

UCLA and UC Santa Cruz are both universities within the UC system. The UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate is 59%, whereas the UCLA acceptance rate is much lower. So, UC Santa Cruz admissions are less selective than those at UCLA. However, UCSC tuition costs and overall UCSC tuition and fees are overall more expensive than the UCLA tuition.

Overall, for an in-state resident, the net cost of attending UCSC including UCSC tuition is

$40,977. For an in-state student to attend UCLA, the cost is $34,667— or $38,517 based on slightly different calculations.

Outside of the UCSC tuition, there are many other factors to consider when deciding whether to attend UCSC, UCLA, or another school: UC Santa Cruz majors, extracurriculars, research opportunities, and location are often considered by students in their college decisions.

UC Santa Cruz tuition resources

UCSC tuition is a significant factor for many students choosing whether or not to attend UCSC. Figuring out how to pay for college can be a difficult process, and the cost of UCSC tuition can be daunting. 

For students looking for more information about UCSC tuition and how to afford the UC Santa Cruz fees and UC Santa Cruz cost of attendance, the UCSC website is a great resource. For help figuring out how to apply for a financial aid package, UCSC’s website goes into detail on their financial aid timeline.  

Once students have been offered a financial aid package, they might need to take certain steps to officially accept it. UCSC provides guidelines on that process here. For students who are looking to transfer to UCSC to take advantage of the exciting opportunities and UC Santa Cruz majors,, you can still receive financial aid. 

If students want advice on how to pay for UCSC tuition and fees, CollegeAdvisor offers guides like this one. When applying for financial aid, students should keep college application deadlines in mind. Applying Early Decision to a college is binding and will give students less freedom in comparing financial aid packages. Students can also take out federal loans in order to finance their college experience.

For students worried about the selective UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate, CollegeAdvisor has resources on how to craft a UC application that will impress UC Santa Cruz admissions.

UC Santa Cruz Tuition Takeaways

UC Santa Cruz is a beautiful university in California, and many students may be interested in how to approach financing their time at UCSC. In order to attend UCSC and take advantage of the many fascinating UC Santa Cruz majors, students should research UCSC. 

Once students have learned more about the UC Santa Cruz acceptance rate, how to craft the best UC application and essays, and how to approach paying the UC Santa Cruz tuition, they will be prepared to apply to UCSC.

Three takeaways for UCSC tuition: 

  1. Students who live in-state will pay less tuition than students who live out of state.
  2. UCSC tuition isn’t the total cost of attending UC Santa Cruz, and there will be other costs like housing, textbooks, transportation, and health insurance.
  3. According to U.S. News, UCSC tuition is $14,634 per year for in-state students and $45,660 per year for students who do not live in California.
Average Cost* $17,930
Average Total Aid Awarded $25,867
Students Receiving Financial Aid 54.66%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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UC Santa Cruz Classes

Student Faculty Ratio 23:1

UC Santa Cruz Online

Offers Online Courses Yes

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UC Santa Cruz Enrollment

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 17,864

UC Santa Cruz Alumni at CollegeAdvisor

University of California – Irvine

As a first-generation college graduate, I know the importance of how crucial it is to obtain help, especially throughout the college admissions process. In 2017, I graduated cum laude from UC Irvine with a double major in Psychology and Social Behavior and Education Sciences. During my time at UC Irvine, I worked as a Student Coordinator for UCI's Early Academic Outreach Program where I helped prepare students in underserved communities for admission to the University of California. After graduating, I completed my Master's in Educational Counseling with a School and Family Based Counseling concentration in 2019. During my time as a graduate student, I was also an Educational Consultant for a private college counseling firm where I worked with students at all academic levels ranging from community colleges to the most competitive universities. Concurrently, I also worked as a Career Coach for Santiago Canyon College advising students on career paths and dual enrollment. Since 2019, I have worked at one of the top STEM charter schools in Los Angeles as a school counselor. My background consists of working with low-income, minority students, and students with disabilities in the Los Angeles and Orange County regions. For the past 2 years, I have also worked for UC San Diego as an external admissions reader where I gained further insight into the realm of college admissions.

Also Accepted to

uc santa cruz
University of California – Los Angeles

The college admission process is hard and overwhelming. And this hasn’t changed from when I was a high school student applying to colleges 20 years ago to being a college counselor for over 15 years. The truth is that students and their families need as much support to successfully navigate through the system to make the process easier and less stressful. My experience in high school was what drew me into college advising. I graduated from UCLA with my B.A. in Psychology. As a new college graduate, I knew I wanted to help students transition to college more smoothly than I did after I graduated as salutatorian of my high school class. Although I had migrated to the U.S. in the 5th grade, I was clueless about the college admission process in high school. My parents as immigrants spoke highly of education being the pathway to freedom but were also unfamiliar with the college process in the U.S. It wasn’t until the 11th grade when I overheard my classmates talking about applying to their ideal colleges and taking the SAT and ACT exams that I found out that you had to apply to college before you could be accepted. This led to visiting my college counselor for the first time and spending sleepless nights studying for the SAT, writing personal statements and essays for scholarships like the Gates Millennium Scholarship. I ended up applying to UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, and Cal State Los Angeles and got accepted to all of them to my surprise. I also got the Gates Millennium Scholarship! I have worked with students who have received admissions to the UCs, USC, LMU, Boston University, Stanford, Chapman University, American University, Pomona College majoring in the Arts and Humanities, Business, Finance, Public Health, Biology, Chemistry, Pre-Med, Computer Science, and Engineering, to name a few. I am passionate about supporting students through the college admission process and helping them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Besides having academic rigor, I love helping students identify their strengths and illuminate the uniqueness of who they are and their story.

Also Accepted to

uc santa cruz
University of California – Berkeley

I have more than 18 years of experience working in higher education, from scholarships administration, undergraduate teaching and advising, curriculum development, academic research, leadership development and training to program management. My work as an administrator, scholar, mentor, and teacher is grounded on my commitment to justice, diversity, and serving underrepresented communities in education. Currently, I oversee a student success programming at UC Berkeley supporting about 200 scholars each year. I focus on removing barriers in higher education to make education accessible and on creating programming that fosters our scholars' personal, academic, and professional growth. I hold an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in English and Political Science as well as a doctoral degree in Literature from UC Santa Cruz with an emphasis on Asian American Studies, Critical Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Cultural Studies. I mentor many students and have helped them get accepted to top colleges, both public and private universities such as Harvard, Cornell, Brown, UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, UW, University of Virginia, University of Florida, Purdue, UCLA, UCSD, UCI, UC Davis, UCR, UC Santa Cruz, Rutgers, UIUC, Baylor, Spelman, and many more. I love working with students, especially in helping them realize their own potential and guiding them though their academic and personal growth. I cannot wait to meet with you and help you shine in your essays!

Also Accepted to

uc santa cruz
University of California – Davis

I have dedicated 15 years of providing outreach, opportunity, and access to students who find their why during the confusing college application process. I was once an unsure high school student, yet I knew that college was one of my many goals. I attended University of California, Davis, where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development. During my time at UC Davis, I worked with high schools in Sacramento as a College Advisor for the University of California. Once I matriculated, I continued my work as a College Advisor. After 2 years in outreach, I moved to Miami and taught English for 2 years. I decided to return to my hometown of San Francisco and led a Junior Seminar class, while also serving as the school’s College Counselor. I left the classroom and took the opportunity to work with the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Science, Education & Outreach. I directed internships for high school students in the San Francisco Bay Area to conduct research under the faculty in the fields of Medicine, Physical Therapy, Nursing, and Dentistry. I had the dual role of working with high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, as the Lead Outreach Coordinator and University of California representative. I earned my Masters of Arts in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco and I am currently the founding Director of San Francisco State’s Latinx Student Center. My passion is to guide students as they find their voice, their why, and their confidence in this process. The students I have worked with have been awarded various scholarships, fellowships, and admissions to prestigious Universities. However, what makes me most proud is knowing that students remember that they have a guide through this process.

Also Accepted to

uc santa cruz

Hello! My name is Bailey (she/her) and I have over 7 years of experience in both undergraduate and graduate level admissions. I have worked in admissions offices at schools within Claremont Colleges, the University of Washington and the University of Southern California. I have served as an admissions interviewer and on the admissions committee for undergraduate, law and health professions programs. I received a BA in both Business and Visual and Media Studies at the University of Redlands. I have had the opportunity to work with numerous high school students in their college search and application process.

Stanford University

I earned my B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University, where I also studied computer science, engineering, and Chinese. It was at Stanford that I had my first teaching experience, working with international graduate students to help them communicate most effectively on their published articles and dissertations. I also spent a summer teaching beginning and intermediate English at the Guilin Engineering University in Guilin, China. These experiences sparked my passion for working with students to help them envision the future they wish to live, set incremental goals, and chart an academic path to success. Following my undergraduate years, I had a two-year stint as a project manager with a company that was automating the semiconductor manufacturing process before returning to Stanford University as a staff member in Student Housing. It fascinated me to be on the inside of such a dedicated student service operation, and I rose quickly to the position of Director of Marketing and Business Support, managing six employees and providing marketing and communication services and strategies for the award-winning $450M/year auxiliary operation that included Student Housing, Stanford Dining, and Stanford Conferences. This background in marketing, project management, and communications turned out to be the ideal preparation for guiding students through the college admissions process and preparing them for college. After eight years as a Stanford staffer, I left to pursue an MS in Computer Science and Information Technology at the California University of Management and Technology (CALMAT) and serve as their Director of Marketing and Strategic Communication. During this same time, I began a business working with students and their families to provide teaching, tutoring, college application coaching, and editing services. In the past eleven years, I have worked with hundreds of students from fourth grade through graduate school to help them create a personalized academic plan that reflects the future they want for themselves and incremental, achievable goals to move them along the path to success. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of helping many students navigate the college admissions process through school targeting, developing stories that reveal not only a student’s unique identity but also his or her academic and career aspirations. Though I enjoy working with students from all backgrounds, I am particularly experienced with high-achieving students who are targeting selective campuses or programs and students from immigrant families who need assistance navigating the American college system. I have worked with many students who plan to study arts, humanities, psychology, computer science, engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, math, and other STEM majors; pre-professional programs like pre-Med, business, and law; and nationally-ranked athletes and international students applying to US schools. I understand how to make students targeting these disciplines stand out from the competition. I strive to make every session fun and productive. Whenever possible, I use my time with students to coach them toward greater responsibility and independence–two of the most important skills for adapting to college life.

Also Accepted to

uc santa cruz
University of California – Berkeley
Hi everyone! My name is Dovie! I'm originally from Alabama but I grew up in the Bay Area. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in American Studies with an emphasis in Education. (Go Bears!) While at Cal, I served as the Assistant Director of Recruitment for the Black Recruitment and Retention Center and joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. I have worked in education for over 10 years from tutoring/advising jobs to recruitment work for Cal to managing an Education & Careers department at a nonprofit. I love advising high school students and what I've learned over the years is that there are many pathways for students to achieve their academic goals. As an advisor, I enjoy helping students paint the full picture of themselves through their essays and assisting with career/major exploration. In my everyday life I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, and reading. My latest read was "All About Love" by bell hooks which I highly recommend! I look forward to working with you to achieve your college goals!

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Santa Clara University uc santa cruz

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