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 Essays

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