UC Santa Cruz ranks as a leading university for social mobility

UC Santa Cruz also ranked among the top national universities.

Students on UCSC bridge
The ethnic diversity of UC Santa Cruz was also highlighted in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.

UC Santa Cruz debuted as the second best university in the country for social mobility, according to the 2020 U.S. News and World Report rankings. 

The first-ever social mobility list measures how well universities graduated students who received federal Pell Grants, which are typically awarded to students who come from households that earn less than $50,000 annually. 

"There is profound value in earning a college degree with lifelong impacts," Chancellor Cynthia Larive said. “UC Santa Cruz is proud to be recognized for our efforts to provide access to a high quality educational experience and especially for the impact this experience provides to low income and first-generation students over their lifetime.”

UC Santa Cruz is committed to providing access to a high quality education that transforms the lives of students from all backgrounds, as well as supporting students through their college journey. 

The University of California is an equalizer for students from low-income families. They go on to earn as much as students who came from middle-income families, and their earnings double by a decade after graduation.

Instruction begins in just under three weeks, and UC Santa Cruz will educate more than 5,700 students from low-income backgrounds.

The ethnic diversity of UC Santa Cruz was also highlighted in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. US News and World Report’s diversity index for UC Santa Cruz was .72—with values closer to 1.0 meaning a student is more likely to run into students from a different ethnic group. Only ten universities across the United States had a higher index than UC Santa Cruz. 

In fall 2018, 28 percent of the undergraduate class was Asian, 26 percent was Hispanic/Latino, 4 percent was African American, and .8 percent was American Indian. The campus continues its outreach efforts to students across the state to ensure they know that a UC Santa Cruz education is accessible and affordable. 

UC Santa Cruz ranked among the top public schools (No. 34) and the top national universities (No. 84). The US News and World Report looks at a variety of factors in its rankings, including retention and graduation rates, social mobility, faculty resources, and more. 

Other U.S. News and World Report rankings for UC Santa Cruz include:

  • No. 40—Best Undergraduate Teaching, National Universities
  • No. 52—Best Colleges for Veterans, National Universities
  • No. 63—Most Innovative Schools
  • No. 84—Best National Universities
  • No. 93—Undergraduate Engineering Programs Overall (Doctorate)
  • No. 175—Best Value Schools