UC Santa Cruz sees record number of first-year applications

In-state first-year student and transfer applications remained strong

UC Santa Cruz was recognized by U.S. News and World Report in 2022 for excellence in undergraduate teaching among national public universities and as a leading university for social mobility.

The University of California, Santa Cruz has begun the process of building the fall 2023 class of students seeking to learn and thrive at an institution that leads at the intersection of innovation and social justice. 

"I continue to be impressed with the quality of the applicant pool and the broad diversity represented. The students make our job very difficult as we work very closely with our faculty to determine who will be offered admission. The resilience and perseverance demonstrated by both students applying from high school and those transferring from another college is so commendable," said Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Michelle Whittingham. "We also recognize and appreciate all the support provided by family, teachers and counselors who guided them as they navigated a very different educational journey."

UC Santa Cruz continues to attract a highly accomplished and diverse applicant pool, composed of scholars who are ready to make the world a better place. 

Increase in California first-year applicants  

The competition to earn a spot at UC Santa Cruz remains strong this year, with a record number of applications received. The campus is continuing to carefully manage its total enrollment while additional student housing is built. New students are eligible for a one-year housing guarantee if they indicate a preference for university housing when accepting their offer of admission and meet all housing application deadlines.

The campus received more than 79,900 applications from first-year students and transfer students combined, a 3.1 percent increase over the previous year, according to preliminary data released today by the UC Office of the President. 

The campus received more than 54,000 applications from California high school students, a 3.3 percent increase over the previous year, and more than 10,100 applications from California students studying primarily at California community colleges, a 3.3 percent decrease, which is reflective of the enrollment changes in the community colleges and in line with trends across the UC system.

UC Santa Cruz received more than 23,500 applications from California students with families with low incomes, and more than 19,000 from California first-generation students. Total applications from international students and U.S.residents from outside California increased by 7 percent.

Of California first-year applicants, 5 percent identify as African American; 34 percent as Asian American; 33 percent as Chicanx/Latinx; 1 percent as American Indian and 23 percent as white. Of the California community college applicants who are domestic students, 6 percent identify as African American; 28 percent as Asian American; 31 percent as Chicanx/Latinx; 1 percent as American Indian; and 31 percent as white.

UC Santa Cruz is continuing to build on a string of achievements and honors that are creating transformative change. Last year, researchers published the first truly complete sequence of a human genome, an important step forward in being able to understand genetic diseases, human diversity, and evolution.

The campus had the honor of naming one of its residential colleges after civil rights icon and late Congressman John R. Lewis and a research center in honor of Dolores Huerta.

A Hispanic-Serving Institution, UC Santa Cruz earned the prestigious Seal of Excelencia, recognition of intentional campuswide efforts to serve Latinx students. The campus also joined other leading universities to form the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities, which is working to double the number of Hispanic doctoral students enrolled at member universities and increase by 20% the Hispanic professoriate in member universities.

The campus was recognized by U.S. News and World Report in 2022 for excellence in undergraduate teaching among national public universities and as a leading university for social mobility.

Reflecting its work in creating a better world and commitment to sustainability, UC Santa Cruz was named the No. 2 university for public university in the nation for students focused on making an impact on the world. UC Santa Cruz is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), reflecting the quality and impact of the campus’ research as well as graduate and undergraduate teaching and mentoring.

At UC Santa Cruz, the pairing of high-impact research with 10 vibrant and interdisciplinary residential colleges offers undergraduate students the experience of a small liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. 

First-year undergraduate applicants will be notified of admission decisions by mid-March. Transfer decisions will begin to be released in early April. Admitted first-year students have until May 1 to indicate their intent to enroll and transfer students have until June 1.