UC Santa Cruz breaks records with increased applications for Fall 2024

The University of California, Santa Cruz has once again received a record number of applications highlighting the desirability of the educational experience the campus provides. Leading at the intersection of innovation and social justice, UC Santa Cruz is actively fostering a community of forward-thinkers committed to driving positive change. The campus draws a diverse and accomplished applicant pool, comprising scholars poised to catalyze positive change worldwide.

“Each application represents a story of resilience, determination, and diversity. The overwhelming response speaks volumes about the shared commitment of families, educators, and counselors in nurturing the next generation of changemakers,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Michelle Whittingham said. “Together, we’re shaping a future where innovation and social justice intersect to create meaningful impact.” 

Rise in California applicants

Competition for admission to UC Santa Cruz remains strong, with record-breaking growth in applications. According to preliminary data from the UC Office of the President, UC Santa Cruz received 83,915 applications from first-year and transfer undergraduate students. Noteworthy is the 4.7 percent increase in applications from California high school students, reaching over 57,500, while those from California community college students surged by 8.5 percent, exceeding 10,500. 

“We are exceptionally pleased to see the increase in transfer students this year as we continue to enhance all aspects of the transfer student experience campuswide,” Whittingham said. 

Through outreach efforts that highlighted the university’s commitment to supporting all students, UC Santa Cruz received over 25,500 applications from low-income California families and more than 26,000 from first-generation California students. Additionally, applications from international students and non-California U.S. residents increased by 2 percent to 15,181.

UC Santa Cruz saw an increase in first-year applications from groups historically underrepresented in higher education. Overall, the number of applications from first-year students from underrepresented groups increased by more than 8 percent. Applications from first-year African American students increased by more than 15 percent and from first-year Chicanx/Latinx students by almost 8 percent. 

The campus received 12,218 applications from transfer students, an almost 10 percent increase over the previous year. Of those applications, 37 percent are from groups historically underrepresented in higher education. Applications from transfer African American students increased by more than 6 percent and applications from transfer Chicanx/Latinx students increased by more than 14 percent.

Admissions & Financial Aid timeline

Admissions decisions for first-year undergraduates have begun and the remainder of initial decisions will be out by mid-March, with transfer decisions following in early April. Admitted students must confirm their enrollment intentions by May 15 for first-year students, extended from May 1 due to changes in the financial aid timelines, and by June 1 for transfers.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office continues to work very closely with the Department of Education to ensure timely financial aid offers amidst the FAFSA Simplification changes. All applicants continue to receive timely updates.

UC Santa Cruz carefully manages new student enrollment while additional student housing is built. As a result, many applicants will receive offers to join the waitlist.  UC Santa Cruz continues to pursue an ambitious plan to provide 40 percent more student housing by 2030.

Additional details about the University of California’s fall 2024 applicants can be found here, along with preliminary campus-by-campus breakdowns.