UC Santa Cruz ACT Scores and GPA

What are UC Santa Cruz's average ACT scores and GPA? In this guide, we'll discuss what scores are needed for you to get admitted into UC Santa Cruz. You'll also get to calculate your own chances with our admissions calculator.

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

This school is also known as: UCSC, UC Santa Cruz, University of California, Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz Admissions Statistics

There are three critical numbers when considering your admissions chances: ACT scores, GPA, and acceptance rate. All these combine to tell you what you scores are required to get into University of California, Santa Cruz.


Average ACT: 28

The average ACT score composite at UC Santa Cruz is a 28.

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The 25th percentile ACT score is 24, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 31.

In other words, a 24 places you below average, while a 31 will move you up to above average. There's no absolute ACT requirement at UC Santa Cruz, but they really want to see at least a 24 to have a chance at being considered.


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Average GPA: 3.98

The average GPA at UC Santa Cruz is 3.98. This makes UC Santa Cruz Extremely Competitive for GPAs.

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(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.98, UC Santa Cruz requires you to be at the top of your class. You'll need nearly straight A's in all your classes to compete with other applicants. You should also have taken plenty of AP or IB classes to show your ability to excel in academic challenge.

If you're a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change from this point on. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.98, you'll need a higher ACT score to compensate and show that you're prepared to take on college academics. This will help you compete effectively with other applicants.



Admissions Rate: 47.1%

The acceptance rate at UC Santa Cruz is 47.1%. In other words, of 100 students who apply, 47 are admitted.

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This means the school is somewhat selective. You should prepare your academic scores well, but you have an excellent chance if you impress them.



Final Admissions Verdict

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Because this school is moderately selective, strong academic performance will almost guarantee you admission. Scoring at a 28 ACT or above will already give you a great shot at getting in. Scoring a 31 will nearly guarantee you admission, given that your GPA is roughly the average of 3.98.


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Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at University of California, Santa Cruz?
Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Pick your test: ACT

ACT Score
Your GPA

Note: Your admission decision relies not only on your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but also on your coursework difficulty, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. This tool provides only a simplistic estimate of your chances of admission. Instead of treating this tool as a crystal ball, we recommend you consider the big picture of what your chance means:
  • 80-100%: Safety school: Strong chance of getting in
  • 50-80%: More likely than not getting in
  • 20-50%: Lower but still good chance of getting in
  • 5-20%: Reach school: Unlikely to get in, but still have a shot
  • 0-5%: Hard reach school: Very difficult to get in
We recommend you apply to schools across a range of chances. Applying to some safety schools will guarantee you have a college to go to, while applying to some reach schools will give you a shot at getting into the school at the top of your range.
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Other Schools For You

If you're interested in UC Santa Cruz, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to UC Santa Cruz.


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Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are have higher average ACT scores than UC Santa Cruz. If you improve your ACT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg ACT Avg
Binghamton University Binghamton, NY 1375 31
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 1396 31
Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY 1352 31
Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ 1310 30
United States Military Academy West Point, NY 1331 30
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 1358 30
American University Washington, DC 1329 30

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Same Level: Equally Hard to Get Into

If you're competitive for UC Santa Cruz, these schools will offer you a similar chance of admission.

School Name Location SAT Avg ACT Avg
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 1310 29
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT 1315 29
Penn State University Park University Park, PA 1265 28
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 1241 28
University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 1291 28
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 1290 28
Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 1246 27

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Safety Schools: Easier to Get Into

If you're currently competitive for UC Santa Cruz, you should have no problem getting into these schools. If UC Santa Cruz is currently out of your reach, you might already be competitive for these schools.

School Name Location SAT Avg ACT Avg
Pace University New York, NY 1173 26
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 1223 26
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 1225 26
Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT 1175 25
Ohio University Athens, OH 1174 25
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 1245 25
University of North Texas Denton, TX 1160 23

Data on this page is sourced from Peterson's Databases © 2023 (Peterson's LLC. All rights reserved.) as well as additional publicly available sources.


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