Santa Clara Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Nobili Hall on the campus of Santa Clara University.

Santa Clara Acceptance Rate: Admissions Statistics

Shortcuts to sections offered for Santa Clara prospective students:

Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT Scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect?

  • Student life
  • Academics offered
  • Athletics offered
  • Notable alumni

Santa Clara University – or simply Santa Clara for short – is a private Jesuit school located in the beautiful bayside city of Santa Clara, California. Established in 1851, Santa Clara takes pride in the fact that it is the oldest operating high learning institution in the Golden State.

If you are interested in attending this beautiful school that is located just outside the heart of Silicon Valley, you will surely want to learn about what it takes to get in. One of the most important bits of information regarding any high school student’s chances of getting in is the Santa Clara acceptance rate.

Santa Clara University campus scene on a sunny day with students walking on one side.

The Santa Clara acceptance rate clocked in at 54 percent. That means that out of every high school student that applied to Santa Clara both from the United States and abroad, less than half actually got in.

While the Santa Clara acceptance rate is quite a bit higher than many of the most prestigious schools, or Ivy League schools, in the United States, that in no way means that it is easy to get into.

No matter what kinds of schools you are planning to apply to when it becomes your time to find the college or university of your dreams, it is important for you to gather some basic information about each and every school. After all, this decision is one of the biggest decisions you have made so far in your young and promising life!

While students can find great success no matter what school they end up going to, picking the right school for you – based on your interests, academic style, future goals, and more –  can have a major impact on your young adult life.

Some of the most important information that you can gather during this early stage is to figure out exactly what it is that schools expect to see out of high school students in order to grant them admission to the school.

Here at AdmissionSight, we make it our primary goal to make sure that dedicated students such as yourself are able to get into the schools that you see yourself being happiest at! If you believe that you are a great fit at Santa Clara, there is no doubt that reading this deep dive into what it takes to get in will help you!

One of the very first steps that you should take when it comes to narrowing down your list of potential schools is to get a good idea of what you’ll need to accomplish in order to get in.

While the Santa Clara acceptance rate is relatively high compared to similarly prestigious schools, the school requires students to experience similar success both in the high school classroom and in standardized tests compared to those more competitive schools.

On average, students who are accepted to Santa Clara earn an approximate score of 1420 out of 1600 on the SAT or 32 out of 36 on the ACT. When it comes to a high school GPA, students who are accepted to Santa Clara typically earn an unweighted GPA of 3.82 out of 4.0.

As you can see, getting into Santa Clara is no cakewalk! With that being said, the experiences that current and former students can attest to are a clear indication that the hard work necessary to get into this school is very well worth it. And with those few raw numbers out of the way (don’t worry, we’ll explain what those numbers mean in a little bit), let’s start going into how you can beat the odds of the Santa Clara acceptance rate and become a student there!

Successful Applicant Profile

Last year, Santa Clara received a record of 16,295 applications. It marked the second year in a row that the school received 16,000 or more applications from high school students and is a clear trend that this school is only going to continue growing in popularity.

There are so many reasons to love Santa Clara. From its beautiful campus that surrounds the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asis, to the diversity and culture that exists within the school’s student body, to the fact that men and women who have graduated from Santa Clara have gone on to do incredible things.

If you are interested in attending Santa Clara, you are going to have to earn more than just great grades. These days, top schools pay close attention to other strong indicators of how productive a student will be on campus by taking a look at their extracurriculars, reading their faculty recommendation letters, and paying close attention to what students write about in their personal essays.

While Santa Clara is certainly small, it is also incredibly strong when it comes to diversity of all kinds. If you end up attending this school, this is what your graduating class will very likely look like!

Demographics at Santa Clara

Based on a highly reputable site that reviews the diversity of colleges and universities across the United States, Santa Clara was ranked 46th nationwide out of 2,475 total schools. In fact, Santa Clara is far more diverse than the national average when it comes to ethnic, gender, geographic, and overall diversity.

If you are curious about the ethnic diversity of the students at Santa Clara, here is a quick breakdown:

  • 5% of students at Santa Clara are white
  • 7% of students at Santa Clara are Hispanic/Latino
  • 0% of students at Santa Clara are Asian
  • 9% of students at Santa Clara are a non-resident alien
  • 3% of students at Santa Clara are African American

As you can see, the classes at Santa Clara are filled with a richness of ethnic diversity that will benefit each and every student who attends.

When it comes to gender diversity at Santa Clara, the student body is split right down the middle with 50% female and 50% male students.

In terms of international students, Santa Clara ranks impressively as well. Out of 1,240 total schools that were evaluated, Santa Clara came out as the 74th best option for international students. 41 total countries are represented on Santa Clara’s campus and 13% of the total student body is international.

Some of the countries that are most represented on campus include Indian, Canada, Nigeria, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

What majors are offered at Santa Clara?

A crucial step that any student must take when it comes to figuring out which school is right for them is to make sure that the areas of academics that they are most interested in are offered at a given school.

Ideally, if you are interested in a specific line of work, you will target schools that are especially well regarded in those areas of study.

At Santa Clara, students get to choose from over 50 majors, minors, and special programs for careers in law, medicine, teaching, and more. In all, the university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees through its six colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Education and Counseling Psychology
  • Leavey School of Business
  • School of Engineering
  • Jesuit School of Theology
  • School of Law

What SAT/ACT scores and GPA are necessary to get into Santa Clara?

Santa Clara is home to over 5,400 undergraduate students, and every single one of those proud students had to perform well throughout their high school years in order to get where they are today. As the saying goes, anything worth having is worth working hard for, and that same can be said about your chance to attend this school.

Earlier, we briefly broke down the average scores that students who get into Santa Clara get in high school.

Here, we will break them down in just a little more detail.

When it comes to the SAT, the score that you will want to hit in order to feel good about your chances of getting in are above 1270. If your end up scoring below this, chances are good that your score will be working against you.

If you want to feel supremely confident about getting into Santa Clara, then you will want to score closer to 1440, which is above average for applying students.

When it comes to the ACT, students want to score at least to 28 overall. if you want to increase your chances of getting accepted to Santa Clara, you should aim for a score closer to a 31 or 32.

Overall, 62% of applying students submit an SAT on the remaining 46% of students submit an ACT score.

When it comes to your high school GPA, applying high schoolers will ideally earn an unweighted GPA higher than a 3.75. In fact, over 42% of freshmen who got into Santa Clara had a 3.75 or above. One step down, 36% of high schoolers who got in scored between 3.5 and 3.75.

If you have a GPA lower than that, your chances of getting accepted drop dramatically, as only a total of 24% of students who got into the school had a GPA of 3.5 or below.

While these grades and scores are certainly crucial for you to keep in mind as you begin narrowing down your options, they are not the only thing that you should be focused on when it comes to your application, which brings us to our next section!

Entry Requirements

A crucially important aspect of figuring out which school is right for you is to figure out what the costs are of attending a given school and what your options may be regarding financial aid.

It is also crucially important that you take the time necessary to gather all the materials for your application and send that application on time before the deadline comes and goes. Let’s dive into the related information regarding Santa Clara together.

Cost of Santa Clara

Unlike public schools, private schools do not offer in-state tuition. Instead, the cost of private schools is high for all students who are interested in attending. The only major difference for students at Santa Clara is based on whether or not a student wants to live on or off-campus, or with their parents. Here is a table of the total cost that the school offers on its own site.

Breakdown of cost

As you can see, Santa Clara is a highly expensive learning institution. Luckily, they offer quite a bit of option when it comes to financial aid.

Financial aid options at Santa Clara

If you are interested in attending Santa Clara but are concerned about the hefty financial burden that attending comes with, you will be pleased to learn about the ample financial aid that the school is known to offer its students.

In fact, the average need-based scholarship or grant that is awarded to students at Santa Clara is over $33,000. Additionally, over 40% of students received need-based financial aid last year.

Required application materials

In order to apply to Santa Clara, you will have to check off quite a few boxes. First off, the school does require that applicants complete the following:

  • 3 years of history and social sciences
  • 4 years of English
  • 3-4 years of mathematics
  • 2-3 years of laboratory science
  • 2-4 years of foreign language study

On top of that, in order to apply, high schoolers will have to select the specific school (remember the 6 we went over earlier) in which they plan on enrolling. While selectivity of each school does not vary greatly, academic readiness for the program that you are interested in will be gauged based on your expressed interest.

When it comes to the application itself, this is what you will need to turn in along with your Common Application:

  • Official high school transcript
  • One academic teacher evaluation
  • Secondary school report
  • Mid-year report
  • $60 non-refundable application fee

It is important to mention that Santa Clara has adopted a two-year “test-optional” policy that will begin in the fall of 2021. If you are applying in that window, your score will be considered if sent, but you will not be at a disadvantage if you do not send in your standardized test score

Application deadlines

At Santa Clara, there are four different application deadlines that you may have to meet depending on if you are applying as Early Decision I, Early Decision II, Early Action, or Regular Decision.

Those deadlines are offered on the school’s official site.

application schedule for admissions

What to Expect

One of the best ways to figure out whether or not a school is right for you is to see what current or former students are saying about it. Thanks to Niche, Santa Clara students are able to write in their very own reviews. Here are some of the best!

Three pairs of students walking and chatting after class.

“What I like about Santa Clara University, the most is their LEAD Scholars program,” one student wrote. “This program is made for minority students, by minority students, to help them with the transition to college. They provide year-round resources and weekly emails full of useful information as a way to help minority students get an equal opportunity.

In addition, they let all incoming freshmen attend school a week early; this orientation week is devoted to helping them transition to the school and become familiar with the campus and the city.

Attending a predominantly Caucasian institution was initially a very intimidating experience as a female Hispanic student, but through the LEAD program I was able to find a safe community for me to grow as an individual.”

“I am a rising sophomore at Santa Clara University, and my experience thus far has been amazing, to say the least,” another said. Coming into a four-year university as a Latinx first-generation student was nerve-wracking at first; I wasn’t sure how well I would adapt to a new environment.

However, I was immediately received with open arms in a community that prides itself on acceptance, diversity, inclusion, and bronco spirit! Throughout my first year, I became involved in activities such as the Associated Student Government, Mecha-El Frente, Campus Ministry, and the Office of Multicultural Learning.

I have been able to find an incredible support system, long-life friends, outstanding professors, a social residential learning experience, and an active student life.

In addition, the academics are extremely strong as professors prioritize their students, meaning that they put the well-being and success of those they teach in order to prepare them appropriately for future careers.”

Academics offered

While you already know about the majors and colleges that you can choose from at Santa Clara, you may be wondering what the most popular programs are.

Overall, the most popular include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Engineering; Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; and Psychology.

Some of the most popular individual courses include:

  • General Chemistry I
  • Calculus and Analytical Geometry I
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • Civil Engineering Materals

What about athletics?

The Santa Clara Broncos are in the NCAA Division I as members of the West Coast Conference. In all, Santa Clara offers men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, tennis, track and field, and water polo. For women’s sports, Santa Clara offers basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and water polo.

Golf club and ball on the grass.

Famous alumni

As is the case with many top schools, Santa Clara has an alumni community that is filled with some very influential men and women. Here are some of the most famous men and women who one day walked the halls of Santa Clara:

  • Shemar Moore, model, and actor
  • Dee Dee Myers, author, news analyst
  • Benjamin Cruz, lawyer, and politician
  • Steve Nash, basketball player
  • Gavin Newson, politician
  • Jerry Brown, politician, and lawyer
  • Reza Aslan, professor
  • Janet Napolitano, lawyer, and politician

If you hope to one day see your name on this list, the very first step to achieving that goal is getting into Santa Clara!

Here at AdmissionSight, we have the tools and experience necessary to help you get into the school of your dreams! If you have the grades and test scores that put you in good standing to get an int, there should be nothing to get in your way. Let us help you make sure that your path is as easy as possible.



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