Santa Clara University Acceptance Rate | Strategies and Insights for Admission Success 2024

Santa Clara University, situated in California, is a mid-sized private Jesuit institution accommodating approximately 5,900 undergraduate students. Renowned for its picturesque campus, SCU boasts academic excellence, notably in the esteemed Leavey School of Business, alongside robust computer science and engineering programs. Although its acceptance rate may not be as daunting as other similar institutions, Santa Clara University maintains rigorous admissions standards.

What is The Santa Clara University Early Decision Acceptance Rate?

Santa Clara University offers two rounds of Early Decision. The first, ED I, has a deadline of November 1, while ED II’s deadline falls in early January. For the Class of 2027, over 10,500 students applied via ED I or EA. However, official acceptance rates for this cycle have yet to be released. Reflecting on the most recent data, the ED acceptance rate stood at an impressively generous 84%.

What is The Santa Clara University Acceptance Rate?

Santa Clara University received 18,839 applications for the Class of 2027 and extended offers to 7,912 applicants. Consequently, the latest acceptance rate at Santa Clara University stands at 42%. Examining recent trends, acceptance rates for previous classes were as follows:

  • Class of 2026: 54%
  • Class of 2025: 54%
  • Class of 2024: 51%

What is The Santa Clara University SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank?

In the most recent academic year of 2021-2022, only 35% of incoming freshmen ranked within the top 10% of their high school class, while 72% secured positions within the top quartile. The median SAT score for this cohort stood at 1390, with a median ACT score of 31. For the incoming Class of 2027, the average unweighted GPA of admitted students was 3.87.

What is The Admission Insights at The Santa Clara University?

Admissions Trends & Notes for the Class of 2027:

  • 10% of incoming students are first-generation.
  • International students make up 9% of the class.
  • 9% of students are Pell-eligible.
  • Among engineering students, 39% are female.
  • Students of color comprise 5% of the class.
  • Half of the student body hails from California.

What is The Santa Clara University Demographics?

Examining the demographics of current Santa Clara University undergraduates reveals a diverse student body with varied backgrounds and interests. Here’s a breakdown of the Class of 2026:


  • 50% hail from California.
  • 40% are from out-of-state.
  • 10% are international students.

Ethnic identity:

  • Asian American: 21%
  • Hispanic: 19%
  • African American: 4%
  • White: 37%
  • Two or more races: 11%

Gender distribution:

  • Male: 52%
  • Female: 48%

International representation:

  • International students constitute 6% of the total undergraduate population.
  • Predominant countries of origin include China, India, Canada, and the Philippines.

High school backgrounds:

  • Public high schools: 49%
  • Independent schools: 19%
  • Catholic schools: 16%
  • Jesuit schools: 19%

Popular majors:

  • Computer science and engineering
  • Finance
  • Biology
  • Marketing
  • Psychology

These statistics underscore the university’s commitment to diversity and academic excellence, as well as its appeal to students from various cultural and educational backgrounds.

What is The SCU Yield Rate?

In the previous admissions cycle, Santa Clara University boasted a yield rate of 17%, indicating the percentage of accepted students who chose to enroll. This figure aligns closely with other California-based institutions such as UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine, which also reported comparable yield rates.

What is The Admission Criteria at The Santa Clara University?

When assessing applicants, Santa Clara University (SCU) prioritizes three key factors as “very important” in their admissions process: the rigor of the secondary school record, GPA, and the application essays. Additionally, SCU considers eight other elements as “important”: class rank, recommendations, talent/ability, extracurricular activities, character/personal qualities, racial/ethnic status, volunteer work, and first-generation status.

According to the admissions staff at Santa Clara University:

“During our evaluation process, we take into account various aspects of your application, including academic performance, recommendations, extracurricular involvement, life experiences, and, if provided, standardized test scores. Our aim is to gain insight into both your academic abilities and personal characteristics.”

“While the selectivity across our schools and programs remains relatively consistent, applicants’ readiness for their intended program is assessed based on expressed interest. For fields like natural science, business, and engineering, proficiency in calculus is expected.”

“In the absence of test scores, GPA and course rigor carry increased significance in evaluating the academic aspect of your application. We not only seek evidence of academic excellence but also look for indications that you’ve challenged yourself by pursuing advanced coursework such as honors, IB, AP, or dual-enrollment courses offered by your school.”

The Santa Clara University Application Process Key Tips

If you find yourself among the 18,000+ applicants vying for a spot at Santa Clara University in the upcoming admissions cycle, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Consider Early Decision (ED): Applying Early Decision can significantly enhance your chances of admission to SCU. It demonstrates your commitment to attending the university if accepted.
  2. Connect with Admissions: While Santa Clara does not conduct evaluative interviews, they provide opportunities for prospective students to engage with admissions officers and gain insights into the university.
  3. Demonstrate Interest: SCU values demonstrated interest in the admissions process. Factors such as visiting campus (when possible), contacting admissions officers, and engaging with the university on social media can positively impact your application.
  4. Teacher Recommendation: SCU requires one teacher recommendation as part of the application process. Choose a teacher who can provide insights into your academic abilities and personal qualities.
  5. Supplemental Essay: Take advantage of the optional supplemental essay to showcase your unique qualities, experiences, and aspirations. Dedicate sufficient time and effort to crafting a compelling essay that complements your application.


Santa Clara University stands as a beacon of academic excellence, attracting students with its picturesque campus and strong Jesuit values. With a rigorous admissions process, SCU seeks to enroll students who demonstrate not only exceptional academic achievements but also a commitment to personal growth and community engagement.

Prospective applicants should approach the admissions process with dedication, considering the benefits of applying Early Decision and engaging with the university to demonstrate genuine interest. By showcasing their academic prowess, extracurricular involvement, and personal qualities through the application essays and recommendations, students can increase their chances of securing a coveted spot at SCU.