How to Get into Santa Clara University

This is the go-to guide for getting into Santa Clara University. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to Scu, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown Scu statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out Santa Clara University on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. Here’s what we’re about to cover:

What GPA do you need to get into Santa Clara University?

Santa Clara University’s average GPA is 3.71. Santa Clara University does require GPA. This average GPA means Santa Clara University is very selective. Often times, schools in this range are trying to increase their selectivity and “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of Scu application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.71 to 3.9 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.9 GPA.

*BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. Santa Clara University may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on Scu’s campus. These Scu admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

What is Santa Clara University’s acceptance rate?

Last year Santa Clara University’s acceptance rate was 48.8. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

2016 2017 2018
Acceptance Rate 48.0 % 54.0 % 48.8 %

As you can see, Santa Clara University is getting more and more difficult to get into. If this trend continue it’s likely that Scu will be even more competitive by the time you apply.

Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into Scu - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

Does Santa Clara University Require Test Scores?

Santa Clara University requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how Santa Clara University’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

Santa Clara University SAT Requirements

Santa Clara University’s average SAT score is 1300 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether Santa Clara University is getting more or less competitive.

25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
Math 610 720 665
Reading 590 680 635
2019 Total 1200 1400 1300
2018 Total - - -
2017 Total - - -

Santa Clara University’s average SAT score is 1300. To be a competitive applicant for Santa Clara University your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1200, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Santa Clara University a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1400.

Santa Clara University ACT Requirements

Santa Clara University’s average ACT score is 30. To be a competitive applicant for Santa Clara University your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 28, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Santa Clara University a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 32.

25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
Math - - 0
Reading - - 0
Writing 28 32 30
2019 Total 28 32 30
2018 Total - - -
2017 Total - - -

How hard is it to get into Santa Clara University?

As you can see from the data above, Santa Clara University is moderately competitive. Not only should you be aiming for a 3.71 but also SAT scores around 1300.

Santa Clara University Requirements

Now you know where you need to be for getting into Santa Clara University from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

Recommendations Status
School Rank Considered but not required
GPA Required
School Record Required

How to get into Scu

Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into Scu. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at Scu, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

Main Academic Excellence that is in line with Scu admission standards.

  1. Score at least a 1300 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT.
  2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.71.

Join Extracurriculars that Align with Scu’s Values.

  1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If Santa Clara University values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
  2. Volunteer in your hometown. Santa Clara has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. Santa Clara University wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Santa Clara area in general.
  3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. Scu needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

Prepare Your Application

  1. Write a stellar essay that shows Santa Clara University something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
  2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your Scu app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
  3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that Scu’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.