Should I go to University of California Irvine or University of California Santa Cruz? Compare 50+ facts and figures about the colleges to help you determine if UCI or UCSC is the better college for you. The CollegeSimply comparison tool allows side-by-side comparison of 50+ statistics and facts for over 2,500 colleges and universities.

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University of California Irvine vs. University of California Santa Cruz comparison
University of California Irvine University of California Santa Cruz College 3 College 4
University of California Irvine University of California Santa Cruz
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Location Irvine, CA Santa Cruz, CA
Setting Rural Fringe Small City
Enrollment 36,303 19,161
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
National Ranking #78 #222
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit
Website uci.edu ucsc.edu
Team Colors                    


Tuition (In State) $11,442 $11,442
Tuition (Out of State) $41,196 $41,196
Room & Board $16,677 $18,866
Avg Net Price $13,106 $17,842
Avg Grant Aid $18,780 $16,091
% Receiving Grant Aid 74% 66%


Admission Chances Calculate Calculate
Applied 97,938 54,988
Admitted 29,301 35,591
Acceptance Rate 29.9% 64.7%
Enrolled % 19.7% 11.8%
Avg High School GPA 3.75 weighted 3.51
Typical High School Grades A- B+
Admissions Standards Exceptional Very High
Applicant Competition High Low
ACT Range 26/33 25/33
SAT Range 1230/1430 1160/1360
Submit Test Scores Required Required
Application Deadline Nov 30, 2022 Nov 30, 2022


Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1 25:1
Popular Majors
  • Social Sciences (23%)
  • Biology (16%)
  • Psychology (11%)
  • Business (8%)
  • Engineering (8%)
  • Social Sciences (17%)
  • Biology (14%)
  • Psychology (11%)
  • Visual and Performing Arts (10%)
  • Business (9%)


Graduation Rate 85% 73%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $61,800 $50,400
Making Student Loan Payments 76% 74%
Median Student Loan Debt $17,000 $19,959
Median Loan Payment $175 $206


% Men 48% 53%
% Women 52% 47%
Racial Diversity Very High Very High
% White 15% 33%
% Black 2% 2%
% Hispanic 25% 31%
% Native American 0% 0%
% Pacific Islander 0% 0%
% Two or More Races 4% 7%
% International 16% 4%
% Unknown Race 1% 2%


% In-State 78% 94%
% Out-of-State 4% 3%


Campus Housing Yes Yes
Freshman Dorm Required No No
Meal Plan Yes Yes
Weekend/Evening Classes No No
Daycare Facility Yes Yes
Learn More Details Details

Comparable Facts

  • University of California Irvine is larger than than UCSC based on total student enrollment (36,303 students vs. 19,161 students)

UCI vs. UCSC Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, UCI or UCSC?

  • University of California Irvine and UCSC cost the same to attend based on in-state tuition ($11,442.00 vs. $11,442.00)
  • Out of state tuition is the same at UCI as University of California Santa Cruz ($41,196.00 vs. $41,196.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of California Irvine than UCSC ($13,106 vs. $17,842)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of California Irvine are 13.1% lower than costs at University of California Santa Cruz ($16,677 vs. $18,866)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of California Irvine than University of California Santa Cruz (74% vs. 66%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of California Irvine students is 16.7% larger than aid received University of California Santa Cruz ($18,780 vs. $16,091)

UCI vs. UCSC Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, UCI or UCSC? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between UCSC or UCI .

  • The average SAT score at University of California Santa Cruz (1201) is 26 points higher than at UCI (1175)
  • Incoming UCSC students have a 1 point higher average ACT score (28) than students at UCI (27)
  • UCSC has a higher acceptance rate (64.7%) than UCI (29.9%)

UCI vs. UCSC Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, UCI or UCSC? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between UCSC and UCI.

  • The graduation rate at UCI is higher than University of California Santa Cruz (85% vs. 73%)
  • Graduates from University of California Irvine earn on average $11,400 more per year than UCSC graduates after ten years. ($61,800 vs. $50,400)
  • University of California Irvine students graduate with a $2,959 lower median federal student loan debt than UCSC graduates. ($17,000 vs. $19,959)
  • UCI graduates are paying $31 less per month on federal student loans than UCSC graduates. ($175 vs. $206)
  • More UCI graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former UCSC students, three years after graduation. (76% vs. 74%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/