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SCU Admission & Enrollment Policies

Admission and Enrollment Policies

Graduation from High School:

For admission to Santa Clara University, graduation from high school and a receipt of an official high school transcript with a graduation date is required before the first day of classes. If a high school diploma is not possible, the option for submitting a completed General Education Development (GED) program is available. Exceptions could be considered on a case by case basis for students who are beyond the compulsory age of education in California. 

Santa Clara University requires official high school transcripts to be uploaded electronically through a secure software program by a high school counselor, school administrator or mailed in a sealed envelope. Approved electronic vendors are: Credentials Inc., E-Script, MaiaLearning, National Student Clearinghouse, Naviance, Parchment, and Scoir. All final high school transcripts received are reviewed for authenticity and validating high school graduation. In the event, validity is in question, the Undergraduate Admission Office will contact the secondary school directly to confirm the validity of the student’s high school diploma.

If proof of high school graduation is not received by the first day of classes, enrollment is jeopardized and rescission of an admission offer is possible.

Rescission Policy:

The Office of Undergraduate Admission reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission under any of the following circumstances:

  • If there’s a significant deterioration in your academic work during your final months of school or you do not graduate and receive a diploma by the end of this school year.
  • If your application you submitted and/or your behavior brings into question your honesty, integrity or character.
  • If your official test scores from the College Board or the ACT do not align with your self-reported test scores.
  • If you hold a confirmed place at both Santa Clara University and at another institution after May 1. (You do have the right to remain on an active wait list at another university.)
  • Failure to complete required steps for enrollment by the appropriate deadlines.

*Santa Clara has always provided all applicants an opportunity to explain a disciplinary infraction and carefully considers all contexts they provide. Participation in peaceful and lawful activism or protests would not be a reason for the Santa Clara University Admissions Committee to deny or rescind an offer of admission.

We encourage students in jeopardy of rescission to be proactive and contact us as soon as possible.

Gap Year Policy:

Gap Years are enrollment deferrals that provide students the opportunity to participate in a program, activity or experience designed to provide enrichment or opportunities beyond the traditional classroom. Because gap years are designed to be non-traditional opportunities, we discourage programs or pathways that award full-time or degree-seeking college credit equivalencies. Students considering a gap year due to financial concerns are strongly encouraged to contact or (408) 551-1000 to help you understand your fall bill and/or explore possible relief funding.

First-Year Students

Santa Clara University accepts a limited number of Gap Quarter/Year applications from deposited incoming students who wish to defer their enrollment by a quarter/year. A $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit is required along with the Gap Year application. Winter start, Early Decision and wait listed applicants, please note that you are making a commitment to enroll in the term that you applied to if admitted to SCU. Requests for a gap year will not be considered for these tracks.   

Transfer Students

Santa Clara University accepts a limited number of Gap Quarter/Year applications from deposited incoming students who wish to defer their enrollment by a quarter/year. A $500 non-refundable enrollment deposit is required along with the Gap Year application.   

Gap Year Application 

Please click on this link to fill out the application.

Deadlines to Apply:

First Year - May 1st 

Transfer - June 15th

Length of a Gap Year

A gap year deferral period is up to one year from the term for which you are admitted. If military service or other matters arise, a second gap year application form could be submitted for review for any additional time beyond the one year. 

Transfer of Credit Policy for Gap Year:

It is important to understand that while holding a place at SCU, you may not enroll full-time in another college or university. Per policy, a maximum of 11 quarter or 15 semester credits per term during an approved Gap Year would be eligible for transfer. If you are planning to complete courses on a part-time basis, you are expected to list the academic institution you plan to attend and the courses you intend to take during your gap year on your application. Completed courses may not be eligible to transfer to Santa Clara. Consult your admission counselor when considering transfer coursework.

Financial Aid Policy for Gap Year:

Santa Clara University is pleased to consider your request for a gap year. It is important to note that SCU does not reserve financial aid awards for students who are approved a gap year with the exception of our Dean Scholarship recipients. All other scholarships and/or grants will not be reserved, including Presidential, Provost or Johnson Scholarships. To be considered for financial aid, you will need to resubmit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the subsequent application year. 

Final High School transcripts and Verified Test Scores:

As a gap year approved student, you will be required to submit final high school transcripts by the appropriate enrollment deadline. For all first-year enrolling students SCU will ask for official SAT/ACT scores after matriculation if scores are available. The scores will be used for assessment of the test optional program.

Commitment to enroll:

Once your gap year application is approved, you are committed to attending Santa Clara after your deferral period and cannot commit to any other school during the deferment period. A few months prior to your entry term, communication will begin to prepare you for upcoming orientation, housing and other enrollment steps. It is important that you maintain active contact information, especially email, to receive these updates. Your SCU application status portal will remain active to support your future enrollment steps. 

Questions/Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to discuss if a gap year is right for you, please reach out to your admission counselor.