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December 2020

Santa Clara University Sends Early Admission Decisions After Record Number of Applications

Santa Clara University received a record 8,687 applications this fall, almost a 5% increase from last year.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 18, 2020 - Santa Clara University received a record 8,687 applications this fall, almost a 5% increase from last year, bucking a nationwide trend of colleges receiving fewer applications compared to fall 2019. Prospective Class of 2025 students have had to navigate through a challenging year, both personally and academically, but their resiliency, determination, and grace were apparent in their applications.

Students who applied through both Early Action and Early Decision I admission tracks received their notifications through their online application portals on December 15. Students applied from more than 1,800 high schools across the globe. Santa Clara implemented a test-optional policy this year, and about 45% of students chose to submit test scores. 

Notable characteristics of the admitted class include:

  • An average unweighted GPA of 3.8
  • 44% are students of color
  • 54% of students are from outside California
  • More than 400 students are the first in their family to attend college
  • 9% of students are living outside the U.S.

“Despite the past months of unknowns, disappointments, and challenges that the students applying during this pandemic have experienced, we were extremely impressed with their perseverance, social responsibility and academic excellence.” said Becky Konowicz, Santa Clara University’s interim dean of admission.

Students have one last opportunity to apply under one of two admission tracks, Early Decision II and Regular Decision, due January 7. It is the third year that Santa Clara will offer Early Decision II, a second binding admission plan to give students time after November 1 to decide if SCU is their No. 1 choice. This is an option for any new applicants as well as those who were deferred in the Early Action round. 

“As a Jesuit Catholic university in the heart of Silicon Valley, new students arriving in the fall of 2021 will continue the rich legacy and exploration of preparing to create a more humane, just and sustainable world with a community who is committed to advancing racial justice, creating collaborative learning environments through the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation opening, and prepared for the changes and opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Konowicz. 

The Class of 2025 will be arriving at an exciting time on the Mission Campus:

  • The Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation, opening fall 2021, will be the new home for the Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics. Built to foster convergence across traditional disciplines, and inspired by our Jesuit ideals and Silicon Valley’s culture of collaboration and innovation, the campus will allow students to forge breakthroughs and help build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.
  • SCU placed 53rd among nearly 400 national-level universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 “Best Colleges” edition. We were noted for our excellence in undergraduate teaching, undergraduate business, and computer science and engineering.
  • The new 50,000-square-foot Athletic Excellence Center will help the next generation of Olympians, All-Americans, World Champions and Hall of Fame athletes from SCU.
  • Four Broncos won prestigious Fulbright Scholarships in 2020, enabling them to pursue research in fields such as urban environmental mitigation, disability rights, agricultural innovation, and neuroscience. SCU has produced 37 Fulbright winners since 2009.

Students admitted through Early Action have until May 1 to accept Santa Clara’s admission offer, while students admitted through Early Decision I must confirm their enrollment by January 7.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering doctoral degrees. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact
Deepa Arora | SCU Communications | | (408) 554-5125

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