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September 2021

Santa Clara University Campus Fountain

Santa Clara University Campus Fountain

Santa Clara University Experiences Record Enrollment for New Students

The University welcomes a record-breaking 1,558 first-year students and 241 transfers this fall, the largest incoming class in the University’s 170 year history.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 23, 2021 -- Santa Clara University welcomes a record-breaking 1,558 first-year students and 241 transfers this fall, the largest incoming class in the University’s 170 year history. The students, selected from an impressive pool of 17,763 applicants, hail from 45 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and 34 countries/regions. 

“These students represent a class like no other,” said Eva Blanco Masias, vice-president for enrollment management. “They applied to schools amidst the ever-shifting circumstances of a global pandemic. To maintain focus during such a challenging time requires perseverance, flexibility, and strength of character. We look forward to welcoming this exceptional group of students as they begin their journey at SCU.”

The incoming students come from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences with top majors of interest including management, finance, biology, computer science and engineering, and mechanical engineering.    

Nearly half of SCU’s incoming students are pursuing studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. One-third are enrolled in the Leavey School of Business, and 21 percent are studying in the School of Engineering. This was the first time that SCU adopted a test-optional admissions process; 42 percent of all applicants opted to have their test results considered as part of the admissions process.

Of the 1,799 students entering SCU this fall, just over 51 percent self-identify as persons of color, 48 percent are female, and 3.5 percent are international students, reflecting the University’s ongoing focus on building a diverse and inclusive community.

Fourteen percent of incoming students will be the first in their family to attend an institution of higher learning. One hundred five have siblings who are also Broncos, including five sets of twins. One hundred thirty-eight can trace their Bronco roots to a parent who attended SCU, and 38 have at least one grandparent who went to Santa Clara.

As in past years, Santa Clara University continues to attract students from a breadth of academic settings. Sixty-five percent of the Class of 2025 attended public or independent high schools, nearly 27 percent were enrolled in Jesuit or Catholic institutions, and nearly 4 percent graduated from religious schools of other denominations. The average unweighted GPA for the Class of 2025 is 3.67, a testament to their ongoing commitment to academic excellence. 

This year’s transfer students have also demonstrated their academic prowess. The average unweighted GPA for transfers is 3.51. They range in age from 15 to 49 and are coming to SCU from 111 schools. Sixty-four percent transferred from two-year colleges and 36 percent come from other four-year universities. Seventy students received the new transfer scholarship for local community college students as part of the University’s latest effort to strengthen its commitment to local, high-achieving students seeking to transfer from a community college to a four-year university.

“Our incoming students will begin their journey at SCU with heightened health and safety measures in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” observed Masias. “But, we have no doubt that they will continue to show the same resilience and courage that has brought them to this exciting precipice. We are eager to see what the future holds for this phenomenal group of students.”

The incoming class arrives in time for the opening of the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation, a 270,000 square foot state-of-the-art interdisciplinary facility that will change the way STEM is taught at SCU. The Stephen C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center will also open this fall. The 50,000 square foot facility will provide dedicated space for SCU’s Division I student-athletes to work out, train, practice, eat, and study together

Ranked No. 55 of 400 universities nationwide in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “Best Colleges” edition, SCU will continue to emphasize student-centered learning, small class sizes, and excellence across the curriculum, providing an exceptional learning environment for new students. The incoming class will also join a community of Broncos that is recognized among the top 25 in Sierra magazine’s “Cool Schools” list for its ongoing commitment to sustainability.

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

Media Contacts

Deepa Arora | SCU Communications |

Elliot Zanger | SCU Communications |

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