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Enrollment Plan

Undergraduate Program: Determining the Right Size for Santa Clara

As the global center of innovation, Silicon Valley draws extraordinary talent and resources to the Bay Area and spawns new technological industries and trailblazing ventures.

Santa Clara is in a unique position to attract and educate these future visionaries and thought leaders. The University seeks to expand its capacity to deliver a quality SCU education to more undergraduate students. The enrollment plan projects overall growth of the undergraduate student body from 5,400 in 2013 to 6,000 students by 2020.

 Undergraduate Enrollment Trend graph

New and Innovative Graduate and Professional Programs

The University is also exploring ways to pursue new student markets with innovative master's offerings—in both face-to-face and online formats. Each school has enrollment goals for its graduate degree programs in 2020.


By increasing the undergraduate enrollment to 6,000, Santa Clara University aims to:

  • Serve a greater number of students who seek a distinctive Santa Clara education. (In 2013, Santa Clara University had capacity to enroll only 1,291 freshmen out of approximately 15,000 applicants.)
  • Achieve greater economies of scale, thereby reducing the average instructional cost per student. (This is one of many approaches in the integrated plan to reduce some of the pressures leading to higher tuition.)
  • Attract prospective students by providing a greater array of programs while maintaining the personalized nature characteristic of a small college. (Of the top eight private colleges in California, the median undergraduate population is just above 6,000 students.)
  • Provide more students with a college education in which they are likely to graduate in four years, be gainfully employed, and not be burdened with an unreasonable amount of student debt. (Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranks Santa Clara University #33 in the country for “Best Values in Private Universities.”)