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The University of California - Santa Cruz

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityA+
Useful SchoolworkB+ Excess CompetitionA
Academic SuccessA- Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueA- University Resource UseA-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessA
Campus MaintenanceA+ Social LifeB
Surrounding CityB- Extra CurricularsA-
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Helpful, Arrogant

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Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Surrounding City
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
She rated most things higher than other students did.
Date: Jul 17 2003
Major: Economics (This Major's Salary over time)
UCSC has a bad reputation, but that's common only among people who don't know what they're talking about. When I was searching for a UC to go to, I asked around, and the recurring statements about UCSC is that it's riddled with drugs and that everyone there is lazy/stoned/hippy. Fortunately, these are myths, but unfortunately these myths persist and permeate the college guides leading to a lower-caliber student body as a general trend.

If you actually visit the campus, however, aside from noticing hoe BEAUTIFUL it is, you'll notice that almost all of these myths are false. There's drug use, but no more than any other college campus. It might be more blatant because Santa Cruz tends to be more accomodating, but no more prevalent. There are all types that attend here. Conservative rich kids, preppies, jocks, hippies, nerds, etc.

As for reputation, SC is low for a UC but is still one of the top publics in the nation. It is nationally ranked in linguistics, earth sciences, marine biology and astronomy/astrophysics. Its comp sci is up-and-coming as well. As other posters noted, SC's rep is definitely on the rise. The one thing that I think led to the decline in SC's rep were the narrative evals in place of letter grades. The students had performance evaluations in place of letter grades and therefore no GPA to show when applying to grad school. This made it very hard to get into quality grad schools and kept a lot of very smart potential applicants from attending or even applying.

Santa Cruz is VERY liberal, and has a large gay/lesbian population. There is a small determined conservative contingency, but they are usually shouted down by the majority liberal student body. If this is an environment you would feel uncomfortable in, don't go to UCSC.

One of the traditions of UCSC is "First Rain" in which nearly the entire student body gets naked to dance in the first rain of the school year.

I enjoy UCSC even though it's a little too liberal for my taste. A lot of the demonstrations and tirades are amusing at least. I feel that I'm getting a great education here thanks to the community feel fostered by the "10 Colleges" system. Classes are small and the professors (not TAs) are very approachable and accessible.

As for grad school, SC grads are getting into better and better grad/med/law/vet/etc. programs. If you're an admissions officer, who would you rather admit, your 100th Berkeley grad with a 3.8 or your first UCSC grad with a 3.8?

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The University of California - Santa Cruz
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