Location
Santa Clara, CA
Undergrads
5,141
Tuition
$39,048
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 1052 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Bubble of Suburbia Near Thriving City – Santa Clara is a mostly residential area. There is a huge mall near campus, along with higher-end stores located on Santana Row, a long strip of shops and restaurants that may be too expensive for your average college student, but then again, SCU students seem to be of a different breed when it comes to wealth. San Jose offers a good variety of art and culture shows, along with sports events and old film showings. Santa Clara is a relatively quiet neighborhood for the most part (except on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and the occasional Thursday near Bellomy Street).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Computers: Wireless isn't amazing all the time, but with ethernet the internet is good.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Limited, but Pretty Good – We really only have one main dining hall on campus, in addition to two smaller cafes. Still, the food there is actually quite good, with most food cooked to order. Students enjoy the build-your-own pasta bowls, parfaits, sandwiches, and breakfasst burritos that make it seem more like a food court and less like a cafeteria.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Weather: Seriously, what more could you ask for? It's 70 degrees and sunny almost year-round, with just enough wintry days and rainy weather thrown in to satisfy people from out of state, who are generally shocked by how perfect the climate is.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: It's Great Once You Realize It's Available – A lot of students at SCU aren't aware of just how accessible everything is via public transportation. The transit center is right across from campus, and there are local buses that go directly to the mall, to the Great America theme park, and into downtown San Jose. The CalTrain makes it easy to travel up and down the Bay Area, making it possible to spend the weekend in San Francisco or Santa Cruz without renting a car. Plus, the free shuttle to the San Jose airport makes travelling so much easier!

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Average Teams, Average Enthusiasm – Let's face it- Santa Clara is a small private school with very little athletic funding, so even though it's Division I, sports are certainly not as central as they are at big state schools. Santa Clara teams generally perform fairly well in the West Coast Conference, but the student body lacks enthusiasm, except for the Gonzaga and St. Mary's basketball games.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: The library is very state-of-the art, with lots of open space for individual or group studying. There are numerous group study rooms with white boards and projectors that students can reserve online, making collaborative projects much easier. It's super quiet, which makes it great for studying but a little unnerving otherwise!

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Santa Clara University works very hard to impersonalize its communication to the student body's on both academic and social issues. This is because the university concerns itself with legality more than anything else in these matters.

Campus safety readily responds to ALL reported problems. I once thought someone stole my IPod while I was meandering outside. Despite my dubious story (indeed, someone found it on the lawn the following day) and the time of reportage (1 A.M. during Spring break--essay writing), Campus Safety was there and engaged!

2 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Charming and Occasionally Vain – Students may be extremely conscious of their physical appearances. There is a strong emphasis on morality in SCU courses; most students at SCU know to value intrinsic worth. California has the most attractive people in the U.S.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Although I had four roommates total for freshman and sophomore year (it was not all my fault, please believe me), and I lived both years in one of the older dormitories, I happily found my niche.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Campus Policies – The school administration is very strict about matters such as alcohol/drug usage in the dorms, underage drinking, noise violations, and the academic honor code. On the other hand, they make up for it by being really lenient about things like curfews, visitation policies, personal style, etc.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: The Cons:
- The off-campus housing selection around SCU is fairly limited; you either live in an apartment (Park Central, Domicilio, or various other smaller complexes) or in a house.
- Per-person rents for both housing styles in our zip code are some of the highest in the state, so expect to pay a fortune for a relatively small room.
- Parking can also be problematic, as many of the residential streets around campus are hourly zones.

The Pros:
- I've had a great personal experience with my landlord; obviously it depends on the individual, but my landlord has been very accessible and responsive to our questions and requests for help and maintenance around the house.
- The area around campus is quite safe; I feel comfortable walking home alone from the library at night.
- Most of the off-campus housing is within a few blocks of campus; most SCU students don't know what a "commute" is. Thus, you really pay for the convenience in your monthly rent.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: The Library Is a Great Place to Work. The technology, wide array of books and journals, private rooms, cafe, very helpful librarians and general aesthetics make the library a great place to work both individually or in groups.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Scholarships: Pain in the Ass – Santa Clara is gracious with scholarships but does not do enough to help students who need it. FAFSA/SCU does not take into account random hardships that people go through in life and that makes paying for college difficult.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Weather: The Bay Area is blessed with beautiful weather almost year-round. Though it can sometimes get cold, low 70s weather in January and February makes for some amazing parties and an overall fun attitude felt among all students.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Not Much of College Town – Santa Clara is a big city but not necessarily a college town. There very few bars. There are restaurants down the Alameda but they require walking a long way. It is not walking-friendly.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Transportation: The Santa Clara Caltrain station is right across the street from SCU. You can also catch VTA buses from the station. There is a free shuttle that will take you to the airport from there as well.
On campus there are now cars that students are allowed to rent if you sign up far enough in advance.
There is limited on campus and off campus parking for those with their own cars. On campus parking passes are semi expensive.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Drinking Scene – Alcohol use at Santa Clara is probably comparable to most other college campuses. The police are pretty lenient on underage students drinking at parties, however, they do break up the majority of big parties. The Santa Clara police mostly just want to keep everybody safe, they're not out to get everyone in trouble.
As for the drug scene, I know that pot is widespread, but it depends who you hang out with. It's not overwhelming, nor have I ever felt pressured to do drugs.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Housing: Wonderful Dorm Communities – The dorms at Santa Clara University have a strong emphasis on community, and I think that they do a great job facilitating it. The buildings themselves vary in quality, but overall they are comfortable and clean.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Athletics: Students don't attend very many athletic team events...but I will always hold that SCU students have school spirit, even if they don't have spirit for sports. I'm not sure why those two things have become the same in our minds. The athletic facilities are really nice. The teams don't always do so hot.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Pretty safe, much more theft on the party side of campus. Police get paid insane amounts of money and have little more to do than break up college parties so parties get broken up pretty early in the night. As a woman, I feel safe walking at night.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Academics: Right now the English major requires a pretty large number of classes, many of them are historical time period requirements. There is talk about changing the major so students have more freedom to take more classes in writing, for example, if that's what they're interested in.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Scholarships: Apply Early Action – It seems that more scholarships, both merit and need-based are given to Early Action applicants; therefore, I was very fortunate. My other friends didn't receive as much aid as they would have liked, but that also had to do with the impacts of the economic recession on the school's alumni donations. The office itself is organized, and I've had a very good experience with them, especially with finding information about using financial aid to study abroad (it ALL transferred!)

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Greek Life: The fraternities and sororities are off-campus, meaning that they aren't officially affiliated with the school. People definitely pledge, but it's not a big deal if you don't get involved. Even if you don't rush, it's pretty common to go out to the frat parties, particularly for freshmen.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Parking: Permits and Tickets – Permits are ridiculously expensive to park on campus. In addition, the fines are outrageous... $50 a pop.

1 person found this useful Report
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Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Mission Santa Clara de Asis Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Lauren Silk
Hometown
Bainbridge Island, WA
Major
English and French
View all previous student authors

Inspired by its Jesuit roots, Santa Clara's mission to educate the whole person by engaging the mind, body, and spirit encourages its students to maintain a healthy balance between work and play. Santa Clara's diverse academic, extracurricular, and community service opportunities make it easy for students to do what they love and to tailor their SCU experience accordingly. Though many students initially have a tough time adjusting (typical for most college freshmen), taking advantage of the resources provided by the strong campus community can help make the transition process easier. Thriving at Santa Clara requires finding your niche, which can take awhile, but is worth it once you do. 

Most students cite weather, location, and academics as Santa Clara's greatest strengths, and they appreciate the active and supportive community on campus. While many students agree that they would change certain aspects of the school if they could (the cost of tuition taking priority), most feel pretty satisfied with their Santa Clara experience. 

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Santa Clara University

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