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Amplifying Opportunity

Enhancing student success through philanthropy

Higher education is the single most important influence on a person’s socioeconomic mobility. UC Santa Cruz takes a holistic approach to student success—fostering an environment that nurtures health and well being, social capital, and academic achievement. We’re launching tomorrow’s innovators, risk-takers, and leaders.

“Our voices are united in the call for equity, social justice, and promise for the future. There’s no greater response than higher education.”

—Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive

The Student Success Initiative

Creating a genuinely successful higher education experience requires a holistic approach—one that ensures students have access to financial support, secure sources of housing and food, mental health support, and connections that catalyze their social mobility. 

UC Santa Cruz’s Student Success Initiative increases financial support for undergraduate and graduate students. It provides access to the guidance and experiences fundamental to their education and successful careers as UCSC alumni. 

The Student Success Initiative has three overarching priorities:

The cost of higher education should not be a barrier or cause of distress for any student. We believe that all students should have access to the full range of educational and research experiences that amplify professional and social capital. We’re creating educational equity and building generational potential by providing financial support for students—through scholarships for undergraduate students and graduate student fellowships—to help cover their educational costs and research opportunities.

Undergraduate scholarships help replace the student loan portions of the financial aid package—which many students meet by working multiple jobs. This critical financial support allows students to better focus on their studies, encourages retention, and may reduce time to graduation. 

Graduate fellowships and summer stipends give graduate students the freedom to focus on their research and studies rather than taking unrelated work just to make ends meet, which allows more time for creativity, collaboration, and innovative ideas. This financial support can help reduce time to degree which may cut down overall student cost and potential future debt.

Navigating the complexities of university life can feel daunting and overwhelming, particularly for students from less-resourced backgrounds. We seek to provide a roadmap for students to help guide them through their college experience. We’ll increase access to vital programs—through resource centers, mentor networks, social and emotional support services—that give students a sense of confidence and direction and maximize students’ social capital. These programs will be developed to scale —maximizing impact on student satisfaction, retention and graduation rates, research skills, professional and career development, and future success. 

Some of the most remarkable aspects of a UC Santa Cruz education happen outside of the traditional classroom. UC Santa Cruz is known for its holistic approach to learning that encourages students to embrace life-changing experiences and provides them with a well-rounded educational background. UC Santa Cruz will expand its experiential learning and co-curricular opportunities and seek funding to expand paid community and campus internships and research programs.

Experiential learning opportunities—including paid internships as well as more comprehensive programs like the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Internship Program—provide students with life-changing experiences, social capital, and a well-rounded educational background.  These vital learning experiences that occur beyond the classroom help students develop work and life skills, and explore career possibilities.

Philanthropic support will help to scale the number of opportunities available to students and deepen their community impact.

Know More

A top public university in the nation for
social mobility
#2 in the nation for students focused on making an impact
on the world
One of only 65 members of the prestigious Association of
American Universities5
Officially designated as an Hispanic Serving Institution and an
Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution
UC Santa Cruz is a global research university—
whose idyllic location along the shores of
Monterey Bay and within the surrounding redwood forests inspires the transformative nature of our educational and research missions.


We are a community of scientists and makers, artists and creators, justice seekers, and problem solvers. 


Our voices move ideas into action,
and action into transformative change.

Undergraduates: Pushing Boundaries

Our campus is home to a diverse student body of gifted scholars. Nearly half are from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education. About a third are the first in their families to attend college. The talent, resilience, hard work, and high achievement of our students earned them admission to UC Santa Cruz, and will prepare them to have an extraordinary impact on the world.

Graduate Students: Fueling the Future

Top graduate students seek out UC Santa Cruz to work alongside our world-renowned faculty. Graduate students fuel our research enterprise and multiply our research capacity by contributing diverse perspectives, new questions, and bold ambitions. The extraordinary diversity of our graduate students advances knowledge creation and informs policy decisions as these students go on to successful careers within academia and industry.