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 in need. 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.

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. UCSC 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. UCSC will expand its experiential learning and co-curricular opportunities and seek funding to expand paid community and campus internships and research programs. Philanthropic support will help to scale the number of opportunities available to students and deepen their community impact.

Know More

Diverse and gifted scholars


Undergraduates are from groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education


Are the first in their families to attend college


Are from low-income backgrounds

These students earned admission to UCSC because they are talented and high achieving. Because of their life experiences, they are also resilient and hardworking. They have extraordinary potential to impact the world.

Why Now

UC Santa Cruz is a global research university—whose idyllic location amidst the redwood forests of California’s Central Coast both belies and fosters its academic achievements. 

  • Ranked among the top public universities in the nation for social mobility 
  • Third in the nation for students focused on making an impact on the world. 
  • One of only 66 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • Hispanic Serving Institution designation

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.