Q: What is the college system?

A: UC Santa Cruz has a distinctive college system, providing a living/learning environment for the students.

All undergraduate students, whether they live on campus or not, are affiliated with one of ten residential colleges at UC Santa Cruz. Each college provides academic support, organizes student activities, and sponsors events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus in addition to housing students in small-scale residential communities.

Every college community includes students with diverse backgrounds and academic goals. Your college affiliation is independent of your choice of major, and assignments are based upon space availability and your requests for affiliation.

Q: What colleges are available and what are they like?

A: The residential colleges are listed in historical order as follows:

Q: How do I request affiliation with a college and can I change it?

A: When you have been admitted to Santa Cruz, you will specify in order of preference which colleges you would like to be affiliated with. Assignment to a college is based on available space, taking student preferences into account whenever possible.

It is also possible to transfer to another college. In order for the transfer to be approved, the change must be approved by both the current college and the prospective college. The transfer normally will be approved if it is justified by closer proximity to faculty and other resources central to your major program, but the change may take a quarter to be approved.

The Transfer Community, located in the Porter College residence halls and situated on campus to provide easy access to Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS) and the Academic Resource Center (ARC), houses incoming transfer students who request university housing (regardless of college affiliation).

Q: Does my college affiliation affect what classes I can take?

A: No, it doesn’t. You may take classes that meet in any of the colleges or classroom buildings throughout the campus.

Q: How much does it cost to live off campus?

A: For this information, please go to the Community Rentals Web Pages.

Q: What services are in place to help me find off-campus housing?

A: To make it easier for students to find off-campus housing, the Community Rentals Office offers a comprehensive user-friendly online program of available local rentals and advice on the process of renting a room in shared housing, an apartment, or house in the Santa Cruz area. The Community Rentals Office and website is a comprehensive resource center for renting in the Santa Cruz area. Also, the program offers an online Renters’ Workshop on issues such as finding a place to live, how to work with landlords and housemates, and how to take care of paperwork. Check out the Community Rentals Web Pages for more information and recent announcements.

Q: How do I apply for Family Student Housing?

A. Family Student Housing (FSH) is a year-round housing community for UCSC students with families. Families enjoy two-bedroom apartments located on the west side of campus, adjacent to a nature reserve and overlooking the Monterey Bay.

Information on eligibility, costs, and how to apply can be obtained from the Family Student Housing website. If you have further questions, please contact the FSH office at fsh@ucsc.edu or (831) 459-4080.