Which if any UC schools might be a good fit for my OOS daughter? Any other CA suggestions?

Based on her preferences, the first three schools that came to my mind for her to check out (echoing others above) were:

University of San Diego
Cal Poly
Santa Clara University

Good luck finding the right fit!

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Thank you!

USD isn’t Jesuit, so its mission and required courses aren’t going to be exactly the same as Jesuit schools like LMU or Santa Clara. It’s kind of hard to ignore a Catholic presence since there is a honking huge church right in the middle of campus.

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Sorry - it’s not my religion. I mistakenly thought Roman Catholic and Jesuit are the same but I’m reading on line and Jesuits are Roman Catholics but there are differences.

Not to start a new side discussion as often happens on CC but I’m reading now the differences. Thanks for pointing this out.


Not to get into it too deeply, but Jesuits have always been an rder of teachers who place a high value on education. Their institutions are generally more progressive than other orders of Catholics (and some other Christians) and emphasize social and economic justice and service. Georgetown is probably the most famous Jesuit college, but there are a number of high quality Jesuit institutions, some of which have been mentioned in this thread. The institutions are generally thought be be challenging academically but not overbearing religiously.

I bring this up because it seems like many kids who would normally balk at attending a “religious” institution do well at various Jesuit schools.


Consider Scripps. Anecdotally I know of another student with a private prep school GPA somewhere between 3.0 and 3.3 who is there and also is a strong voice student. She may have gotten off the waitlist, I am not sure. Claremont is really neat.


Jesuits also have higher education down! Education is part of their mission.

@twoinanddone the church in the center if Santa Clara is used for many things beside church services as it can accommodate a large number of people. It’s not just a church but also a gathering place for the college.

My not Catholic kid loved the place. She also found the Jesuits very approachable and easy to talk to. And very smart and intuitive, and sometimes funny!


Thanks. This has been very helpful. SInce the UCs don’t consider freshman year or ACTs, I think we have moved on. This was quick and helpful in clarifying. She is going to add Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount to her list and we will see from there how it goes.!


Lmu recently tried to recenter on faith and catholicism (not sure this year but for a while their supplement was commenting papal quotes dealing with values or philosophy.)

I know non religious kids go to religious schools but I personally would not send a kid to a program tied to a religion if they are not religious. Obviously there is going to be a lot tied to faith even at a more progressive school.

It is up to the priest who runs the church (and often to the secretary who schedules things). There are certain preparations they can take to have non-religious meetings in the church (remove the communion from the altar, set up podium off the alter). It depends on the schedule of the church and what type of meeting. Much more common for a musical event than a discussion as churches are designed for the ‘conversation’ to go in one direction, from the altar to the audience and not for the audience to talk back.

I don’t think they use the USD church for anything other than masses and weddings. It is very hard to schedule a wedding there and it was not open for tours when I was there. I love looking at churches.

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So is Santa Clara more “religious” than say, B.C., which is also Jesuit?

The Jesuit colleges are Jesuit. But they are very ecumenical in that they welcome people of all faiths.

I don’t really know “how religious” BC is. Santa Clara does not require one to attend. The college has a religion course requirement but well over 100 very interesting courses related to religion (my kid too Women in Religion and an Ethics course, and one other which she really liked ).


USD is not a Jesuit college. It is a Catholic college…and yes, there is a difference in these forms of Catholic practice.

We also toured USD and DD felt it was more conservative than Santa Clara. She also preferred the location of SCU as it wasn’t up on a Hill isolated from the rest of the city.

Have you ever been to SCU or interacted with the Jesuits there. We have.


I said above that USD was not Jesuit. I don’t think it is more religiously strict than Jesuit schools, but has different requirements and different personnel around the school. My niece didn’t like LMU as much as USD. She looked at both Santa Clara and St. Mary’s, but I think just preferred southern Cal. Notre Dame has 20% of students who aren’t Catholic, but I’d say it has a more religious feel than USD.

There are 28 Jesuit colleges in the US. They have a lot in common but some are more pre-professional than others and some certainly attract more catholic students than others. Regis, Wheeling Jesuit, Creighton have a heavy nursing/medical focus while others are more liberal arts focused. Same mission at all schools, just different ways of getting there.


We toured USD and my daughter unexpectedly loved it. She was not interested in the Catholic influence at all, but asked lots of questions and left being totally unconcerned about that aspect of the school. I think there is a one or two class requirement, and there are TONS of interesting courses that qualify. There aren’t any rules on attending faith-based services or restrictive rules on social life.

Not sure if anyone mentioned this though…USD is test BLIND, meaning they won’t look at or consider the ACT score.