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Santa Ana College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research the degree and certificate programs offered at Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, CA. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

About Santa Ana College

Santa Ana College (SAC), which originated as Santa Ana Junior College, opened in 1915 as an addition to Santa Ana High School and was moved to its current location in 1947. The campus sits on approximately 65 acres and is the fourth oldest community college in California. For the past five years, Community College Week has named Santa Ana College as one of the top associate degree providers for minority students in the country. Santa Ana College is a member of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.


Santa Ana College offers over 100 programs, including approximately 65 associate degree programs, 16 certificate programs and 32 certificate of achievement programs. Classes are separated into six divisions: business, exercise science & athletics, fine & performing arts, human services & technology, humanities & social sciences, and science, mathematics & health sciences. The school contains over 40 departments in fields such as accounting, nursing and welding technology. Television or online classes are also available.

SAC students have access to several off-campus facilities, such as a fire academy, a sheriff's academy, a digital media center and a workforce development center. The college also offers continuing education programs.

Santa Ana College operates a thriving athletic department as part of the California Community College Athletic Association. The Santa Ana Dons, as the school is called, have won 6 national titles, 25 state championships and 101 conference championships. Athletes can compete in baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, swimming and wrestling games. The college is equipped with a variety of sports facilities, such as baseball and football fields, a gymnasium, a wrestling room and a swimming pool.


All colleges in the Rancho Santiago District, including Santa Ana College, have an open admission policy. However, students must hold a high school education or be at least 18 years old. High schoolers may be able to take classes if they meet Career Advanced Placement requirements. Prospective students should fill out an online application and send transcripts from previous educational institutions.

Assessments are available in English, reading, ESL, math and chemistry to assist students in their class selections. After assessments are complete, students are assigned an orientation date to meet with a counselor and receive general information about classes and assessments scores. More individualized assistance, including creation of a class schedule, is provided in an advising appointment following orientation. Some academic programs, such as criminal justice, fire technology and nursing, may come with additional admission requirements.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As of 2012, in-state students paid a tuition enrollment fee of $46 per unit. Out-of-state students paid $46 per unit, in addition to a $203-per-unit non-resident fee. For the 2011-2012 school year, students could expect to pay approximately $1,500 for books and supplies, $10,600 for off-campus housing and $3,400 for miscellaneous expenses. There are currently no partial payment plans offered.

SAC students have numerous options for financial assistance, such as federal work-study programs, grants and loans. State assistance is offered in the form of grants and the Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW). BOGW helps with enrollment costs for students who demonstrate a significant financial need and meet specific requirements. Scholarship opportunities are available that range in amounts up to $10,000. Students may be eligible to receive textbook assistance.

School Type Public, 2-year*
Degrees Offered Associate's, certificate programs*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters**
School Setting Large city*
Student Body 30,289 students (all undergraduates) in 2011*
Student Housing No*
Departments and Programs Over 40 departments; over 100 programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 43 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Associate's: Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies (730)
Certificate: Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies (750)*
Graduation Rates for Those Beginning in 2007 8% in the normal time for completion
22% within 150% of the normal time for completion
31% in twice the normal time for completion*
Admission Rate Open admission policy*
Entering Class Size 1,959 in 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates from 2010-2011 69% (full-time students)
32% (part-time students)*
Application Dates Fall semester: begins April 1
Spring semester: begins November 1
Summer session: begins April 1**
Tuition and Fees (2011-2012) $46 per unit for in-state students
$249 per unit for out-of-state students**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving It) For 2010-2011:
Grant or scholarship aid (30%)
Pell grants (11%)
Federal student loans (2%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 76% of first-time students in 2010-2011*

Sources: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); **Santa Ana College; ***IPEDS Data Center, NCES.

School Contact Information

  • Address: 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398
  • Phone: (714) 564-6005
  • Website:

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