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Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College Rating: 5.0/5 (1 votes)

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Cabrillo College began in 1959 in an old high school with a total enrollment of 400 students. The school is named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer who led the first European expedition to explore the coast of California in 1542. The college currently enrolls more than 17,000 students and offers more than 70 programs, granting associate’s degrees and certificates.


Cabrillo is two-year community college in Aptos, California with an enrollment of more than 17,000 students. The main campus overlooks Monterrey Bay. It is one of 110 public community colleges in California.

Academic programs include associate’s degrees and certificates in more than 70 fields of study, such as computer science, engineering, public safety, marine biology and the arts. It’s allied health school offers degrees in nursing, radiologic technology, dental hygiene and medical assistant.

The Career Technical Education program allows students to earn certificates in a number of different careers. For example, the journalism program prepares students for jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, but give them the skills to find work. Other areas of study in this program include accounting, criminal justice and real estate.

The college is closely connected to the business world in Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay area, and the college offers basic skills courses and courses for business, professional and personal development to help students gain employment in those areas if they desire. A number of non-credit classes are available through the Extension program. Accreditation is granted by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

There are two extension campuses. The Watsonville Center is located in southern Santa Cruz County and is set up for residents in the area to take classes without having to commute to Aptos. The Scotts Valley Campus is located in Scotts Valley, California. It is a satellite campus of the main school.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Admissions are open. Students have to complete six steps to gain admission. They must fill out the school’s application form, and there is no fee to do so. Next, they must apply for financial aid. Then, they must complete the online orientation. Next, the school administers assessment tests for the following areas: math, biology, chemistry and English. After a meeting with an academic advisor, the student is allowed to register for classes and pay their tuition and fees. The school will process an application within two weeks.

Financial Aid

Students have a lot of options when applying financial aid. The school offers scholarships to students on a competitive basis each year with potential, achievement, and financial need used as criteria. The general scholarship program is funded through private donations. The awards range from $500-$2,500. The individual schools and departments also offer scholarships, including the Marguerite Blaisdell Nursing Scholarship, the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust, and the Engineering Scholarhip. Many private citizens and community organizations have also endowed scholarships, and Santa Cruz County high school seniors are also eligible for special awards.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5267th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


There are a number of different options available for students in terms of clubs and organizations on campus. The school has more than 30 clubs, including the Bike Cooperative, which provides bike tool access, mechanical training, work space, discounted parts and supplies to its members; and the Latina Leadership Network, which focuses on leadership development, education and advocacy while addressing concerns in values, culture and race.

The campus features the Robert E. Swenson Library, a collection of services for students that makes it the busiest learning center. The library has a large online database collection for research, a book collection covering all campus instruction, a reserve collection of textbooks and materials required for many classes.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Local Community

Aptos, California is a city in Santa Cruz county that has a population of about 6,200. It features a number of outdoor recreation opportunities. The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park and Seacliff State Beach California state parks are located there. The Nisene Marks is well-regarded by hikers and mountain bikers. Being on the California cost, Aptos beaches are popular surfing and bodyboarding spots. Freeride biking and street skateboarding are also very popular there.

Aptos residents typical pursue entertainment options in nearby Santa Cruz. The Aptos Cinemas movie theater shows indie movies and the 30-year-old Erik’s DeliCafe is nearby. There are also several local bars like the Brittania Arms and Manuel’s Restaurant, which is a local landmark that has served Mexican food for over three decades. Other restaurants include Ma Maison, Bittersweet Bistro, Palapas, Sanderlings, and Cafe Sparrow.

There are a number of entertainment options in Santa Cruz. The downtown area is known for its shopping and local businesses. There are also a number of bars, restaurants and night clubs. The city is known for its outdoor recreational activities, including several state parks and beaches such as Lighthouse Field State Beach, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park, Twin Lakes State Beach, and Seabright State Beach. Santa Cruz has five greenbelt districts and the area is well-known for its sailing, diving, swimming, paddling and surfing opportunities.

The area is also well-known for its culture. Santa Cruz is home to the Santa Cruz Arboretum, Mission Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Musical and drama options include the Santa Cruz County Symphony, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Santa Cruz Film Festival.

Information Summary

Ranks 128th in California and 1866th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Arts Education Classrooms :: Cabrillo College Horticultural Center :: Cabrillo College Student Activities Center :: Cabrillo College College Campus :: Cabrillo College

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 20 0.14
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 6 0.04

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Aptos, CA 95003
Surrounding communityMidsize suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population24,225 (20,189 urban / 4,036 rural)
Households10,098 (2.39 people per house)
Median Household Income$68,760
Families6,422 (2.85 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Large
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingLarge two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District620

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4295th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $1,288 $1,288 $5,628
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $70 $70 $70
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $46 $46 $177
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $3,068 $3,068 $7,408
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $19,295 $19,295 $23,635
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $7,793 $7,793 $12,133

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $1,070 $1,352 $1,070 $1,352 $5,018 $5,664
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,656 $1,665
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $12,051(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,897 $4,167
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,059 $4,284

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 801st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $78,749 ($79,194 male / $64,413 female)
Number of FT Faculty 207 (97 male / 110 female)
Number of PT Faculty 559
FT Faculty Ratio 0.4 : 1
Total Benefits $10,294,473

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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6500 Soquel Dr
Aptos, CA 95003
p. 831-479-6100
w. www.cabrillo.edu

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