General Information FAQS

Will my student's cell phone work on-campus?

The UCSC campus is located on a large hill overlooking Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay. Since the campus has many tall redwood trees and buildings are situated within the trees, cell phone reception is extremely sporadic. The quality of your reception on-campus depends on your carrier; Porter's micro cellular antennas service Nextel/Sprint, Verizon, Cingular and T-Mobile plans. If you are interested, you may be able to purchase discounted service here.

Are there ATMs on-campus?

Bank of America, Bay Federal Credit Union, and Wells Fargo all have ATMs on-campus. There are also a small number of independent ATMs throughout campus at the cafes. Keep in mind that with comprehensive bus service, the students have relatively easy access to most banks downtown.

What is public transportation like?

The student ID card serves as a bus pass for the Santa Cruz Metro buses, which run throughout the county. The campus also provides a free shuttle service daily. On weekends a shuttle transports students to the Fremont BART station, where they may connect with much of the Bay Area. For more information, visit the TAPS site.

What type of computer should we buy?

That answer really depends on your student and the type of work they plan to be doing. Graphics work or intensive programs require a different type of computer than someone who may just be typing papers and sending email. Many students prefer a laptop, as wireless is available in most of the campus. For up-to-date and specifi information on recommended systems and discounts, refer to the recommendations from Residential Networking.

Should students buy/bring a bike?

That depends on the student. If they already ride their bike often, they will most likely want one here. If you are considering buying a new one, though, you may want to wait until the student arrives on campus and has a chance to decide what kind to get. The campus is located on a hillside and can be quite rugged – many students prefer to walk or take the shuttles or buses instead.

Should each student have their own printer?

There are computer labs around campus where students may print, sometimes for free. But generally they may find it easiest to have a printer in their room.

Can we have our bills sent home?

UCSC has gone "green", now using e-billing and e-payment systems through Sallie Mae. For more information, please visit the Student Business Services website.