Shantel Yvonne VanSanten was born in Luverne, Minnesota. She is of Dutch and Norwegian descent. VanSanten was raised in Dallas, Texas where she attended Incarnate Word Academy (an all-girls college prep school) in Houston and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. VanSanten also started her career as a model at the age of fifteen for the Page Parkes Management.
VanSanten first appeared as a finalist on NBC's reality television series Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Model Search but was eliminated in the series's first episode.
In 2007, it was announced she had signed on in a film adaption of the novel t.A.T.u. Come Back. Filming took place throughout 2007 in Los Angeles and Moscow. Starring alongside Mischa Barton, the film premiered in Russia on January 25, 2011, and in the U.S. a year later.
In 2009, VanSanten appeared as Lori Milligan in The Final Destination, the fourth installment in the Final Destination film series. Released on August 28, 2009, the film debuted at #1 earning $28.3 million in its first weekend. The film was released to negative reviews, but earned international gross of $183.2 million. It is Shantel's highest grossing film to date. Also in 2009, she made a guest appearance in the television series CSI: NY in the episode "She's Not There" as Tara Habis.
In 2009 Shantel was cast as a series regular on The CW television drama series One Tree Hill in the series seventh season. She portrays the role of photographer Quinn James and the on screen sibling to Bethany Joy Lenz's character. Shantel's role on the series has continued till the series ninth and final season. Shantel's final appearance was in the series 187th and final episode One Tree Hill which premiered on April 4th 2012. BuddyTV ranked her #24 on its "TV's 100 Sexiest Women of 2010" list and #21 in 2011.
VanSanten stars as Christine in Something Wicked. The film is the last to feature the late actress Brittany Murphy, who portrays VanSanten's sister-in-law Susan.Shantel appeared as the female lead in Fragile Bird music video by Canadian Alternative band City and Colour. In the spring of 2012, Shantel began shooting the movie "Home for Christmas" opposite Rob Mayes, Mark Famiglietti, Nikki DeLoach and Orson Bean in a family, romantic, holiday comedy directed by Michael Feifer.
- Among the sports Shantel is skilled at are volleyball, knee-and-wakeboarding, track and field, water-, slalom-, and jet-skiing, Frisbee, flag football, softball, badminton, sprinting, and running.
- As a model, she has been featured in magazines like Teen Vogue and Seventeen.
- She plays the older sister of Bethany Joy Lenz's character Haley James Scott in "One Tree Hill" (2003) despite being four years younger than Galeotti in real life.
- Was in the delivery room when "One Tree Hill" (2003) costar Bethany Joy Lenz gave birth to daughter, Maria.
- Close friends with "One Tree Hill" (2003) costars Robert Buckley, Stephen Colietti and Bethany Joy Lenz.