Santa Barbara, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 3069 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Varsity Soccer Team – they have a very successful porgram that is rank in the top 25 in the nation

4 College Junior

Athletics: The Basketball Teams – UCSB Gauchos are known for having a great basketball team (men's and women's) and it is very entertaining to watch their games here and then. We have very competitive and upbeat athletes, who make great students as well. Overall, I enjoy going to games in the Thunderdome on campus.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Good Deals, on Room Rents/Shares – Compared to what I would pay living on campus, I saved $200-300 on average by renting a room in the residential area. The neighbothood is safe, I can bike or drive to campus, nice landlord, close to grocery stores, services, and there is always parking spaces available for free outside my place. The cons are probably not many people, and a little far from campus.

3 College Junior

Parking: The parking spaces available off campus is relatively limited. Often times, every space is taken, but driving around for couple of blocks does help. Once parked, if you don't have a bike, it is hard to get to campus, as the average walking distance is 20 minutes.

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: What's Not to Love About an Ocean View? Overall I really like UCSB. It took me a little while to completely adjust but now that I've been there for two quarters I feel a lot more comfortable. My favorite part about Santa Barbara is the environment. On one side of campus there's the ocean, and on the other side there's the mountain view. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would still chose UCSB. I grew up on the beach and I love looking out over the ocean. For someone who does not love the beach, however, I don't know if I would recommend it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: Easygoing Beach Goers – The guys and some girls at UCSB have a reputation of being the "surfer type". While this is a stereotype it is probably fairly accurate because Santa Barbara probably appeals to many beach goers since it is right on the coast. Dress among girls and guys is fairly causal- flip flops and shorts are very common. Bikes and skateboards are the main type of transportation on campus and in the little town off campus. Overall people are fairly easy going and social.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Clubs on Campus Support Diverse Population – UCSB is a fairly diverse school and there is a wide range of economic backgrounds. There are many clubs on campus dedicated to getting students of different religions, political views, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, and interests involved. In general people are very accepting of differences among peers.

4 College Junior

Transportation: great transporation methods. Biking anywhere is easy, great walking paths, and great, free public busses for students

1 College Junior

Parking: there is really not much parking at all. there are parking garages which are outrageously expensive and there are streets to parallel park on but good luck! and be prepared for endless tickets.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: I feel that UCSB is a very active, healthy community. The school provides lots of venues for personal activity. However, I do feel that the school is proned to theft, excesive drinking, and drug use. The campus feels very safe, no outside threats.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Campus Life – The campus at Santa Barbara is absolutely breath-taking. Having the beach as a "neighbor" so to speak is not all that UCSB encompasses. There is a beautiful lagoon behind the University Center building; a beautiful view, indeed. The facilities are progressing. There are new structure buildings that provide the college student all that they need: computer rooms, study rooms, lounging rooms even. In addition to these new structures, there are the lecture halls, most are decent looking, but others need repairing. In all, there may be some mal-looking buildings, but regardless, these buildings give life to the campus. They give color to the life of a college student.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Culture Shock – People were not lying when they said coming to UCSB would be a definite culture shock. Being a Mexican American attending this university, has caused me to feel somewhat left out, considering the local atmosphere is primarily white/caucasian. But, regardless, I have managed to let this local atmosphere to be a positive influence to my well-being and social awareness.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The academics provided are definitely well-rounded. Most professors are understanding, particularly in the Social Sciences area. They offer the student information that one can carry out and follow by throughout one's life. In addition, they are available for office hours if there are any questions or concerns in regards to the course(s).

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Very Fair Campus – In the dorms, drinking and smoking will get you written up if an RA sees/smells it, but they're really not trying to bust you. If you get caught, you have to do a 5 week, 1 hour a week class on alcohol and drugs. It's actually kind of fun. Everyone gets caught at some point, it's just one of those things, but it's not a big deal. Three strikes and you risk getting kicked out of the dorms, but they really try to let you stay unless you keep screwing up. The cops in town will bust kids for open container/minor in possession, so it's typically a bad idea to bring alcohol out with you.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Big If You Want It to Be – Drinking is pretty much the norm 3 nights a week. Isla Vista is a VERY weed friendly town. Most people smoke at least occasionally and few even consider weed a drug. Behind pot and alcohol, the most popular "real" drugs are probably ecstasy and cocaine. Psychedelics are also popular within certain groups (LSD and Mushrooms mainly). All drugs are widely available if you want them, but will never be forced upon you. Most people are broke and don't even want you knowing when they have stuff on them. Law enforcement doesn't seek you out, but if you're doing something stupid you will be stopped and searched.

1 College Freshman

Scholarships: Not Much Aid Given Out – The UCs can't afford to give out financial aid right now, so most people must pay full tuition, which has recently been increased 32 percent.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Not Greek Yet, but Considering It – Greeks are a small, but visible part of campus life. There is absolutely no need to go greek if you just want to party, because there are open houses every night. But greek do it differently.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Most People Live Off Campus – After freshman year, a LARGE majority of students choose to live off campus. Isla Vista is a one square mile community composed almost entirely of UCSB students. It's a bit of a dump, and you're gonna pay more than you'd like to even with a roommate, but everyone loves it anyways. The community that IV creates is amazing.

3 College Freshman

Computers: Good Labs, Bad Connection – You could easily get by without your own computer, which is a good think (although I don't know anyone who doesn't have a laptop). The wireless connection is very shady. It always runs very slowly at peak hours (around 9pm each night when everyone's on facebook), but throughout the day it typically works fast. If you use the ethernet connection that each room has, the internet is MUCH faster and more reliable. Bring a long chord though, the outlets are in very inconvenient locations.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Party Party – Isla Vista is really fun and unlike any other place. It's a tiny place full of college students, you put it together. Basically people have dj's and performers come to their houses and everyone just swarms there to drink, dance, and be belligerent.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Most places open late – There are a lot of options off campus and most places are open pretty late. Hooteez Goodeez is one of my favorites They'll deliver anything to your door! There are also places like Freebirds, Woodstock's, Silvergreen's, Super Cucas, and Subway.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Gets Old Fast – The dining commons get old really fast. There aren't much food places on campus because Isla Vista is right there so there's not a really a need for them.

5 College Freshman

Weather: The Best! We have amazing weather. It never gets too hot or too cold. When it rains, which is rarely, it can get cold. But it never lasts long. Beautiful weather in Santa Barbara.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Good for the Experience – I'd say the dorms are good just to get the experience, but I got bored of it after the first quarter. Living in Isla Vista is definitely more fun. Also, if you don't live in Manzanita Village, you've got quite the walk ahead of you after a night of partying.

College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food is quite edible but not very interesting. It took me less than a week to start to get tired of it.


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Kohn Hall
Kohn Hall
Kohn Hall Kohn Hall Houses the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Louie Tamayo
Long Beach
Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Ask practically any UCSB student, and he or she can give you a long list of things they love about the University, along with a few things they wish they could change. For the most part, UCSB is a college student’s haven with great academics, world-renowned professors, not to mention the great weather and laid-back atmosphere, and lastly who can forget the social scene? Some students describe Santa Barbara as paradise, but for those who quickly get over it and need a getaway, LA is a short one-hour drive south, while San Francisco is only four hours north. There are hidden treasures in Santa Barbara that you can explore and take advantage of while living there.

Do not let the weather and social scene cloud your judgment and decisions—take a deeper look at the school and ask the students. Chances are, the parties are not at the top of their list. Most students fall in love with their internships, clubs and organizations, and research work that prepare them for the real world. The most successful students are those who find a balance between academics and social life. The temptation to blow off school is present wherever you go, so the students pay extra attention to the work they produce. Overall, UCSB is the type of school that produces people that employers are seeking. You will find your fellow peers to be sociable and well-rounded in and out of the workplace. So although you may not get to experience game days like you would at a football school, there is nothing better than being able to catch a quick "surf sesh" before and after your class.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At University of California - Santa Barbara

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