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 Freshman

Campus Housing: Live However You Want – Here at UCSB, you can choose how many dorm mates you want which is really good in my opinion. What I love is the 2-in2 plan which is where you are guaranteed on-campus housing for your last two years if you live on campus for your entire first two years.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Mostly Surfer Type Guys – Guys here are definitely athletic! I mean, you kind of have to be if you live right next to the beach! They are mostly surfer type looking dudes which are alright. They definitely are friendly and fun.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Very Excited – I have yet to begin my studies here at UC Santa Barbara. So far, I have heard nothing but good news and positive reviews from people I know. The campus is beautiful, campus live is very vibrant and I have hard there are great professors as well as awesome classes. I still have two months until Fall quarter starts but I wish I could begin right away!

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: So Many Options! UCSB is located within a small town known as Isla Vista, California. This town is nearly entirely comprised of all students attending either the city college in downtown Santa Barbara or UCSB. There are many different options for housing, from apartments to houses that are available to students. It has also been a great way to meet people in the area and make friends! Since you're surrounded by students just like you, making friends is practically impossible to do. The pricing is a bit expensive, but reasonable prices aren't hard to find! From my perspective as a student, though it is pricey, you definitely get your monies worth when taking into account the location and many other variables! Its not too often college students have the privilege of living feet away from the beach. There is also a great transportation system for students if housing in the area is too expensive and choose to live outside of IV. The bus schedule and route makes traveling extremely easy!

4 College Senior

Computers: For the most part you can find a computer on campus when you need it. The library has a whole first floor with computers and printers, the above floors also have computers available but not as many. The library is completely wireless and most big buildings such as the University Center, lecture halls and the Student Resource Center are completely wireless. If you have a laptop or smartphone (iPad etc.) you should not have much trouble accessing the internet. Having a laptop is useful but you can manage without one. Printing is free for the first 100 pages at a couple of labs so its budget friendly! After that its 10 cents a page so its really cheap.

4 College Senior

Weather: Better Than Most Places – Most days are sunny and bright, its very predictable. During winter quarter, it doesn't feel like its even winter! Spring and summer are the best times to be in Santa Barbara because its always sunny and bright. Fall is cold but its bearable, it only rains sometimes but for the most part its beautiful weather!!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Not a Great Variety, and Meal Plan Very Strict – The dining commons at UCSB do their best to keep things interesting, and the first few weeks it seems awesome. But as the year goes on, the menu becomes predictable. You must use up all your meals each week, as there is no rollover option. Also, if your non-UCSB friends want to eat at the dining hall, you have to pay for them through your student account, which remains there for months till the quarter is over- rather inconvenient.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Lots to Eat in Isla Vista – There are tons of restaurants and fast food joints along Pardall Rd in IV. They have many options for college students, including a bagel place, starbucks, woodstocks, freebirds, and many more. You will find something you love.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Still Social Without Being Greek – Greek life is a major part of UCSB's social scene, as most of the larger parties are hosted by these organizations. However, there is not pressure to join a frat or sorority, and there are many social opportunities regardless of your preference.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Never a Boring Day in SB – Most UCSB students live in Isla Vista which is right next to campus. There is always something happening in IV. It is never a boring night here, but partying isn't everything. We also have downtown SB, which is a great place to shop, hangout, and dine. The Santa Barbara Zoo is a must-go if you're an animal lover. Our campus has many diverse clubs that always hold many cultural events during the weekends. I have many friends who go fishing near the pier during the weekends as well. Last but not least, the beach is definitely a place to be at during the hot sunny days. On one side of the beach, there are grills and benches to have picnics.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Convenience and Quality – There are plenty of restaurants that are within biking or walking distance. The food is good too depending on where you go. You get what you pay for. The prices are about average compared to anywhere else. The fancier restaurants are a little further but you could always bus there if you don't have a car. But the casual sit down restaurants are all located near each other. You could go from mexican restaurants to asian cuisine to indian cuisines from just a short block away. The most popular place here would have to be Freebirds. This is a place that every UCSB student must try before they graduate. It might be a little pricey but its great after a long night out.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Awesome College Experiences Happen Here – UCSB is in the most beautiful location. It is near the beach and the weather is great. The people here are very friendly and approachable. There is always something happening in this small but close community, but studying should always be a first priority. The library at UCSB has a 24 hr to study once the library closes at 12am. A lot of places here are opened very late and a few places are even open 24 hrs. I love that I could go get a snack whenever I'm hungry at night and then continue studying. All nighters aren't recommended but if they have to be done, then it is very convenient. There is also always parties and something crazy going on every weekend but try not to get sucked into it too much. Studying goes first.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: Sunny Santa Barbara – Most of the time, it is very sunny in Santa Barbara and you can wear shorts around campus. It rains occasionally and when it does, it is much harder for students to want to go to class. The summer has the perfect beach weather. The beach is 2 minutes away from the dorms so that does explain why it gets really cold at night though. The sun may be out but it could still be pretty chilly.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I really have enjoyed many of my professors at UCSB. They are very helpful and care about their students' grades a lot. They are available for additional office hours and enjoy what they teach. Office and virtual hours are always helpful and they are always on top of their teaching and the amount of detail.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: I don't have a car at UCSB but my friends do and they say that it's okay but you have to be careful where you do and if it can get damaged.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Party School – UCSB is most known for it's party scene! Although the rumors are true, we are also very hardworking! Our students work really hard to balance partying and school. We have great studying places around campus. Don't be afraid that you won't fit in because you aren't a party animal, because I'm NOT and I loved living there.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Isla Vista Is the Place to Be! Restaurants in Isla Vista are quite convenient! Although the Mexican food at Rosarito's let me down, the other restaurants (such as Sushiya) were off the hook! And the campus coupon book got me some sweet deals too!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Delicious & Nutritious – There are 4 different dinning commons, all available for students with meal plans. Although the menu options may become repetitive if you only visit one dinning common, there are always more options at the other 3! The food is so delicious, it can be very easy to get carried away and end up with the Freshman 15. Nevertheless, the food is always great and the dessert is exceptional (especially for lunch!).

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Only Busy During Finals Week – It's not a big problem if you don't own a computer at UCSB - but it's definitely more convenient if you do. The labs have good hours, but sometimes they have class in them, and you definitely can't pull an all nighter there. Laptop recommended, but labs are great if you need to print! You get a ton of free pages.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Stay in on Sundays – The bus system is great - except on Sundays or late night. Jeez! Other than that, show your ID with the bus sticker, and you can go anywhere and everywhere you need to go in the surrounding areas.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: We have a beautiful library, a well equipped gym, and a student center that's got plenty of food as well as study spaces. Campus activities, including concerts and shows, are always excellent, and campus itself is beautiful. UCSB can't be beat when it comes to resources and a naturally beautiful environment, that's for sure!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Depends how you roll – Marijuana use is prevalent and I've been to parties where I've witnessed hard drugs being abused as well. "Study drugs" can be popular too come finals week. That being said, your safety is really up to you. It is easily available so if you use drugs, there is obviously risk involved. But if you abstain from drug use, then you'll be safe.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: More genuine than you'd expect – I never thought I'd join a sorority, but after meeting genuine people in greek life I decided to rush and I am so glad I did.

Only about 10% of the campus is greek which is nice because it's big enough that you can join and have tons of fun, but also small enough that you don't have to join one to have a good time.

Some people make it their identity and only are friends with people in their house. Most of us however, just use it as a way to meet new people, and are friends with just as many non-greeks as well.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Don't Need a Car – To get across campus or Isla Vista, students either walk, bike, or longboard. The only time I go somewhere is to go downtown or to the train station and the bus system is free for students and only takes about 20 minutes.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Parking: Lots of Spaces Available, Just Really Expensive – There are several parking garages throughout campus, but it'll cost you hundreds of dollars each quarter which is why most students don't bring their cars. To be honest though you don't really need one because the bus system is free for all students and takes you downtown or to the airport/train station/etc. and Isla Vista is within walking distance.

1 person found this useful Report

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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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