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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3 College Freshman

Majors: I have not yet had an internship, but I would definitely love to further my experience and practical knowledge in the field of physics. I would hope to find an internship working with a company active in research or some form of education outreach. I want to find an internship (hopefully) as soon as the summer after my current freshman year.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: A Very Foggy Process – I thought that the financial aid process here would be similar to that of the other UC's. I did not receive clear emails or assistance on the financial aid process and had to call the financial aid office multiple times to clarify steps along the way. I received no grants, and 5500 in unsubsidized loans. The rest necessitated another unsubsidized loan.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: As a freshman, I have yet to fully experience Santa Barbara or Goleta. However, the area is aesthetically definitely the best. Dormitories overlook the ocean, hills with beautiful scenic hiking trails are less than 20 minutes away, and the weather is mild and refreshing. There is not much to do within walking distance of the university (but again, I am not the most reliable source), so there are a lot of parties for students to amuse themselves. Santa Barbara itself is fairly suburban and upper middle class, and a fairly calm ocean-side city.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Your Pretty but Your Personality Is Eww – There is a variety of decent looking people on campus. Many are very attractive with a great personality to as others are stuck up mking them ugly.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Housing Is Expensive! I beleive that as a first year student housing is very pricey. It takes away from all of our financial aid money and leaves hardly any money for books. I rather live off campus which i have heard from fellow peers that is a lot more cheaqper.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Variety but Repetitive – The dining commons offer a variety of food especially at De La Guerra. In De La Guerra there is always a variety of good quality food. Other dining commons have poor variety and are not as apetizing. A 14 meal plan would be sufficient not too much and not too little. If you get a 19 meal plan you will find yourself with extra meals at the end of every week.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: My experience with the financial aid process was better than I expected. Because I decided to come to a UC instead of a state or private school I got more financial aid in addition to the new freshman scholarship from UCSB. I advise people to get there financial aid done early and set out a plan if you need to take out loans.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Academic Assistance – I was shocked at the amount of out of class help that was available for us students on campus. First of all there are classes called CLAS which is a 50 minute class where you review material from lectures and are able to ask questions about anything in a small class environment of about 20 students or can schedule a 1 on 1 tutoring section for no cost. In addition, you have professors and teacher assisstants office hours, CLAS teachers hours, and individual "labs" such as math lab which is a drop in tutorial for math. To top it off you have fellow students who want to succeed just lke you do and are more than willing to form a study group to study together.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: IV Is Disgusting – Isla vista is disgusting, low quality and rent is excruciatingly expensive for bad housing.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Computers: Slow Wireless Connection – There is wireless all across campus but it tends to get really slow.

2 College Junior

Scholarships: International Student – Hard to get financial aid as an international student.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Kind of Strict – I know three people who had to go to jail overnight for being drunk in public.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greeks Don't Dominate the Scene – Since UCSB is a party school, people party regardless of their greek affiliation. Greeks are generally friendly to non-Greeks.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The Perfect College Town! Relaxed and Convenient – It is the perfect location for college students. The campus is sandwiched between the ocean and Isla Vista - which has various shops and then becomes the residential area where many students live right alongside the locals. Of course, IV is the place to party and you can expect music to be blasting pretty much every day of the week. Since there is a 24 hour room at the school library, you can still get away to study but if that's not to your style, it's best to avoid living there. Especially during the Halloween weekend, when tens of thousands of people flood there to the well-known UCSB Halloween fest.
There are a couple market places only five minutes away by car with big name stores like Costco, Ross, Home Depot, K-Mart, and more. Every Sunday there is a Farmer's Market that goes on there and you can get some pretty good stuff and pretty good prices. There is really no need to get out of 10 minutes' range from campus to get everything you need. But, if you do want a little more adventure, downtown is only fifteen minutes away by freeway and there are plenty of shops and eateries to explore. There is a Farmer's Market here, too, on Tuesdays which is much larger than the one by campus. The weather is generally good and not too cold or too hot, but the fog does set in at night pretty often.

4 College Freshman

Weather: Couldn't Get Any Better – The weather here is great. Temperature highs rarely reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, since the campus is right next to the beach, it helps us cool down whenever we are feeling a bit stuffed up in the dorms or any other building. Walking to class is relaxing with the pleasant weather. Though there are days when it can get really foggy and rainy, the sun is often out to give us that feeling of pleasantry.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Weather: Fluctuates almost constantly. When you get sun, bask in it! It's likely to disappear the very next day.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Guys and Girls – Guys, unless you're tall, handsome and athletic, don't come here. You're in for torture. Girls, anyhow you look, you're always welcome.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Housing Off Campus – Very quiet and comforting. Especially if it's away from the party scene

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Fun, Parties, but Studying...? Nope – UCSB is known for parties and that's a fact. It all happens in Isla Vista in the streets of Del Playa known as DP in IV. Partying is fun but to live off campus in IV is not a smart decision in terms of studying...

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: From 12 different flavors of ice cream for dessert, they have brownies, cookies, whatever you like. DLG is the best dining common in my opinion because they have mexican grill, italian section, and asian food section. THe pizza is bomb. They have a huge salad bar and lots of varieties every day. It does get repetitive some times but there are different dinning commons to choose from.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Santa Barbara has a lot of activities for people to do in Isla Vista for 18 year olds and 21 year olds. It is close to campus so getting there and going back to your dorm is no hassle whatsoever. They also have free buses that are in service very late

2 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Too Many Unfocused Boys and Girls – There are far too many party people at our school. The majority of boys and girls care too much about having fun and going out than their actual classes. It's sad too see so many of them wasting their time and money like that.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: Majority Is Obvious – The majority of students on this campus are wealthy or white students. There is a great number of Asians as well, but not that many Hispanics and even far less African Americans. As far as ideology, the students here are very diverse with a broad perspective of many topics. Many groups of people host events to teach us about their cultures and show diversity.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Isla Vista Is Pretty Insane – drinking is pretty excessive here. Isla Vista is packed on the weekends with thousands of drunken college kids. Cops are strict when it comes to certain rules. there isn't too much peer pressure. some people choose not to drink

2 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greeks Aren't Big – Most houses aren't that nice. Greek life isn't that big. Many parties to compete with the Greek houses


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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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