Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Undergrads
18,318
Tuition (in-state)
$36,549 ($13,671)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 3065 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Coastal Community – UCSB is located directly on the beach with Santa Barbara and Goleta on its borders. The beach atmosphere produces a laid back and easy- going community of students and faculty. I am from Huntington Beach so coming from one beach community to another allowed for a smooth transition to the cultural atmosphere.

4 College Junior

Academics: Emphasis on Research – I am a biology major and was very pleased with the emphasis on research and new scientific studies. The workload was difficult but kept me on track and focused on my studies. My interest in the curriculum helped me stay determined throughout each class and having wonderful professors added to the experience as well. I feel adequately prepared for life after graduation thanks to the curriculum at UCSB.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Guys and Girls – Guys are very frat looking, same with girls. Everyone is social and likes to party.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: It Is Okay – A good change from the garbage campus food. Prices are a bit higher than other places but there are some student discounts available.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Overall Experience: Everyone's really tolerant and more or less friendly. but it's very hard to meet people if you're not really into going out and getting ridiculously drunk every night. This school is beautiful and the atmosphere is great but it is very cliquey and it takes a while to find a niche if you only party moderately or want to make friends on a deeper level than just drinking buddies. I would most likely choose a school without a huge reputation for partying if I could choose again. At first I thought I could avoid it but that only made me feel isolated and made it difficult to make friends.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Police Are Brutal – because we live in a small college town right by the beach, partying and drinking has become an integral part of the culture.as a result cops seem to think everyone is nothing more than a drunken teenager looking for trouble. they are not at all helpful when a lot of the time students NEED their attention and to be taken seriously by an adult. on some level i don't blame them. A lot of kids do and say some really stupid things when drunk, but the cops should take the time to talk to people they come across and then evaluate how they should be treated

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Isla Vista Is Fun – Isla Vista, the small town right by campus is really fun with a vibrant community. There isn't much to do besides eat or drink but there's such an eclectic collection of places that have been here for decades. The beach atmosphere is what really attracts everyone and it's like an endless summer.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: The school gives free bus stickers to students, meaning free bus rides all the time pretty much anywhere around the city and the neighboring city. The school is a short bus ride away from the airport, the greyhound station and the train station. There is also an online site you can log on to and sign up to pay for a car ride with someone from your school that is going either to or past where you want to go. It's actually really easy and a nice way to meet people.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: The school is diverse, many ethnic/racial groups from different economic backgrounds. In terms of political beliefs, I would say most would be liberal as well as approving of gay rights. There are many churches around campus, catholic, christian and jewish temples. I don't recall a large religious group being active on campus though.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Computers: Carry Your Personal Computer – Although having a personal computer would be very helpful, if you do not own one, the library offers free computer use and there are scattered computer labs around campus. They are open every day, with different hours, so you would have to plan it around that schedule but it is doable. Printing can get expensive though with 10 cents a page...

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: I think that is what is most unique about my school is how close to the beach it is. The school itself is on a cliff directly over the beach. There is direct beach access from many points on campus. The college town is located directly next to the campus and many students have beautiful views of the ocean. There is beach access every block in the town next to campus.

1 person found this useful Report
2 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Santa Barbara is not nearly as warm as I would like. Because the campus is located so close to the beach it is very foggy most of the time. It can pour pretty hard as well. But summers don't get too hot and when it's nice out EVERYONE hangs out at the beach.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: UCSB has a good CHO program, which are students who are the campus escort system. You can call the CHO at any time of day or night and they will come and walk or bike with you to wherever it is that you need to go. They are extremely helpful and usually quite friendly. They also make their rounds through the Resident Halls in order to ensure that it is a safe environment there at all times.

1 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Parking your car on campus is definitely your safest bet, although incredibly expensive. Depending on where you live, how many people you live with, and whether you live in a house or a car, parking can either not be a problem at all, or it can be a huge pain. Most apartments in the town right off of campus where most students live offer 1 parking space per unit. The parking space is usually around $200 for the year. Otherwise you have to park on the street, which is extremely crowded and often times you will spend half an hour searching for a spot.

2 people found this useful Report
1 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: UCSB has a huge alcohol abuse program. It's students are known for drinking to the point of blacking out Thursday-Saturday night. While not all students take part in this party scene, a large amount of students do. The study drugs come out mostly during midterms and finals weeks. Quite a few students go on these drugs while at the library, but peer pressure doesn't seem high.

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Students are very involved in club sports teams. Some students form teams with their friends and other just join a team through the gym based on what sport and level they are interested in. The same level and sport teams then have scheduled games against one another where they play at the gym. Students love this, as they can play anything from soccer to inner tube water volleyball. As far as official sports teams go, our soccer team definitely gets the biggest crowd, as our team is known for our soccer team. We have no football team unfortunately.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: I don't qualify for financial aid but those that do get a lot of benefits. There are tons of low interest loans available and pretty much every on campus job is for "work study" students only. Being a state school means lots of state funding despite recent budget cuts.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: Its Not All Greek to Me... Get It? Its fun to go to the parties but its not social suicide if you don't. I'm not in a sorority but I go to frat parties some times because they are fun and you can meet cute guys there. As for sororities, I have friends who are in them and love it, but I don't regret not joining one either. I hang out with all my friends in sororities so its not really a defining feature at our campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Academics: Academically Great But lacking. I am an economics major as I wanted a business-applicable degree, which economics is, but it is not very focused on applying what we learn in class to our post-college world. There's a lot of math but there's also a few really great teachers. There are so great clubs you can join to supplement your knowledge and help you find internships and jobs. Its a great economics program I just wish we had some more outside contact within the curriculum. And get to know your professors! They don't bite.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Facilities: Work Hard, Play Harder – I think UCSB's waterfront location, "smaller" Greek system, and lack of a football team has encouraged the development of an incredibly strong and unique social scene. All throughout the year, out-of-towners flock to Isla Vista to experience the nightlife. We live up to - and maybe even surpass - our party school reputation. However, associated with this "party lifestyle" is a welcoming and inclusive attitude. Affiliation with particular groups is not required to possess an active and exciting social life. For the most part, the students here are friendly and enjoy socializing and meeting other people who like to celebrate the weekend, college life, and essentially, their youth. However, a remarkable quality about UCSB's students is that underneath our party animal persona, we're actually pretty smart. We may play hard, but we work hard too.

3 College Junior

Diversity: The SB Bubble – In all reality, Santa Barbara fails to qualify as a diverse campus. I'm aware of the different organizations that attempt to promote social consciousness/acceptance; however, it's difficult to ignore the racial separation amongst the general student population. Santa Barbara is a beach city and consequently representative of white hegemony.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Mixed Feelings – I've personally always felt safe on campus. However, I've heard stories of female students getting sexually assaulted and not receiving must aid from campus police.

3 College Senior

Weather: On the coast in Southern California, it's hard to complain about weather. Most of the time it is sunny, and we do have rainy times, but it the weather usually doesn't get us down because cloudy/sad/emo weather never lasts very long at all.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Academics: Getting Worse. While our professors are undoubtedly accredited to be at this university, the class sizes are huge and do not allow for any kind of relationship between students and their professors to form. In addition, tuition is getting more expensive with no improvement or increase in classes offered.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: IV Is the Definition of Cool. Isla Vista is the community that 90 percent of the students who live off-campus live in. Every house for a 1 square mile radius is occupied by a college student, and there is an anything goes vibe that radiates from this place. It's on the ocean, and the beach is less than a ten minute walk from anywhere in IV. The restaurants cater to a college student's budget with specials and happy hours. There are multiple events throughout the year in which groups and clubs plan activities and concerts in the big park in the middle of IV. It's literally the coolest place ever, and can only be experienced, not explained.

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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
Hometown
Long Beach
Major
Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Grad Year
2012
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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