Choosing a College: University of California, Santa Barbara

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!

School Spotlight: University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the University of California Santa Barbara is home to a diverse population of 21,500 undergraduates. Forty percent of freshmen are the first in their families to attend a four-year college, while over 60 percent of undergraduates identify as students of color. With strong programs in engineering and the life sciences, it’s no wonder that more than half of undergraduates conduct research during their time at UCSB. But research here crosses all disciplines. Through the Faculty Research Assistance Program, students are connected to professors in fields—such as political science, theatre, and statistics—to help conduct original research on everything from the effects of skin color in politics to the modeling of complex financial systems. It’s nearly impossible not to take advantage of UCSB’s amazing location. Recreational sports options include kayaking and scuba diving in the Channel Islands, as well as learning the art of canyoneering and rappelling through some local waterfalls. Looking at the University’s events calendar, you’d be impressed by the roster of past and future guests. This spring, students had the opportunity to attend performances by David Sedaris and Alan Cumming, as well as lectures by Michael Pollan and Yo Yo Ma.

Photo credit: Top, Courtesy of Matt Perko, UC Santa Barbara

Getting the Most out of a College Visit

Written by Elyse Krantz
Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Elyse received her BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College.