So, you’re thinking about applying to UCSB, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. Well, we’re here to help! Of course, there are a lot of factors in the admissions process, and it’s impossible to accurately predict whether you’ll be admitted or not. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores. So, using those as a measure, we can give you an estimate of your chances.
With an acceptance rate of 35.9%, admission to UCSB is extremely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class and have an SAT score of close to 1600, or an ACT score of around 35.
Not quite there? Try taking our SAT prep course and You'll still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at UCSB admission statistics.
UCSB Admissions Statistics
UCSB’s acceptance rate in 2017 was 32.8%. For students applying to the class of 2021, out of 81,828 applicants, UCSB admitted about 26,879. The average GPA of admitted applicants was 4.02, the average ACT score was 27, and the average SAT score was 1330.
For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 28, and the 75th percentile score was 33.
For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1210. The 75th percentile score was 1440.
If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements. Still, at the 25th percentile, your chances of getting in are in the low single digits.
Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.
As we said, admission to UCSB is very competitive. Even if UCSB is your dream school, and even if you’re in the 75th percentile, you’ll still want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.
Generally, you should have at least three safety schools (where you are in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores), three reach schools (where you are in the 25th percentile of GPA/test scores) and three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores) on your list.
OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took a look at UCSB’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.
UCSB Application Requirements
To apply to UCSB, you’ll need to meet the minimum subject requirements, grade point requirement, and either ACT (w/ essay) scores or SAT (w/essay) scores to meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Everything should be submitted on November 30th.
Here’s a full list of application requirements:
- Students must complete UC-approved courses in 7 different subject areas with a grade 'C' or higher
- Students must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 (for in-state) or 3.4 (out-of-state residents) in the UC-approved courses, via those courses taken during 10th and 11th grades
- Students must submit scores from either the ACT or SAT, both requiring the written essay sections
The application deadline is November 30th. March 2nd is the financial aid application deadline. Regular Decision applicants find out their fates in mid-March.
Have you been admitted to UCSB? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse of what your classmates will be like.
UCSB Admitted Students Profile
If you matriculate at UCSB, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.
Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:
- Roughly 47% are male and 53% are female
- 8.4% of students are international
UCSB has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:
- International: 8.4%
- Underrepresented minority: 1.6%
- Two or more races: 6.6%
- White: 37.5%
What do these admitted students plan to study? UCSB offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of the top programs:
- Social Sciences
- Visual and Performing Arts
Now, how are you going to pay for this?
UCSB Tuition Figures
At $55,219, UCSB’s cost of attendance is astronomical. But, don’t panic! Most incoming students receive some form of financial aid, and the average award is $20,526.
Here’s a fuller look at UCSB tuition and financial aid in 2017:
- Total budget: $55,219
- Average financial aid package: $20,526 (need-based)
- The average student debt of a UCSB graduate is $21,001
Now, what is life like at UCSB? Let’s take a look.
UCSB is located near Isla Vista, California, about eight miles outside of Santa Barbara.
Located on top of cliffs above the Pacific Ocean, UCSB's campus actually is technically not a part of the city of Santa Barbara itself. It is considered a separate entity because it was never annexed by the local government.
Remember, you’re going to UCSB for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.
UCSB has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:
- Biomolecular Science and Engineering
- Political Science
- Computer Science
- Germanic and Slavic Studies
- Speech and Hearing Sciences
- Medieval Studies
- Media Arts and Technology
- Military Science
- Mechanical Engineering
Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at UCSB.
Student Life at UCSB
UCSB has hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.
Here’s a sampling of UCSB’s student activities:
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- Amigos de UC Santa Barbara
- Ethics Bowl
- Gu's Academy
- Model United Nations
- Women In Physics
- Feminist Fight Club
- American Indian Student Association
- Basque Club at UCSB
- Gaucho Street Dance
- Japanese Language Cafe
- The Catalyst Literary Magazine
- Student Veterans Organization
- 3D For Everyone
- Bad Movie Club
- EDM For Charity
Are you an athlete? UCSB’s got plenty of options for you.
UCSB offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. So, if you’re not up to varsity level, remember there are plenty of club and intramural sports to try out for, too.
UCSB’s sports include:
- Swimming & Diving
- Water Polo
- Track & Field
Who might you become with a UCSB degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:
UCSB has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.
Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:
- Actor Michael Douglas
- Actress Gwyneth Paltrow
- Myspace co-founder Josh Berman
- Nobel Prize laureate Carol Greider
- Author Reza Aslan
- EDM musician Steve Aoki
- TMZ founder Harvey Levin
- Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak
- MLB pitcher Barry Zito
- Film producer Ryan Kavanaugh
- Oceanographer Robert Ballard
And this is only a partial list!
Getting into UCSB is very competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no. If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the more competitive schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are. If you work hard, you’ll end up at a school that’s right for you, and still get a great education.
If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States.
Our expert teachers and tutors will not only share with you tried and true methods for improving your score, but also help you correct deficiencies in any subject that you’re having difficulty with—English, Writing, Mathematics or Science. Additionally, online classes can be watched On Demand, so if you miss a class due to your busy schedule, you can catch it online later.
We have helped hundreds of students get the scores they need to attend the school of their dreams.
Best of luck with your applications and go check out Prep Expert!
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