University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, Tuition, Graduation Rate, and More

University of California,Santa Barbara
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The University of California at Santa Barbara has selective admissions. The acceptance rate was just 33 percent in 2017, and accepted students almost all have grades and SAT/ACT scores that are well above average. The admissions process isn't all numerical, so be sure to put time and care into your University of California personal insight essays, and make sure your application represents the full breadth and depth of your extracurricular involvement. You can calculate your chances of getting in with Cappex's free tool.

UCSB, the University of California at Santa Barbara, ranks highly among the nation's public universities. UCSB has wide ranging strengths in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering that have earned it membership in the selective Association of American Universities. The 1,000-acre campus is also a draw for many students, for the university has miles of beachfront property on the California coast (the university made the list of Colleges for Beach Lovers). Historically the school has also found itself high on rankings of the country's top party schools. Academics are supported by a 17 to 1 student to faculty ratio. In athletics, the UCSB Gauchos compete in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference.

Admissions Data (2017)

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 25,057 (22,186 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 46% male / 54% female
  • 98% full-time

Costs (2017-18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $14,451 (in-state); $42,465 (out-of-state)
  • Books: $1,143 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $15,169
  • Other Expenses: $5,348
  • Total Cost: $36,111 (in-state); $64,125 (out-of-state)

UCSB Financial Aid (2016-17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 64 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 57 percent
    • Loans: 37 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $19,558
    • Loans: $6,053

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Anthropology, Biology, Business, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Film, Global Studies, History, Legal Studies, Mechanical Engineering, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Transfer, Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 93 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 68 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 81 percent

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Water Polo
  • Women's Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track Field, Volleyball, Water Polo

UCSB Mission Statement

See the complete mission statement at

"The University of California, Santa Barbara is a leading research institution that also provides a comprehensive liberal arts learning experience. Because teaching and research go hand in hand at UC Santa Barbara, our students are full participants in an educational journey of discovery that stimulates independent thought, critical reasoning, and creativity. Our academic community of faculty, students and staff is characterized by a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration that is responsive to the needs of our multicultural and global society. All of this takes place within a living and learning environment like no other, as we draw inspiration from the beauty and resources of UC Santa Barbara's extraordinary location at the edge of the Pacific Ocean."

Data Source: National Center for Education Statistics