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Rank: 30

University of California-Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CAwww.ucsb.edu
Students come to the University of California-Santa Barbara with many expectations: to be challenged academically, to enjoy the beautiful Pacific coast scenery, and to party their socks off. From day one, students say, UCSB doesn't disappoint. Lectures can be large but professors expect students -- of which there are about 25,000 -- to quickly catch on to material. The campus is constantly abuzz, with clubs tabling outside the University Center, student protests, and vendors lined up along the miles of bike racks. The neighboring town of Isla Vista houses a majority of the students, as well as local restaurants (the most famous being late-night burrito stop Freebirds), copy shops, grocery co-ops, and every other service a college student could need. It's not uncommon for students to stay within the "I.V. Bubble", venturing out only to party downtown or perhaps catch a movie. UCSB has a solid graduation rate of about 82%, which is a substantial 17% higher than would be expected at other universities with similar students. Recent grads say their early career salaries hover around $57,300 on average -- which is about 11% higher than expected, according to MONEY's calculations.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$37,700
% of students who get any grants
62%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$17,200
Average price for low-income students
$10,130
admissions
Acceptance rate
33%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1300/31
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
22,181
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
95%
% of need met
81%
% of students who get merit* grants
2%
Average merit grant
$8,181
student success
Graduation rate
81%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Average student debt
$16,300
Average salary within 3 years
$57,300
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
50%
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Nov 30

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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