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Santa Monica College vs Santa Barbara City College

thewolfpackthewolfpack Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
edited May 2010 in Community Colleges
I am seeking advice about the two. Currently I plan on moving to California from Illinois.

My stats are: High School graduate who wants to major in civil engineering

Here is my dilemma I want to attend SMC because of its higher transfer rate into a better UC school; however, the cost of living in LA and the crappy social life is making me think twice.

Santa Barbara's scenery is beautiful and the cost of living is manageable, but the transfer rate to UCLA or UCB are a lot lower.

Also i want to become a resident and have proof of residency in California for UC purposes. Is there a way to crack the code?? How can i prove financial independence? I heard its really tough

If there is also another good community college that one might recommend, in a safe neighborhood with a good social life that would also be appreciated.

Keep in mind I am supporting myself but I am looking for the best future possible for myself. anything you guys think i should please let me know.
Post edited by thewolfpack on

Replies to: Santa Monica College vs Santa Barbara City College

  • andrewexdandrewexd Registered User Posts: 921 Member
    If you are thinking transfer/education ONLY - then yes SMC would probably be better. Overall I prefer and would go to Sbcc, Sbcc has a better campus easily, and the social scene is obviously better if you live in Isla Vista. However, IV housing cost-wise is comparable to housing in Santa Monica, probably more. If you go to SBCC you won't need a car since there's a free bus for students that goes from IV to SBCC but you would definitely need a car in LA if you ever want to do something.

    I live near SMC but i'm moving and going to SBCC next year. btw, you better hurry up - registration starts may 17 for new students and classes are filling up already :/ and also you need to be at SBCC/SMC to take your assessment tests to register for math/english classes unless you have AP scores or SAT scores that can be used instead of placement tests.

    SMC has TAP with UCLA and UCB, SBCC only has TAP with UCB i think. Honestly though, if you get good grades at either place you should be able to get into UCLA/CAL with no problems (for most majors). who knows ? If you like SBCC you might just transfer to UCSB. And for california community colleges if you don't like one, just go another ! You can easily go to SMC if you don't like SBCC (after 1 semester). If you like to party that may become a distraction since parties are big in IV. Overall I like the community better at sbcc.

    You will most likely NOT be able to obtain residency status in CA for tuition purposes. It is almost impossible even if you are an independent, unless you went to a CA high school for 3 years and graduated there.
  • riversideriverside Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    I plan on going to SMC next year. I made this decision solely because of the high transfer rates and the numerous articulation agreements it holds with prestigious universities such as USC.

    I've visited campus many times and have to say that you're completely correct about the social life. It's non-existent. I'm currently trying to find a roommate and decent housing (there are no dorms) and it's hell since SMC is mainly a commuter college. Santa Monica and the surrounding college area is very nice and safe. The academics are among the best of any cc anywhere and students regularly transfer to well regarded schools.

    SBCC has housing assistance to help you. There is also the option of rooming in privately owned residence halls that gives a real college feel. Santa Barbara is gorgeous and generally safe. Social life is thriving as you're nearby one of the greatest party schools in America, UCSB. There is always something going on in IV and they go all out for Halloween. From an academic standpoint, it isn't as rigorous as SMC. I've researched it and met with counselors a few times before deciding on SMC.

    You should also consider Mt. SAC. It's in the beautiful safe neighborhood of Walnut and the academics are well respected.

    Here's a link for CA residency, which is almost impossible to get especially if you're not a CA high school grad.

    University of California - Admissions

    Good luck!
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