UCSD vs UCSC vs Cal Poly Slo vs SDSU vs ASU ( please give me inputs to choose!)

Hey guys! Most of my decisions are out, and the ones left are my last priority schools, so I’m not too worried. The ones listed in the title are my top choices and when I got into UCSD, I was super excited and pretty sure I wanted to commit, but now I’m not sure and would really like your inputs. I’m currently living abroad so I have no chance to tour the campus but I really like all of them based on virtual tours. But I also dont have much local insight on these colleges, so any help is appreciated. Right now my choices are ( in order)

  1. ucsd ( 34K /yr) 2. Ucsc ( 38k/yr) 3. Cal poly SLO ( 30k/yr) 4. Sdsu ( 31k /yr) 5. ASU ( 24k/yr OOS)

EFC = 33K per year, so all of them are more or less affordable according to FAFSA, ucsc being the most costly. ( and does anyone know if the COA on my page 38k is actually how much it will cost?)

UCSD is higher ranked for psychology but I heard that the social life and party scene is dead. Now, I am an academic student and not like SUPER high level social but my high school social life sucked and I’ve never gone to huge social parties and I would really like that experience. I want to hang out with large groups and get out of my comfort zone.I cannot do another 4 years of isolation and no friends. That’s to say I want good social scene without too much partying and have a chance to also do well in psych. Does UCSD offer that? Or is it quite dull? Is it worth compromising a littl less active social scene for a better degree?

And in UCSD I also called ERC which was my third choice of college so that’s also slightly putting me off but I’m willing to compromise.

UCSC is also good for psychology, but much more expensive than my other choices but it has the beach which is dope. How is the academics? Social scene?. I want a decent balance. I heard it was decent for psych but more opportunities for STEM majors.

Cal Poly SLO. Also good for psychology, and I like the campus. I heard not much too do outside of it tho. Heard the STEM focus is more and more funding and opportunities for those fields as opposed to humanities.

SDSU- Great for psych but heard the area around the college isnt the best and maybe too much partying? Less focus on academics. Not sure about the opportunities after college and placement and stuff.

ASU is the cheapest, but I’m not the biggest fan of the climate and I really like the beach, which all the other schools offer which is why ASU is last on the list. But I am considering it since it’s definitely more affordable. I also heard the school is super huge wirh lots of people, and since it has a high acceptance rate, people from all academic backgrounds congregate and I am afraid I wont be challenged academically. Also heard it’s a huge party school so.

I want a college good for psychology, preferably near the beach, good social scene with chance of parties and socializing, affordable COA and possible chance to qualify for merit scholarships as enrolled students to bring COA down, and good job placement opportunities, and a diverse background ( both ethnically and have the ability to challenge myself academically(. Which of these schools would likely be a good fit for me? UCSD prestige and programme seems the best, but in other aspects is it worth it?

I do plan on doing grad school, so want to get opptunties for excelling in school so I can utilize great undergrad grades to level scholarships for grad school. And obviously minimize cost for grad.

These are my top choices but I’ve also gotten into SUNY Stony Brook, Univeristy of Arizona, CSU Long beach, TAMU ( Blinn), UT Dallas, and WL at UCLA ( if I get off, that will jump to the top of my list). I’m waiting on sjsu, csu Fullerton and uc riverside. ( But my dad is not keen on sending me to these three even if I get in so).

Any inputs would be helpful. Thank you :))

The cost of attendance is an estimate at all campuses. Housing can be more or less depending upon choice of dorm and meal plans. Health insurance costs of $3K can be waived if using your parents insurance. Personal expenses are flexible along with books but your EFC will make most of these full pay. Did you apply for Barrett’s Honors college at ASU?

Regarding social scene, it is really dependent upon you. You can find parties at any school or not.

Ignore the stereotype comments about any school. Not being able to visit makes it tough but if you check the school specific discussions threads, several posters have given some good descriptions of each campus. If I can find them, I will post them for you.

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Ok thank you! I didn’t apply to baretts since I applied to the college quite close to the deadline of Jan 15th for baretts and I thought it wasn’t open after that? Is it still open and worth applying for?

Makes sense!

Yes, I will do that. I’ve been onnreddit and cc regarding college descriptions and doing virtual tours as much as possible trying to gain insight. Thank you for your help!

As between the California schools, SLO is known to be the least ethnically diverse.

As far as beach access, UCSD is next to a beach, and at SLO/SDSU it’s very accessible.

I agree with Gumbymom that if you were to get into Barrett at ASU that would be a wonderful option, but short of that you seem to have stronger options on the table inside of CA.

Can’t speak to the party scene at any campus outside of general reputation you hear about. I highly recommend watching videos by Rachel Seo and MIQL who are/were both UCSD students and have a ton of content about all things UCSD and the social life, etc. That might give you an insight on whether the campus vibe is what you’re looking for Good luck, you have great choices and who knows, you may see my S21 on campus :slight_smile:

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Barrett’s Honors college has late consideration deadlines up to May so it might be worth an application. Many great opportunities through their program but unfortunately ASU not near a beach. First-Year Students | Barrett, The Honors College

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Ok thank you so much!!

Awesome. Thank you :))

Congrats! All of them are going to provide a solid education. Tour all of them, spend some time on campus, talk to some current students, Ignore all the noise about which is ‘best’ and follow your heart - knowing the only ‘wrong’ choice here is going to the one that’s not a fit for YOU,

Good luck

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The local Tribune published an article today about 2021-2022 SLO admissions, which I’ll post a portion of that article:

[quote]"For first-time freshmen applying to Cal Poly’s 64 majors, the most difficult major to get into based on sheer number of applicants vs. space available was not engineering or architecture.

It was psychology. The university received 3,222 applications but has space for just 66 students — or just 2% of the hopeful applicants.

That is followed by computer science, biological sciences, kinesiology, marine sciences and aerospace engineering, all of which have space for just 4% of the total applicants.

Business administration is the most popular major at Cal Poly for applicants, with 8,733 applicants. There are 719 spaces available in that major."[/quote]


Thanm you! However, I’m currently not in cali and am living abroad so the touring and talking to students is unfortunately not an option:(

Oh wow! Makes me feel incredibly happy to have gotten in :))

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dartboard it is then…

seriously, while none of your top choices is a bad school, the student experience is vastly different at each of those schools, since budget doesn’t seem to be a constraint, I’d find a way to get on a plane and pay them a visit before commiting.

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Budget is a bit of a constraint tbh. Our EFC meets the COA but my dad suddenly dropped a bomb on me that he is not willing to paying that much so :((. I wish I could tour these college but unfortunately because of the pandemic, my graduating exams that allow me to pass senior year are in may-June well after SIR and I cannot travel and be back and study before I have to commit :((

Completely agree tho. From what I can see online, each experience is different but i reallt wish I could find some way to choose better hence this posts here to see if any locals could give me ideas

Can you share a link to the full article if it’s not paywalled?

from your comments, I’d rule out ASU because of weather no beach proximity. Among the others, UCSD though probably best academically, it is probably the least fun - when it comes to parties. So, rank that as you may.

UCSC is really a unique campus, on a hill and in a forest. Not for everyone vibe but there’s a solid social scene and close to Silicon Valley for career prospects. I like it but, in particular, wouldn’t pick this one blind.

SDSU is a little big for my taste but, a good time can certainly be had.
It is in SD which is has a rapidly growing biz environment for post grad opportunities. Solid academic reputation.

Honestly, among them SLO would be my choice because of the campus size, kinda remote college town, weather, the fun quotient and the Learn by Doing philosophy.

hope that helps.

Good luck with your decision.

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It’s paywalled, but it’s $0.99/month for 2 months.


What really would be helpful is if CPSLO published the MCA score threshold for each major, because admit rate can be misleading if the applicant pool for a major is particularly strong or weak. Also, if they publish the current MCA formula after going test-blind.

Sorry for the late reply! The thread wasn’t opening for me. These inputs do help. Thank you so much :slight_smile:

As you’ve alluded to, the MCA cutoff point may have been higher for say Aerospace as an example that accepts something like 20%. Still, 2%…I’d guess there to be quite a few high achievers in there.

As for what’s to do in SLO County, LOTS…if you like the outdoors. There are plenty of bars and bands coming through, but the big city life, for better and for worse, SLO is not.