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UCSB vs Community College

Hello, so I'm having a dilemma right before I start college in the fall. One of my dreams in HS was to get accepted into UCSB and it came true when I received my acceptance. Everything seemed perfect until I compare the prices of a UC tuition vs a CC tuition and I don't know if the first 2 years at UCSB is worth the tuition when I could practically go to CC for free and then transfer. Then again, I wanted to get into the Engineering program but I was accepted to the College of Letters and Science instead. Transferring to the Engineering program is a challenge from what I heard, but it's a challenge I'm willing to face or should I just go to CC and reapply where I have a better chance of getting into the Engineering program. There are many other factors for both sides, but these two are the main ones. So the real questions is: Should I stay and hope to get in again or go straight in and hope for the best?
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Replies to: UCSB vs Community College

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30527 replies420 threads Forum Champion
    edited July 2019
    @BayernMunich: Would you be happy at UCSB as a non-Engineering major or is it all or nothing?
    edited July 2019
    Post edited by Gumbymom on
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  • mikemacmikemac 10582 replies154 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    according to your thread https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/2137726-which-of-these-options-is-best.html you want to be a mechanical engineer and were accepted at SJSU for that major but were worried about cost. In this thread cost again is a factor. So it sounds like the best thing is to go to a CC for 2 years. This also increases your chances of being able to become a ME. UCSB does not publish stats on how many people are able to switch into engineering that I can find, but you can expect that it would be more difficult than gaining admission into engineering from a CC.
    edited July 2019
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  • BayernMunichBayernMunich 5 replies7 threads New Member
    Came with the tough decision that CC is the way to go. I save a lot of money and get another shot at universities for MechE major.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30527 replies420 threads Forum Champion
    Best of luck.
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  • mikemacmikemac 10582 replies154 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    You should pursue TAG for MechE so that you have a guaranteed program. Filing TAG doesn't require you to enroll, you are still free to apply to and select a different UC campus. The program can change annually so you'll want to keep up to date, but the TAG matrix listing which schools accept TAG for engineering is at https://www.mjc.edu/studentservices/counseling/cdtc/transfer/tagmatrixfall202.pdf

    Best of luck to you!
    edited July 2019
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  • mikemacmikemac 10582 replies154 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    @BayernMunich Also as advice a bit unrelated to your question but still germane, be sure you do the work needed to get top grades. This means spending 6-10 hours outside of class for every math & science class in which you read the chapters, do the homework, do extra problems on your own.

    A lot of students don't do extra problems and it comes back to haunt them. The goal of time spent outside of class isn't to get the homework completed so you get credit, it is to learn the material so that when you see it on the midterm or final you can confidently and correctly answer. Students that flip back and forth in the book to similar problems to get the homework done don't tend to do so well on tests. There are books you should get such as the "REA Calculus Problem Solver" https://www.amazon.com/Calculus-Problem-Solver-Solvers-Solution/dp/0878915052 that have thousands of worked problems for extra practice, and these are available for many math & science subjects. Cover the solution and work the problem, repeat until they are easy. They'll be easy on the test too ;-)

    Also I recommend reading the book "Make it Stick" this summer. It discusses the science of learning and has lots of tips for college students.

    A lot of students may not believe the time numbers I gave above, then halfway thru the semester they realize (perhaps after their first midterm) they don't understand the material as well as they need for good grades. Then they are really in a hole; its going to take the time mentioned above to really learn the material and they're going to struggle to find it while the semester keeps moving along (and the new material isn't making that much sense). So I suggest starting college as if it is true; if you find out it is overkill you can cut back, but the converse is going to be much more difficult if you fall behind.

    You're starting on what can be a rewarding but tough journey; many who give it up are those who fall behind at the start without realizing it and then give up in despair (more than half of those starting college as engineers quit); with the right attitude and effort you can make it thru.
    edited July 2019
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30527 replies420 threads Forum Champion
    Just an FYI: You cannot TAG to UCSB for Engineering. The campuses that allow TAG for Engineering are UCM/UCR/UCSC/UCD and UCI. Still TAGing to one of these campuses guarantees admission into your choice major.
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