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backdoor way into UCSB (2020 edition)

mikemacmikemac 10448 replies153 threads Senior Member
With admission decisions out in about a month I wish everyone luck!! But in case you don't get in here is my annual post to pass along an alternative.

If UCSB was a top choice you still can get most of the experience of a 4-year UCSB student. You can live right with the UCSB students, get a UCSB diploma, and spend 4 years enjoying the same social life, campus events, groups, etc. that UCSB students do. The only difference is that for a year or two you won't be taking classes on the UCSB campus, and there's even a partial way around that!

I'm posting this now so that you have time to think it over and investigate, since some of the deadlines come up shortly after UCSB decisions are announced. You should consider an appeal to UCSB as well, but the odds of this succeeding have historically been small. First off, don't take it personally. They haven't judged you and found you wanting. It's a numbers thing. Due to the boom in HS graduates and the increasing cost of privates, more students are turning to the UCs every year and they don't have room for everyone who's qualified. Students are being turned down today who would have gotten in even a few years ago. Although it stings to be turned down, you need to figure out your best strategy for what to do next, and that's the purpose of this post.

In a nutshell, the advice is attend Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) for 2 years, enrolling in the guaranteed transfer program. Live in private dorms right by the UCSB campus the 1st year, in IV the next 3 (just like the 4-year kids do). Take part in campus life, and finish up with the UCSB diploma. And if you have a lot of AP credit it gets even better; maybe you can spend just 1 year at SBCC and 3 at UCSB (more on that later).

Many students refuse to consider a community college because they want the full "college experience" and want to spend 4 years at the same place making friends, learning the ropes of the school, and getting to know the area. That's where UCSB is different. It's one of the few residential colleges in CA where students live on/near campus. So if you live in the community adjoining UCSB ("Isla Vista" AKA "IV"), you'll be in a much better position than a junior just showing up for the 1st time. By living in IV you can take advantage of the social opportunities, you'll be living in the same place as UCSB students, you can attend campus events and activities. You can participate in intramural sports at UCSB at a slightly higher fee than students pay, and you can join many of the same career-related clubs as a non-voting member. And you can even join the UCSB Rec Center and use the weight room, climbing wall, etc.

A big concern of many frosh is where to live. One advantage of being a 4-year student at most colleges is you start out in a dorm with meals taken care of, an RA for advice, you instantly get to know some kids at the college because they live on your floor, and so on. Turns out that you can do much the same thing at SBCC. There are 2 private dorms right by the UCSB campus that house SBCC students. See https://www.sbcc.edu/housing/dormstyleliving.php Note that some deadlines for dorms are in this spring. Even though they aren't the official UCSB-owned dorms, you'll still get a lot of the same 1st-year experience. And 2nd year you find an apartment in IV just like most UCSB students do after frosh year. Given the size of UCSB your neighbors aren't going to know you go to SBCC until you tell them; they'll just assume they haven't run into you on campus.

Now that we've talked about living in the UCSB community, lets talk about that UCSB diploma. As a transfer student you get the same one a 4-year student does; nowhere does it say "junior transfer". Your BA or BS degree is from UCSB, period. UCSB has a guaranteed transfer program with the community colleges, so you will KNOW you're getting in. At SBCC it is run thru the http://www.sbcc.edu/transferacademy/ with counselors who know what you need to do. They offer honors course, as well as counseling and contact with UCSB. After you've completed a semester at SBCC you can take a UCSB class for credit each quarter (paying a LOT less than the UCSB students, BTW!). You can get the guarantee program at any CC, including the one in your community. But you'll miss out on the setting and social environment those 1st 2 years that probably is part of why you wanted to go to UCSB in the first place. It turns out SBCC sends more than any other CC to UCSB, because it attracts students who enrolled to do exactly what I'm suggesting.

The news may be even better if you have a lot of AP credit. You may be able to get in after just 1 year and spend 3 more at UCSB! Here's how. In order to enter UCSB as a transfer you have to be a junior which just means having a certain number of units, and those units can be AP credit and CC classes. Keep in mind, too, that nothing says you have to take an AP class to take the AP test. If you are really motivated you could learn the material between now and May for a few of the easier subjects. All you're risking is your time and the test fees. Add in summer school at your local CC right after HS and you may be a junior by units after one year at SBCC so you transfer. Now it might seem like you have only 2 years left at UCSB since you started as a junior but you can ignore the AP credit once you're at UCSB (except for duplicating classes).
The units granted for AP tests are not counted toward the maximum number of credits required for formal declaration of an undergraduate major or the maximum number of units a student may accumulate prior to graduation from the University. Students who enter the University with AP credit do not have to declare a major earlier than other students, nor are they required to graduate earlier

In summary, even if you aren't fortunate enough to be accepted to UCSB as a frosh there are ways to enjoy most of the same things those enrolled for all 4 years do, including ending up with that UCSB diploma.
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Replies to: backdoor way into UCSB (2020 edition)

  • 31953195Cf31953195Cf 25 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for sharing this information. We had heard similar things with so many people. It is definitely our Plan B if she doesn't get in.
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