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What Does It Cost to Attend University of California-Santa Barbara?

The University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) is located just 100 miles north of Los Angeles. It’s an institution known for its highly-ranked College of Engineering and the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. Aside from attaining stellar education in these fields, students can also boast that they graduated from the same school as actor Michael Douglas and musician Jack Johnson. No doubt, higher education comes with a price tag and UCSB is no exception. However, college tuition does not always have to be as expensive as its notorious reputation depicts.


On any given university’s website, there is a published price. A lot of students make the mistake of going off of the published price rather than the school’s net price. This means that students should make their tuition calculations based off of the published price AFTER any financial aid has been deducted. When net cost is calculated instead of the published price, a student is able to see more clearly how much their personal tuition needs will cost. Very few students actually pay the published price because there are many variables that influence this amount.


Higher education is a smart investment but it is also one that requires substantial financial commitment. That being said, a student would do well to take a big-picture look when weighing their options about a particular university. Taking special consideration into financial and merit aid are major factors that affect the different prices for tuition. If your student has their heart set on attending UCSB, keep reading to gain more insight on how much this school can cost.


What Is the List Price of University of California-Santa Barbara?


The total price for in-state students at UCSB is $35,172 while the total price for out-of-state students is $61,854. As mentioned earlier, most students do not pay this amount regardless if they are in the state or out of the state of California. Normally, the students who do pay this amount come from families whose yearly income is greater than $175,000 and are not in the top 30% of accepted students at this particular school.


What Is the University of California-Santa Barbara Financial Aid Net Price?


The average net cost for in-state students with financial aid only is $30,217. The average net cost for out-of-state students with financial aid only is $56,899.


What Is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending UCSB?


The average yearly income of a student’s family plays a large role in determining how much financial aid a student will receive to offset the out-of-pocket costs for their tuition fees. Below are the average net prices at UCSB based off of family income.


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $9,954
$30,001-$48,000 $11,076
$48,001-$75,000 $14,176
$75,001-$110,000 $22,800
Over $110,000 $31,768


How Much Merit Aid Do University of California-Santa Barbara Students Receive?


The percentage of students without need that receive merit aid is 3.1% and the average merit aid award for these students is $307. The average net price for an in-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid is $34,865 and the average net price for an out-of-state student who doesn’t qualify for financial aid is $61,547.


The University of California-Santa Barbara ranks 865th in the pool of over 1000 schools College Vine analyzed for merit aid generosity.

How Many UCSB Students Take Out Loans?


Loans are common for students to meet the financial requirements of their tuition. About 70% of UCSB students take out federal loans and this averages to an amount of $3,576 per student.


Student Outcomes At University of California-Santa Barbara


The percentage of students who graduate from UCSB is a strong 80%. This is a promising number for hopeful undergrad students looking to enroll at this school.  The average salary for graduated students after 10 years is $55,300.


Local Area Cost Considerations


The University of California-Santa Barbara is situated on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific ocean giving students a unique access to the outdoors. Access to the culture and overall big-city experiences of Los Angeles is only an hour and a half drive away from the campus.


Cost of Living Index


For Santa Barbara, California, the cost of living index is a staggering 254.1, a number considerably higher than the national average of 100. This result factors in the cost of utilities, transportation, housing, health, and groceries for Santa Barbara.


Average Apartment Rental


The school offers on-campus housing on its 989-acre campus for students who want to cut down on their living expenses. For a simple studio or one bedroom apartment, students can expect to pay between $1,760 and $2,100. For two and three bedroom apartments, prices can range between $2,452 and $3,300.




Many students work part-time and sometimes even full-time jobs while going to school. Minimum wage for Santa Barbara is $11, which is considerably higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 to offset the higher cost of living at this location.


Ways To Save Money On College


A very common way to save money on tuition fees is for students to apply for additional scholarships to go alongside any federal or institutional aid they may have received. The University of California-Santa Barbara has a web page that lists awards and another web page that lists scholarships to help qualified students pay for their schooling.


Another option for students looking to earn extra money while in school is to participate in a work-study program. This is an opportunity for students to earn extra income while gaining experience in the preferred field of their choice. Students who qualify for federal financial aid are given preference to participate in the Federal Work Study Program.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to UC Santa Barbara? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!