back to Admissions Advice
β€’ 04/28/2020 at 06:42AM

What can so do to help me get into UCSB? Any specific extra curriculars and essay topics?

I am an in state highschool sophmore. What classes should I take Junior year to help me and what can I do to get in? I play soccer and lacrosse. I am willing to dedicate as much time and effort as it takes. Please help!!

NewYou earn karma when your answer is accepted or upvoted.

2 answers

β€’ 04/28/2020 at 02:45PM

Firstly, you are going to want to take some AP courses. Now UCSB is not the most competitive school for admission, but you are going to need a decent amount of AP/IB Classes (anywhere from 2 to 5 depending on what you can handle and what the school offers). Make sure to become friendly with your teachers too... because not only will it help you excel in their class, they will end up being the ones you ask for recommendation letters (which are required for CCS (college of creative studies) at UCSB.

In addition, make sure to start prepping for the SAT or ACT. I personally took my first SAT in August 2019 and then retook in October 2019. Note that there is probably going to be heavy testing this fall for high school seniors and might even be preference given to seniors due to the canceled tests from Covid 19. If you cannot get the first attempt in this fall, make sure to sign up for either the February 2021 ACT or the March 2021 SAT.

Make sure to pick two subjects (if you are a stem major) in which you excel for the SAT subject tests. One will have to be Math Level 2 (precalc topics) but the other can be either Biology, Chemistry, or Physics. There are also subject tests in Literature and History.

Also, visit UCSB to make sure it is really the right fit for you and also look at alternate campuses where you see yourself fitting in (UCs randomly reject people like crazy these days; had a classmate who got into Cal but rejected from UC Irvine).

Hope this helps!

@gregccraw04/28/2020 at 04:01PM

Yeah, that random rejection thing is weird! I believe UCs accept independently from each other, so that's why.

β€’ 04/28/2020 at 04:18PM

Hi there! It sounds like you definitely have your athletic extracurriculars covered, and it would be a good idea to try and pursue those throughout your high school career, to show you have commitment. But in regards to extracurriculars, you should definitely join some clubs. You might not know which club you want to join! That's okay! You should research some of the clubs that your school offers, perhaps they offer one that pertains to what you want to major in! You should definitely try to join three clubs, one you enjoy, one that does service work, and one that pertains to what you want to pursue in school. USCB will want to see commitment and that you served others, as all colleges do!

In regards to your academic questions: in Junior year try to take at least 1 AP, as many fellow applicants to USCB will have been taking AP's. Try definitely to keep your GPA up, or maintain it if it is satisfactory. According to the Prepscholar blog, the average GPA at USCB is 3.76, so it is fairly competitive in regards to GPA. If you need tips on how to keep your GPA up or anything, don't hesitate to reach out for further advise. Also, keep in mind that AP's give you extra weight on your weighted GPA! In regards to an essay topic, choose to write about an event that puts you in a good light, for example, write about how you made the winning goal of a big soccer match.

Good luck with everything and let me know if you have any further questions!