UC Santa Barbara Ranks Fifth in Best National Public Universities
Aerial view of UC Santa Barbara (Photo: John Wiley)
By Audrin B
UC Santa Barbara retains its spot as one of the best universities in America in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Colleges rankings. The report, coming in at the tail end of the calendar year, identifies U.C. Santa Barbara as the 5th best national public university with regards to objective data gathered by the organization.
Criteria are built from the universities as well as mediary sources such as the American Association of University Professors. To quote the U.S. News & World Report directly, “We do not tour residence halls, chat with recruiters or conduct unscientific student polls for use in our computations.” For example, the greatest factor of a school’s rank is student retention and graduation; if “students successfully receive the full benefits from undergraduate study.”
With that in mind, the placement is seen as an improvement from last year, wherein the university ranked #8 on the same scale. Earlier in the decade, U.C. Santa Barbara was ranked 10th in 2012. Infamously, around the same time, UCSB snagged the #2 spot for best partying school in the United States.
It seems the nation-wide attention that was garnered after the original 2012 report made an impact on the school’s governing body. For the better part of five years UCSB has tightened the acceptance rate with a vice grip, admitting around 40% in 2012 to 32% earlier this year; quite challenging indeed, even without mentioning the 30,000 spike in applicants over the same course of time.
Furthermore, UCSB has since dropped 11 ranks on the college partying reports, which can be contributed to Santa Barbara County deputies cracking down on the scene after 2014’s Deltopia Riots. Undergraduate student Amarica Rafanelli noted a change in tone since the incident, marking reformed attitudes with both law enforcers and Isla Vista citizens alike.
“I’ve seen improvements in safety because of government bodies like the IVCSD which has implemented safety programs, and is putting money towards things like better street lighting.” Rafanelli stated. “I feel better knowing that there is a local government looking out for the needs of Isla Vista’s residents.”
The university is now able to take a deep, somewhat stabilizing breath since turbulent times. The top 5 public university spot comes with a refocused lens on what keeps UCSB in the dialogue on an international scale. With ten research centers receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and 400 clubs on campus, enrolled students are nothing if not overwhelmed by opportunity on campus.
UCLA, as well as UC Berkeley, join Santa Barbara to round off the top 5 spots of the ranking public universities, meaning that an institution from the UC public university system has nearly appeared on all rankings since the turn of the century. Collectively, the University of California educational system continues to establish itself as one the most extensive of its kind in the world.
The U.S. News & World Report allows comments and user reviews on their 2019 Best College rankings. One user, despite the achievements garnered by the school, noted the living conditions the dorms - as of just two weeks ago, were quite rambunctious and disturbing for those students looking for a more reserved lifestyle. Another student, comprising the only two user entries on the site, simply commented: “good”.
To learn more about UCSB and the application process visit the Office of Admissions at https://admissions.sa.ucsb.edu
Audrin B. is a freelance writer for Edhat. He can be reached at Audrinnb@gmail.com