Santa Barbara, California (CA) Colleges and Universities

Santa Barbara, CA, is home to nine higher education institutions within 25 miles from the city center. See which ones are the most affordable and which ones are the largest, among other things, to find out the ones best suited for you.

Santa Barbara has a decent concentration of schools. Students can choose among private and public institutions to find the school that best meets their needs. To help them evaluate the options, we've organized the schools into four categories. The data is based on statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

Closest Schools to Santa Barbara, California

The closest schools to Santa Barbara are mostly 4-year private schools, in addition to a few public institutions. The following schools are among the closest ones to Santa Barbara:

  • Antioch University-Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara)
  • Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara)
  • Fielding Graduate University (Santa Barbara)
  • Westmont College (Santa Barbara)
  • University of California-Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara)

Largest Schools Near Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara has two schools with roughly 20,000 students, but after that, the numbers drop dramatically. Most offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The following schools were the largest near the city as of fall 2015:

  • University of California-Santa Barbara (23,497 students)
  • Santa Barbara City College (17,920 students)
  • Westmont College (1,297 students)
  • Fielding Graduate University (1,168 students)
  • Pacifica Graduate Institute (939 students)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

For many students, price is often a determining factor when selecting a school. The net price is a result of subtracting institutional or government aid from the total cost of attendance, which includes room and board, tuition and fees, books, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses. According to NCES, from 2014-2015, the following schools had the lowest net prices for colleges nearby to Santa Barbara for full-time undergraduates.

  • Santa Barbara City College ($10,895)
  • University of California-Santa Barbara ($16,211)
  • Westmont College ($33,195)

Highest Graduation Rate

The NCES bases graduation rates on students who earn a degree within 150% of 'normal' time; this is three years for an associate's degree and six years for a bachelor's degree. The following are the traditional schools with the three best graduation rates in Santa Barbara based on NCES statistics for full-time undergraduates who began their studies in 2009 or 2012.

  • University of California-Santa Barbara (81% graduation rate)
  • Westmont College (77% graduation rate)
  • Santa Barbara City College (34% graduation rate)

We've categorized the schools near Santa Barbara, California, to help you decide on which one is best for you, according to location, price, student enrollment, and graduation rates.

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