A Case Study on College Research: UC Santa Barbara
I spoke with the counseling team here at REG, it seems like our students could use a refresher on doing online college research. I went to UCSB and majored in Mechanical Engineering; here is a sample on how I would research my alma mater (in 20 mins or less).
I’ve been through the program, I know its strengths and weaknesses. The hope is that my added context will aid you in conducting your own research more effectively.
Start off with guiding questions. Here are mine, feel free to tweak them based on your preferences.
- Academics – Make sure UCSB is a good school for MechE (duh)
- Study Abroad Viability – Important factor for me, unfortunately COVID hit 🙁
- Cost – Interest Rates are high rn…
- Post Graduate Outcomes – Pretty darn important
- Student Life – Fun is important
Step 1: UCSB Engineering Website
I know you didn’t read it so here is the TLDR
- Everything in yellow is super vague jargon that all schools use.
- The blue is valuable information. UCSB does indeed have a neat capstone program with options for gaining entrepreneurship experience and industry connections through mentorship.
- Takeaway: They don’t always do a great job differentiating this valuable information from the rest of the passages, students may have to read through redundant and vague information to find the nuggets of gold.
Step 2: Study Abroad Section
- Informative section that lists popular destinations based on major, and important study abroad timelines.
- Takeaway: Good job UCSB!
Step 3: Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Loan Calculator, Cost of Attendance Estimates, and Available Scholarships
- Being a California resident made UCSB the best deal in town for me.
This graph on the UC website shows long term longitudinal outcomes for an Asian male who takes more than 6+ science courses. (College of Engineering specific wage data was unavailable)
- Takeaway: A mechanical engineering degree from UCSB will likely yield a 6-figure income range.
- Not extensive, but the best.
- (If you get this far, you should go visit the campus)
See what I did? I didn’t get fixated on US News rankings or what my uncle has to say. I just dug a little deeper. Within 20 minutes I guarantee all REG students can better understand which schools fit their needs, and which ones don’t.
Until next time…