I recently visited The University of California San Diego (UCSD), where I toured the campus and spoke with the admissions office about the latest trends in admissions. Here are some takeaways from my visit:

· A distinctive feature of UCSD is its residential college system: students are assigned to one of eight colleges, where they live (as underclassmen) and receive academic support. Students should pick their residential college carefully by considering its theme, philosophy, gen ed requirements, location and amenities.

· Academics are rigorous (the school is on a quarter system), but the environment is not quite as intense as at some highly selective colleges.

· The middle 50% of enrolled students had high school GPAs between 4.12 – 4.3.

· Career counselors often come from industry. There are only 15 career advisors total, however, for all 33,343 undergrads.

· UCSD has the most extensive study abroad options of any UC campus, and the university offers extensive advising to help students plan their study abroad.

· UCSD is most well-known for its strengths in STEM, which a majority of students pursue.

· Top employers include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Tesla.