Mammoth is six hours away.
I went to UCSB, and you can ski there more than you would expect. I skied about 2 weekends a month, and winter break and spring break.
There is a ski team at UCSB, or there was when I was there, most of the big California schools have one.
What this entailed, was paying a fee at the beginning of the year, probably 500 dollars, and then getting use of the cabin for the whole season. It was definitely college living, sometimes there might be 25-30 people crashing on a weekend, so you would probably end up in your sleeping bag on the floor, but it was very worth it. It really is a good way to go, I usually got about 30 days a year, mostly at Mammoth. Think about that for a minute, 30 days at one of the best mountains in the country. It really was fun.
Here is a link to the team's website:
You can race, but you don't have to. I almost never did, I would rather ski the noids and hangmans than wait for a race, but there is the option if you do want to bang gates.
When I was there, you could use the house whenever you wanted. It did not need to be race weekend. You could use it during Xmas break, or spring break.
I had lots friends at UCSB who did what I did. You can ski a lot if you want to . I loved going to school there, I got a very good education, partied a lot, learned to surf(hard but worth it) and skied 30 days a year at one of the country's best mountains.
Passes at Mammoth for college students are 669$, here is the link to that:
Personally, I would rather go to UCSB and ski Mammoth 30 days a year, than UVM with 50 days at Stowe.
So you can ski a lot. It is not a place like Utah, where you will get an 80 day season, but 30+ days at Mammoth is nothing to sniff at. The real issue, is the driving. You will spend a lot of time in the car, 6 hours each way, each weekend, but it is worth it to ski a mountain like Mammoth. Think about this, in the east you cannot drive to that sort of mountain. You will eventually find some people you like to drive with, and alternate who drives.
I loved UCSB, I got to ski a great mountain, had a lot of fun, and got a degree in mathematical statistics, a useful, though challenging discipline. After college, I spent several years living in Lake Tahoe, skiing Squaw everyday, and I suspect you will do something like that when you finish. I now live in Newport Beach, work in an office, and drive 5 hours to Mammoth, 2-3 weekends a month. I do wish Mammoth were closer, but the drive is worth it.
So, the point of this laborious novel is that yes, you can ski a lot at UCSB. Don't expect 80 days of Snowbird, but 30 days of Mammoth is a better season than about 99% of the folks out there will get. You just have to be willing to drive. If you don't have a car, you will make friends on the ski team who do.
Oh, one more thing. The girls at UCSB are SLAMIMING hot!!!! Santa Barbara has one of the hottest student body populations anywhere. You will be right on the beach, like literally right on the beach. It is an easy place to fail out, so make sure you learn to balance school, partying, working out, surfing, skiing.........But if you do you can have one of the best all-around college experiences out there. And you can ski a bit too.
Have fun, and good luck.