Paying for UC
By Donna Hemmila
Expansion of UC and federal financial aid programs are expected to help offset the recently approved systemwide fee increases for many low- and middle-income students.
"We realize the burden that increased fees will put on students with financial need, and we will do our best to mitigate that burden," said UC President Mark Yudof in recommending the fee increases as a way to stabilize the university's budget over the coming 18 months.
At their November meeting, when UC Regents approved mid-year 2009-10 and fall 2010-11 fee increases, they also approved an expansion of the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan.
Under the Blue and Gold plan, needy California undergraduate students with family incomes of $70,000 and below will have all their systemwide fees paid. Regents raised the income ceiling from $60,000 to $70,000. The plan will cover an estimated 52,000 UC students in 2010-11.
With increases in Cal Grants, federal Pell Grants and federal tuition tax credits, it's expected that three-fourths of UC students with household incomes below $180,000 will not pay the 2009-10 mid-year fee increase.
UC continues to set aside for financial aid 33 percent of any fee increases for undergraduates and professional school students and 50 percent of academic graduate student fee increases. The increases approved in November are expected to generate $505 million in new revenue with $175 million going into financial aid.
In addition, UC is stepping up efforts to raise private donations for scholarships through Project You Can, a 10-campus fundraising effort with a goal of raising $1 billion over the next four years.
In 2008-09, 63 percent of UC undergraduates received more than $1.6 billion of financial support including loans, grants, scholarships and work-study awards. And 55 percent of all UC undergraduates received some kind of grant or scholarship averaging $11,100 per recipient.
The financial aid application period opens Jan. 1 and will run to March 2.
Donna Hemmila is managing editor with the UC Office of the President Integrated Communications.