bar graph showing that 40% of UC students come from low-income households, in comparison with other selective public, private, and ivy league schools, which each enroll less than 24% low-income students

Percentage of low-income students at UC: UC enrolls more low-income students than any other institution of its caliber. Low-income students are defined as those who qualify for Pell Grants (federal aid awarded to students from families with household incomes of $50,000 or less).

UC's record on successfully serving low-income students stands apart from any other research university in the nation.

Among the thousands of bright and hard-working students that UC educates, 72,500 undergraduates — 40 percent of the student body — come from low-income households, a number that no other top-tier university comes close to matching. To put that figure in perspective: UC educates eight times as many low-income students as the entire Ivy League combined.

Among the 2013 freshman class, 46 percent of California students are first-generation college-going students.

These students don't only enroll in large numbers: They also go on to achieve academic success and graduate at high rates, approaching those of their more affluent peers who often come from higher-performing high schools and face fewer family and financial pressures.


  • 72,500 low-income students are enrolled at UC.
  • 9,300 low-income students are enrolled at the entire Ivy League combined.
  • 40 percentof UC students are from low-income households.
  • 25 percent of UC students are first-generation college-going students.
  • 30 percent of entering UC students transfer from community colleges.
chart showing that 46% of the 2013 freshman class were 1st-generation college students, and 25% came from homes in which English is not the primary language

UC serves students from all walks of life. Among California residents in the 2013 freshman class, 46 percent were first-generation college students, and 25 percent came from homes in which English is not the primary language.

Graduation rates

  • 78 percent of low-income UC students earn a degree.
  • 82 percent of all UC students earn a degree.

The cost of attending UC

  • 52 percent of UC students' tuition is fully covered by financial aid programs.
  • 71 percent of UC students receive some form of financial aid.

Student borrowing

  • 48 percent of UC students graduate with no debt.
  • Among UC students who borrow, the average student dept upon graduation is $19,751.
  • Nationally, the average student debt upon graduation is $26,600.