Apollonia Morrill, UC Newsroom
Students looking at college sometimes assume the University of California is out of reach financially. But before you jump to conclusions, take in these 10 facts.
1. The majority of California undergrads get financial aid.
A full 70 percent of UC undergrads get some financial aid. We’re not talking loans. This is money for school that doesn’t need to be paid back.
2. UC tuition is fully covered for more than half of California students.
That’s no typo. For most in-state students, if your household income is $100K or less, your UC tuition payment is ZERO. In fact, 55 percent of UC’s California undergrads pay no tuition.
3. A debt-free path is possible.
Not only do a majority of California undergrads get help with tuition, but more than half of the Class of 2022 graduated completely debt-free, without any student loans at all.
In addition, UC is expanding financial aid for California students from the most financially needy families, giving them a wider path to graduating without debt.
4. There’s financial help available for middle-class families.
Costs are on the rise for just about everything, and middle-income families are feeling the pinch, too. California, through its Middle-Class Scholarship program, provides school dollars for families with annual incomes up to $217K.
5. You’re likely to get money. And more than you realize.
Lots of college applicants don’t think they’ll qualify for aid. But UC has one of the best financial aid programs in the country, and it’s a good bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Another surprise: Many financial aid applicants get more than they expected.
The takeaway: Apply for financial aid no matter what your income level or financial situation.
7. Financial aid goes beyond tuition.
The average undergrad financial aid award covers more than tuition, providing about $4,500 more in grants and scholarships to help with costs like food, housing and living expenses.
8. There’s money for undocumented students, too.
Everyone should have access to education. If you’re an undocumented Californian, you may be eligible for state and UC dollars through the California Dream Act.
9. Think billions.
A recent report found that college applicants left $3.6 billion in financial aid on the table last year. That’s federal grant money for college that students don’t need to pay back. In fact, 44 percent of college applicants didn’t even fill out the FAFSA! We know the FAFSA can seem like hard work, but there’s a ton of money out there waiting!
10. UC is an investment with a high return.
UC graduates out-earn other California college grads and take in 84 percent more in lifetime earnings than their peers without degrees.
Don’t just take our word for it: All nine UC undergraduate campuses just earned top marks for their combination of excellence and affordability from Money magazine. With all the economic, social and personal advantages that come with a UC degree, it’s a value that’s hard to beat.