Affordability and How Financial Aid Can Help
When you're admitted to UCLA, you and your family might have concerns about how you'll cover the costs of tuition, housing and other necessities. Our financial aid professionals will make every effort to help you afford to pay for your education. Our office is dedicated to helping each family create a strategy that works for them. Thanks to the numerous options available, your education can be affordable.It Costs Less Than You Think
Most families pay less than the full price. In fact, 40% of our undergraduate students pay no tuition at all. We even offer an array of housing options and meal plans—as well as financial aid for housing—so that you have flexibility as to how much you pay for room and board.
In addition, UCLA offers payment plan options for both tuition and housing so that families can make smaller, regular tuition payments throughout the academic year instead of larger, lump-sum payments.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Before you do anything else, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure that you complete the application before the UCLA priority deadline. An office of the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school.Continue to FAFSA
Paying for your education should be a partnership between student, family and university. In addition to the FAFSA, check out the many ways you can pay for your UCLA education.
UCLA offers financial support that may be awarded based on need, academic merit, background, specific talents or professional interests:
- UCLA Regents Scholarships (merit-based)
- UCLA Alumni Scholarships (merit-based)
- UCLA Achievement Scholarships (merit- and need-based)
Some other important scholarship sources include:
- The Gates Millennium Scholars: A program that awards 1,000 scholarships per year
- UCLA Scholarship Resource Center: Located on campus near the student residence halls, the center helps students identify scholarships available regardless of income level
- Fastweb: A website that matches personal profiles to available scholarships
Don't forget to check organizations in your hometown such as The Rotary Club and AmeriCorps that offer scholarships for community service.
Grants are awards that the recipient does not have to pay back. Sources include the federal and state governments as well as your university. Most are awarded based on need.
Some grants include:
- University of California Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan
- Pell Grants (Federal)
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (Federal)
- Cal Grants A or B (California)
- University Student Aid Program Funds (need-based)
Scholarship Recognition Awards: These one-year, non-renewable grants are awarded to entering freshmen and transfer students who complete their FAFSA before the priority filing deadline. These awards recognize stellar academic achievement and assist students with financial need.
For Non-Residents: If you are not a California resident, your home state might still offer college grants even if you attend an institution in another state. Check the U.S. Department of Education website for a list of state higher education agencies that can direct you to the proper resources.
In 2011, graduating seniors in the U.S. had an average student loan debt of $25,000. But for UCLA seniors, the average was much lower—just over $18,000.
The federal government offers low-interest student loans for higher education, such as:
There are flexible payment options and other discounts, as well as delayed repayment options. Interest on student loans is tax deductible.
Part-time Student Jobs
Having a part-time job can help pay for textbooks and day-to-day living expenses. You might have access to work-study awards, too, for which a portion of your wages are paid by the federal government. Work-study positions are available on and off campus.
What Parents Can Do
Parents might have access to a number of resources, including some that include tax benefits.
Parents may take out low-interest education loans from the government and private loans from various sources, including banks or other private lending institutions. For parents, loans may provide flexibility to help manage costs.
Tax-Free Accounts and Tax Benefits
Many families set up special college savings accounts, such as Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and 529 plans, which enable them to put away money, tax-free for college tuition and related expenses.
Families can also withdraw money from their 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings accounts. These withdrawals are penalty-free when the money is used to pay for education.
The government offers tax benefits for education, which effectively reimburse families for money they spend on college tuition. In addition, interest on student loans is tax deductible. For details, please consult your tax advisor.
We're Here to Help
We are dedicated to helping make your UCLA education affordable. If you have questions about financial aid, email the Financial Aid Office at AskFAO@ucla.edu.