University of California 2010 Accountability Report

Indicator 15
Net Cost of Attendance by Income, 1999-2000 to 2008-09

Data visualization. please download the source data for accessible information.

A general measure of the University's affordability is its average net cost of attendance. This represents the actual cost of attending the University for undergraduates after taking into account scholarships and grants. This is what students must contribute to their college education, whether from parental contributions or their own resources (e.g., student savings, work or loans).

Scholarships and grants reduce the "sticker price" of attending UC for students at all income levels, but especially for students with few parental resources (i.e., low-income dependent students and students who, under federal guidelines, are considered to be financially independent from their parents).

Between 1999-2000 and 2008-09, augmentations to gift aid kept the average increase in inflation-adjusted net cost for low-income students to $1,705 compared to $5,836 for students in the highest income category.

Additional grant aid did not fully cover cost increases for low-income students in part because non-fee costs, such as room and board, books and supplies, etc., increased without augmentations in grants to offset them.

Source: UC Corporate Student System. Additional information can be found at:

Net cost is defined as each student's full cost of attendance less any grants, scholarships, and fee exemptions. Students were assigned to constant-dollar parent income categories based on the income they reported on either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission, or imputed based on the parents' demographic profile.

Net costs and incomes are expressed in constant 2008 dollars. Inflationary adjustments relied on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage-earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

You may view or download a table of the raw data used to generate these charts in CSV files, which can be opened in spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice.