University of California 2010 Accountability Report

Indicator 16
Distribution of UC Undergraduates by Family Income, 1999-2000 to 2008-09

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

One important metric for gauging the impact of fee increases on the affordability of the University is the distribution of students by family income over time. If fee increases were causing undue financial hardship, one would expect to see proportionately fewer low-income students enrolling over time as costs went up.

Despite recent increases in both the total cost and net cost of attendance, the income distribution of all UC undergraduates has changed little since 1999-2000, indicating that the University has remained accessible to undergraduates from all income groups.

In fact, more than a third of UC students either come from low-income families (with incomes under $48,000) or, under federal guidelines, are considered financially independent from their parents.

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

Students were assigned to 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 the income was imputed based on the parents' demographic profile.

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.