Financial Aid and Scholarships

When you’re admitted to UCLA, you and your family might have a lot of questions about how you’ll cover the costs of tuition, housing and other necessities. Our office is dedicated to helping each family create a strategy that works for them. Thanks to the numerous options available, your education is affordable.

Financial Aid Applications

Before you do anything else, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the DREAM Act Application. Make sure you complete the application before the UCLA priority deadline of March 2. These applications become available on October 1 each year and they provide access to federal- and state-based financial aid programs for all eligible students.

Where to Start With Financial Aid and Scholarships

UCLA is committed to helping students finance their education. The Financial Aid and Scholarships office works closely with all students who need financial assistance. A financial aid award generally consists of a combination of scholarships and grant money from UCLA and other sources, low-interest loans and a work-study job during the academic year.

We recommend that you take the initiative to research the wide range of scholarship opportunities sponsored by outside organizations. Every year thousands of dollars go unawarded because students are not aware of these resources.

Here are a few resources to help you get started:

Four Types of Financial Aid

Paying for your education should be a partnership between student, family and university. Check out the many ways you can cover your UCLA education.

1. Scholarships

UCLA offers financial support that may be awarded based on need, academic merit, background, specific talents or professional interests:

Some other important scholarship resources include:

Don’t forget to check organizations in your hometown, such as the Rotary Club and AmeriCorps, that offer scholarships for community service.

Related Links

2. Grants

Grants are a type of financial aid that recipients don’t have to repay. Sources include the federal and state governments, as well as UCLA. Most are awarded based on need and require submission of a Financial Aid Application by March 2.

Available to California residents only:

Available to all U.S. residents:

Please note: Financial aid supported by funds from the State of California is not available to nonresident students enrolling at UCLA. However, the Financial Aid and Scholarships office will assist nonresident domestic students with federal financial aid, private loans, advice on scholarships and merit-based aid where available.

If you’re an out-of-state student thinking of studying in California, look into financial aid programs that may be available from your home state. You can search for state-based grants and state-based financial aid programs.

Explore grants for UCLA Students

    3. Loans

    In 2019, graduating seniors in the U.S. had an average student loan debt of over $29,200. But for UCLA seniors, the average was much lower — just over $22,390. And virtually all UCLA graduates — 98% of them — successfully manage loan repayment.

    You will have a variety of borrowing options available, so please make sure to research them carefully before you select what is best for you. Refer to loan guides available from UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.

    The federal government offers low-interest Direct Student Loans for higher education.

    Fixed low-interest federal PLUS loans are also available to parents.

    Private educational loans offered by banks and lending institutions are also available to students, parents and family members.

    Federal loans are not credit-based and have terms set by the Department of Education. Interest paid on student loans is tax-deductible. There are flexible payment options, and repayment can be delayed until after the student’s graduation on federal and private loans.

    Parents may take out low-interest education loans from the government and private loans from banks or other lenders. The terms for federal loans to parents are determined by the Department of Education; they are not based on credit scores. Loan payments can be postponed until after the student graduates. Interest paid on parent loans is tax-deductible.

    Learn about federal student loans

    4. Part-Time Student Jobs

    A part-time job can help pay for textbooks and day-to-day living expenses. Last year, over 9,500 UCLA undergraduates worked on campus part-time. Some had work-study awards which can make it easier to find a position, on campus or off.

    Tip: If you work at UCLA, you can qualify for discounts as an employee. Students who work for ASUCLA get a 50 percent on-campus dining discount.

    Explore work-study and jobs

    What Parents Can Do to Help Financially

    Parents have access to a number of resources, including some that offer tax benefits.

    Savings Accounts and Tax Benefits

    Some families set up special college savings accounts, such as Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and 529 plans, which enable them to put away money for college tuition and related expenses.

    Families can also withdraw money from their 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings accounts. Withdrawals are penalty-free when the money is used to pay for education. 

    The government offers tax benefits and credits for higher education. For details, check your tax preparation software or ask your tax preparer.

     

    Additional Ways to Save Money and Manage Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    Reduce the time involved in earning a degree by taking more than the minimum courses required per term and/or attending summer school. Did you know that out-of-state students do not pay Nonresident Supplemental Tuition in the summer?

    Explore all the different housing options available to you — on campus, off campus or commuting from home.

    When selecting a meal plan for on-campus housing, consider your habits and ask yourself what you really need.

    Where book expenses are concerned, the UCLA Store is committed to offering the best value for students. They have new books, used, digital, rentals and price matching. And at the end of each quarter, the UCLA Store buys books back for cash.

    When it comes to transportation, many students ask if they need to have a car on campus. Most first-year students do not need a car, especially given parking limitations on campus. Many students utilize public transportation and ridesharing, which helps save money and the environment.

    Bruin Pay Plan

    When you enroll at UCLA, you’re eligible to apply for the BruinPay Plan. This plan allows students and families to pay each academic quarter’s tuition and fees in three payments spread over the term.

    Where to Go for More Information

    We are dedicated to helping make your UCLA education affordable. If you have questions about financial aid, please contact Financial Aid and Scholarships.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you’re left with unanswered questions after reviewing the information on this page, check out the UC site’s “how it works” page.

    Visit UC Site

    When you’re admitted to UCLA, Financial Aid and Scholarships will provide you with a Provisional Award Letter (PAL) that will inform you of your eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans and work programs. If you complete your financial aid application by March, your PAL will be available at the same time as your notification of admission.

    When you’re admitted, you’re asked to submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). Once you submit it your award will be finalized. A financial aid notification (FAN) will be sent between July and August.

    Find out more about notification of eligibility

    Yes, your financial aid notification will offer assistance to cover your total Cost of Attendance. This will primarily consist of Federal Parent and/or Private Loans.

    You must be a California resident to be assessed in-state tuition. Visit the Registrar’s webpage for information on establishing California residency for tuition purposes.

    See UC residency requirements

    UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships will adjust your financial aid award to incorporate your scholarships. Typically, scholarships are used to replace federal work study and/or need-based student loans. This helps reduce your student loan indebtedness at graduation.

    If you or your parent/guardian’s financial situation changes after you apply or at any time during the academic year, you may submit a projected year income appeal along with supporting documentation. See the “Special Circumstances” section of your PAL Guide for more details.
    Read about financial aid appeals

    Unfortunately, UCLA isn’t able to negotiate our financial aid awards in response to offers from other universities. If the other school has information about your family’s financial situation that you didn’t share with us, or if you have reason to believe we made an error in our assessment of your award, please contact UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss a possible re-evaluation.

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