Undergraduate Expenses and Finances

2011-12 General Catalog


In determining the cost of attending UCSC each quarter, students should consider both required fees and personal expenses. The figures below are provided to help you draw up a realistic personal budget. If you then conclude that you will need financial assistance in order to attend UCSC, you should read the Financial Aid section below. Fees and additional financial information for graduate students appear in the Graduate Studies section. Tuition, fees, and other charges are subject to change without notice by the UC Regents. For the most current fee information, check Fees.

Required Fees

Required fees are due and payable before the start of each quarter. At the beginning of each quarter, you will need sufficient funds to cover housing charges and book costs. For many financial aid recipients, however, fees and on-campus housing charges are paid automatically from approved student aid funds. If you are a financial aid recipient, please note that checks and direct deposits for scholarships, grants, and loans in excess of university charges are not available to you until after registration and enrollment each quarter.

The Student Services Fee funds student services that provide a supportive and enriching learning environment and that are complementary to, but not part of, the instructional program. Programs include, but are not limited to, services related to the physical and psychological health and well-being of students; social and cultural activities and programs;
services related to campus life; and educational and career support.

The Educational Fee helps support student financial aid and related programs; admissions; registration; administration; libraries; operation and maintenance of plant; the university’s
operating budget; and all costs related to instruction, including faculty salaries.

Santa Cruz campus fees help support a wide range of student services, including college and campuswide student government, extracurricular programs and recreation facilities, campus child care, community and public service projects, Educational Opportunity Programs and scholarships, and free-fare use of the local transit systems. Campus fees paid by graduate students are provided on the web at Course Fees.

In addition, all students, including foreign students, are assessed a mandatory Health Insurance Premium. The Cowell Student Health Center provides the primary care services for the plan while a contracted insurance company provides major medical and hospitalization insurance. There is an annual deductible, with most expenses covered at 80 percent of the
customary and usual charge. Coverage includes, but is not limited to, hospital stays; surgical
services; physician visits; emergency treatment; outpatient care; and pregnancy. Dependent
coverage is also available. Detailed information is on the web at www2.ucsc.edu/healthcenter/billing/insurance.shtml or contact the Student Health Insurance Office, (831) 459-2389.

Waivers from the mandatory health insurance premium are available if you can show that your private insurance provides coverage equal to or better than the student health insurance plan. Deadlines for applying for a waiver are listed in the Schedule of Classes.

Some courses charge an additional Course Materials Fee. These fees recover the cost of materials, supplies, equipment, and support services not covered by the normal instructional budget. The fees are reviewed and approved annually by the Miscellaneous and Course Materials Fee Advisory Committee. The list of specific courses charging fees in 2011–12 is available in the quarterly Schedule of Classes and on the web at registrar.ucsc.edu/fees/course-fees.html.

Nonresident Tuition

If you are a resident of a state other than California or of another country, you must pay nonresident tuition, the nonresident educational fee, and other required fees (university registration and Santa Cruz campus fees). The criteria for residency appear in Appendix A.

Non–U.S. citizens note: Regardless of how long you live in California, only U.S. citizens and holders of immigrant visas may become qualified for resident classification.

Undergraduate Budget, 2011–12

California Residents

Students Living
On Campus

Required Tuition and Fees

Student Services Fee (formerly University Registration Fee)
Tuition (Educational Fee)(a)
Santa Cruz campus fees
Health Insurance (waivable)


Estimated Personal Expenses (b)

Room and board
Books and supplies



Total Budget CA Residents

Total Budget CA Nonresidents



a) Undergraduates who are unable to maintain a full-time program of study because of employment responsibilities, family obligations, or health problems may be eligible for a 50 percent reduction in Tuition. One quarter at $1,870; two quarters at $3,740.
b) Estimated personal expenses for students living off campus total $4,784 per quarter or $14,352 for three quarters. Estimated personal expenses for students living with family total $3,077 per quarter or $9,231 for three quarters.

Late Fees

You may be assessed late fees if you fail to make university payments or enroll by the specified deadlines. For example, late fees are assessed on a graduated basis for each month there is an unpaid balance on your university account, and at $50 each for a late registration payment and/or late enrollment and $25 for a late housing payment. Deadlines are published in The Navigator (the undergraduate campus handbook) and the Schedule of Classes, both of which are online at registrar.ucsc.edu, and they appear on the Statement of Account.

Estimated Personal Expenses

The figures given for estimated personal expenses are for a single undergraduate living on campus. Expenses will be higher for married students, students with children, and graduate students. The information is as current and realistic as possible; however, expenses for students vary in accordance with lifestyles, priorities, and obligations.

Room and board (in college residences). Rates for room and board in the college residence halls depend on the type of accommodation and meal plan. The current rates may be found on the campus Housing Office website (http://housing.ucsc.edu/). The room and board amount of $14,727 in the Undergraduate Budget table above is the cost for a double room, seven day meal plan and additional flexi dollars.

Rates are paid quarterly. The rate ranges listed above do not cover periods of academic recess, nor does the budget above. Housing charges are normally payable at the beginning of each quarter. However, students may arrange with the Campus Housing Office to pay monthly.

More detailed information on room and board expenses for the individual colleges appears in a brochure distributed as part of the admission process or available from the Campus Housing Office, 104 Hahn Student Services Building, (831) 459-2394.

Miscellaneous. This budget item covers a broad range of expenses including clothing, laundry, personal grooming, recreation, and health maintenance. It also covers minimum expenses for modest travel to visit family.

Schedules of Refunds

All Continuing and Readmitted Students and New Students Not Receiving Federal Financial Aid

Number of calendar days

Percentage of fees refunded*
1st day of instruction 100
2-7 90
8-18 50
19-35 25
36 and over

New Students Who Receive Federal Financial Aid and Withdraw during Their First Academic Term

Number of calendar days

Percentage of fees refunded*
1st day of instruction 100
2-7 90
8-14 80
15-21 70
22-28 60
29-35 50
36-42 40
43 and over

* For new students, the nonrefundable $100 Undergraduate Acceptance of Admission Fee is withheld from the University Registration Fee; the schedule of refunds applies to the balance of fees. Percentages listed (days 1–35 or days 1–42) should be applied individually to Nonresident Tuition, the Educational Fee, the University Registration Fee, and Santa Cruz campus fees. The Health Insurance Fee is nonrefundable.

Fee Refunds

Students who cancel their registration before the first day of instruction in a given quarter are refunded all required fees minus a $10 service charge. New undergraduate students who cancel their registration before the first day of instruction are entitled to a refund of all required fees except the nonrefundable $100 undergraduate acceptance of admission fee (applied toward the Student Services fee).

Once the quarter has begun, students must petition for withdrawal. The percentage of fees refunded is determined by the effective date of the withdrawal, according to the schedule at the left, in which day 1 is the first day of instruction. A student is not eligible for university
services after the effective date of withdrawal.

A student entering the armed forces before the sixth week of the quarter is entitled to a full refund of the Student Services fee—provided no course credit is received.

More detailed information on withdrawal and refund procedures is included in the quarterly Schedule of Classes and The Navigator, both online at registrar.ucsc.edu, and in the Graduate Student Handbook (graddiv.ucsc.edu). Information on refunds of room and board charges is contained in the campus housing contract, provided to all applicants for on-campus housing. For more information on how withdrawing affects your financial aid, refer to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office web site at financialaid.ucsc.edu.

Deferred Payment Plan

The Deferred Payment Plan (DPP) provides an alternative method of budgeting and paying registration fees. It allows these fees, to the extent not covered by scholarships, loans, or other financial aid, to be paid in monthly installments. Students have a choice of applying for a three-month plan for individual quarterly fees, or, at the beginning of the fall quarter only, for a nine-month plan to be used for the fall, winter, and spring quarters. A nonrefundable application fee of $25 for the three-month plan, or $60 for the nine-month plan, is required. Any student in good financial and academic standing may apply for DPP. Students receiving financial aid sufficient to cover registration fees in full are not eligible for this plan. For more information about how to apply for DPP, application deadlines, and campus policies regarding the program, contact the Office of Student Business Services, 203 Hahn Student Services Building, (831)
459-2107, e-mail oarinfo@ucsc.edu, or visit the web site at sbs.ucsc.edu.

Financial Aid

For undergraduate students who require financial assistance, the university maintains a robust financial aid program of grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment. Administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, these resources help bridge the gap between the cost of education and what parents and students can reasonably contribute.

If you are a dependent student, the amount of the contribution expected from you and your parents is determined through an analysis of your family’s financial strength, considering such variables as income, number of dependents, living expenses, and savings and investments (excluding the home you live in). Federal, state, and university procedures and campus policies are used in the evaluation. The same methodology is used for married and independent students but parental information is excluded. The federal definition of independent status is used to determine your dependency when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan ensures that undergraduate California residents whose families earn less that $78,000 a year in 2011–12 who demonstrate financial need will have their UC system-wide fees fully covered with gift aid. Qualified students must be in their first four years of attendance (first two for transfer students). Students must also meet application deadlines.

Application Deadlines

The (FAFSA) may be submitted online at www. fafsa.gov after on January 1 preceding the academic year you wish to receive aid. Submit the FAFSA each year before our deadline which is March 2. A “FAFSA on the Web Worksheet” is available at the same web site to help you prepare for completing the FAFSA.

Students admitted to fall quarter will receive an estimate of their eligibility for financial aid in April.

In some cases, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will require additional information from applicants. These applicants will be sent an e-mail instructing them to log onto the student portal at MyUCSC and view their “To Do List,” which will specify the required documents (e.g., copies of student and parent tax returns or other forms). These are mandatory requirements which must be received in the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office by the deadline on the To Do List to be considered for all sources of aid administered by UC Santa Cruz.

Estimated awards for admitted students may change as the result of our review of documentation we request.

Applicants who submit documents after our deadlines will be considered for aid on a funds-available basis.

Students admitted for winter quarter must have submitted a FAFSA by the date of the admission notification. Items requested on your MyUCSC To Do List must be submitted by December 20. Award notifications will be made as soon as possible after you are admitted or readmitted and all requested financial aid documents have been submitted.

Types of Aid

If you apply for financial aid and you meet the application deadlines, you are considered for all types of assistance described below. Depending on funds available and your financial need, your financial aid package may include a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work opportunities.


The following grants are available to undergraduates.

  • UC Santa Cruz Grants are awarded to students based on their financial need. Funds for this grant program come in part from tuition paid by students at all campuses of the university.
  • Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B are awarded by the California Student Aid Commission to California residents who meet income and asset eligibility requirements and who demonstrate financial need and academic achievement. In addition to submitting a FAFSA, applicants who have not previously received a Cal Grant must also complete and submit the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by the state deadline of March 2 in order to be considered for this grant.
  • Federal Pell Grants will provide a maximum of $5,550 during 2010–11.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are available to students with substantial financial need. The maximum award is $4,000.


UC Santa Cruz scholarships range from $250 to $10,000 per year. (The average award is about $1,500.) Funding comes from private donors, alumni, and the university. Entering UCSC students apply for scholarships using the University of California Application for Undergraduate Admission. When filling out your UC application, answer the questions in the scholarship section. Your application essay will serve as your scholarship essay. Selected students are notified in April.
All current students will be automatically considered for scholarships based on their cumulative GPA. Notifications are e-mailed in August.

Merit scholarships are awarded competitively based on academic achievement and the potential success.

Regents Scholarships are the most prestigious merit scholarships awarded to undergraduates. Awards are made for periods of four years to entering frosh and for periods of two years to continuing or transfer students beginning their junior year at the university. For freshmen, the Regents Scholarship is $20,000 paid over four years. For entering junior transfers, the Regents Scholarship is $10,000 paid over two years. For continuing students, the amount varies based on the year in college and year appointed.

Other scholarships are restricted to students from particular geographic areas or family backgrounds or are limited to students in particular majors, classes, or colleges. The donors have different reasons for giving, and their varied interests are reflected in the wide range of scholarships available. Merit and restricted scholarship awards range up to $1,500.

Regents Scholarships are awarded for periods of four years to entering frosh and for periods of two years to continuing or transfer students beginning their junior year at the university. These awards are based on academic achievement and promise, irrespective of financial need. For freshmen, the Regents Scholarship is $20,000 paid over four years. For entering junior transfers, the Regents Scholarship is $10,000 paid over two years. For continuing students, the amount varies based on grade level and year appointed.

Entering UCSC students apply for scholarships using the University of California Application for Undergraduate Admission. When filling out your UC application, answer the questions in the scholarship section. Your application essay will serve as your scholarship essay. Selected students are notified in April.

All continuing students will be automatically considered for UCSC scholarships based on cumulative GPA. Notifications are e-mailed in August.

Need-Based Loans

Student loan funds are administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office in accordance with the regulations of the federal government. Need-based student loans are interest-free as long as the student is enrolled in college at least half-time.

Federal Perkins Loans are offered to first- and second-year students. Repayment begins nine months after graduation or withdrawal from higher education. When repayment begins the interest rate is 5 percent per year.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans are funded by the federal government. Annual limits for dependent students are $3,500 for first-year students, $4,500 for second-year students, and $5,500 for all other undergraduates. The annual limit for graduate students is $8,500. Students may borrow up to $23,000 for undergraduate study and up to $65,500 for undergraduate and graduate study combined. Students pay an origination fee of up to 0.5 percent. Repayment begins six months after graduation or withdrawal from higher education. The interest rate is 3.4 percent fixed on all loans made in 2010–11.

Non-Need-Based Loans

William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans are offered to students who do not demonstrate financial need. Interest is charged on unsubsidized loans from the date the loan is made. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8 percent.

The borrower must pay an origination fee of up to 0.5 percent. This is deducted from the amount of the loan. Annual loan limits for undergraduate dependent students are the same as the limits for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans (see above) plus an additional $2000. The cumulative maximum loan for a dependent undergraduate is $31,500.

Independent students have higher combined Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Student Loan limits than dependent students. The annual limits for independent students are as follows: $9,500 for first-year students; $10,500 for second-year students; $12,500 for other undergraduates; and $20,500 for graduate students. Students may borrow up to $57,500 for undergraduate study and $138,500 for undergraduate and graduate study combined.

Students may begin repaying principal and interest on Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans immediately, pay only interest immediately, or defer both principal and interest until they are no longer enrolled in school at least half-time.

Parents of dependent students may apply for a Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Parents may borrow up to the full cost of education as defined by the UCSC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, less any financial assistance the student receives. Parents must demonstrate creditworthiness for loan approval. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9 percent. Borrowers pay an origination fee of up to 2.5 percent that is deducted from the loan amount. Loan repayments begin 60 days after the last disbursement.

Other loans. The University of California develops and publishes lists of private lenders who offer the most favorable terms for UC borrowers. Lender lists may be found on our web site at financialaid.ucsc.edu.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study gives students the opportunity to work part-time to earn money to help cover expenses while enrolled at UC Santa Cruz. Students who demonstrate financial need may be offered a Work-Study award. This award does not guarantee a job ― positions are competitive. Students must apply for positions at our Career Center web site, careers.ucsc.edu/.

Loan Forgiveness Programs

The federal government will forgive all or part of a student loan under certain circumstances. Examples of these include: performing volunteer work or military service; and practicing medicine in certain communities. For a summary of such exemptions, visit http://www.finaid.org/loans/forgiveness.phtml.

More Information

For more information about applying for financial aid, application and document deadlines for contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office, 205 Hahn Student Services Building, (831) 459-2963, or visit financialaid@ucsc.edu.

Veteran Services

The Veteran Services staff acts as a liaison between the Department of Veterans Affairs and students who, as veterans, veterans’ dependents, or reservists, receive education benefits. The staff also assists with the California Department of Veterans Affairs’ college fee-waiver program for children of veterans who have service-connected disabilities or who have died from service-related causes. Students who are California residents apply for the college fee-waiver program through their home county Veterans Services Office.

Students who are veterans or veterans’ dependents should contact Veteran Services as soon as they receive notification of admission to UC Santa Cruz to ensure timely processing of their benefit claims.

Veteran Services staff members are located at 190 Hahn Student Services Building. An appointment may be arranged by calling (831) 459-2709 or by e-mail at registrar@ucsc.edu.

During their transition to the university and while they are enrolled as UCSC students, military veterans are provided a broad range of academic and support services by Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students (STARS). The main STARS office is located in room 216A of the Academic Resources Center. Contact staff at (831) 459-2552, or visit the STARS web site, stars.ucsc.edu.

Revised: 8/13/12