Prospective Undergraduate Students

Financial Aid Information for Prospective Undergraduate Students


College is possible for everyone, and a variety of financial aid options are available to help with the costs.  As you consider the value of a college education, the U.S. Department of Education has developed a very useful and informative website,, to help you plot your road to college.

Start looking into financial aid during your junior year of high school. Read the Fund Your Future guide published by the California Student Aid Commission, which is available in many languages.

At the UC Davis Financial Aid Office, our staff will do our best to help you get the financial aid you need to meet your educational goals. Here's what you will need to know when applying for financial aid:

Timeline for High School Senior and Community College Transfer Students

  • August 1: Begin working on your UC Application.
  • November 1-30: Submit your admissions application to the University 
  • Early October to March 2: Complete your FAFSA or California Dream Act Application online. It is important that you submit your application before March 2 each year for priority aid consideration. Be sure to also list UC Davis school code 001313.
  • If you filed a FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. To check the status of your application, visit FAFSAIf you do not receive an email confirmation, you may not have successfully completed the application.
  • If you filed a Dream Act Application, you will need to log in to the California Dream Act Application to view your SAR or to check the status of your application.
  • All students should also apply for Cal Grant by submitting a GPA Verification form to the California Student Aid Commission before March 2. More information about GPA verification is available on our applying for aid page, or through your high school, community college, or financial aid office.
  • Mid-March to April: If admitted to UC Davis, you will be able to login to MyAwards to review your aid and requirements.


  • You simultaneously apply for scholarships offered through UC Davis when you submit the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships from November 1-30.
  • If you are transferring from a junior college, submit one letter of recommendation directly to UC Davis. Refer to the instruction section of the Undergraduate Application for Admission to the University of California for further guidance.
  • Throughout the year, a number of outside organizations contact the Undergraduate & Prestigious Scholarships Office to publicize their scholarship opportunities. To help our students access the many available scholarships, we maintain the Outside Scholarships webpage. The selection criteria, application process, and deadlines for these external scholarships vary, so please review the listings and associated websites for more detailed information.

UC Davis Affordability

UC Davis costs much less than comparable private universities for the same world-class education. UC Davis proudly enrolls students from all income levels, despite increases in fees and other costs. As published in the 2017-2018 IPEDS data collection, 38% of UC Davis undergraduates received a Pell Grant, as compared to 16% at the private Northern California University used in the comparison table below.

With the UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, undergraduates with a family income of up to $80,000 who meet other eligibility requirements receive grants and/or scholarships to cover in-state base tuition and fees. Numerous students receive grants to help cover costs in addition to the systemwide tuition and fees, and many students with family incomes above $80,000 also qualify for financial aid. Please visit our UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan webpage for more information.

UC Davis recently implemented the Aggie Grant Plan, a brand new financial aid program created specifically for students from middle-income families. The Aggie Grant Plan ensures that qualifying UC Davis students will receive an appropriate amount of grant and/or scholarship funding. Similar to the UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, eligible students with family incomes between $80,000 and $120,000 will have at least 25% of their base tuition and fees covered by gift aid. Please visit our UC Davis Aggie Grant Plan webpage for more information.

2021-2022 Estimated Cost of Attendance at UC Davis Compared to a Major Private University in Northern California

Budget Item
UC Davis
California Resident
UC Davis
Out-of-State Student
Private Northern
California University*
Tuition and Fees $14,658 $44,412 $55,473
Health Insurance $2,805 $2,805 Varies**
Books and Supplies $1,197 $1,197 $1,305
Room & Board $16,480 $16,480 $17,860
Personal Expenses $1,383 $1,383 $2,250
Transportation $603 $603 Varies**
Other Costs  $0 $0 $2,010
Total $37,126 $66,880 $78,898

UC Davis student budgets are determined using a combination of known institutional expenses. These figures are obtained using a systemwide Cost of Attendance Survey (COAS) conducted every three years, which provides the most comprehensive data available for non-fee expenses anticipated for UC undergraduates. The survey provides a standardized basis for calculating student budgets at each campus that reflect local economic conditions and student spending patterns.

*Source: Stanford University Financial Aid Undergraduate Student Budget

** Health insurance premiums and transportation costs vary at the comparison campus and therefore are not included in their published total expenses.

Admissions Resources

Preliminary Family Contribution Appeal

We understand information on the financial aid application does not necessarily reflect you or your family’s current financial situation. Depending on the circumstances and federal regulations, once entering students are admitted, but prior to submitting the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR), students can submit a statement to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The statement must address any differences in family or student income between the information on the financial aid application, and income, for the year of admission.

Please include the following in your statement:

  • Your name
  • Your Student ID number
  • The best way to contact you.

Based on the information provided, staff will work to provide a preliminary estimate regarding the changes which could result in additional financial aid eligibility. Actual changes to the financial aid application, and awards resulting from the review, will not be made prior to the SIR. The student will need to submit the Family Contribution Appeal, with documentation, when it becomes available on July 1.

Every effort will be made to review Preliminary Family Contribution Appeals prior to the SIR date, but please allow up to 3-4 weeks for processing time. Appeals will be reviewed in the date order received. We strongly suggest submitting your request for review at least 3 weeks before the SIR Fee deadline date to allow time for review.

  • Layoff/Unemployment
  • Disability
  • Retirement
  • Death
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Child or spousal support
  • Out of pocket medical costs not covered by insurance from between January and December of the prior calendar year. Expenses must not exceed medical expenses as allowed by financial aid regulations.
  • Change in the number of family members in the household whom you or your parents provide more than 50% support.

You can submit your Preliminary Family Contribution Appeal through our Contact an Expert system.

You will be notified by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office when your appeal has been processed, or if any additional information is required.