Determining Financial Aid for UC Davis Undergraduates

Determining Financial Aid

To be considered for most forms of need-based aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application must be completed by March 2nd, each year. Below is the formula used to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid:

Cost of Attendance: The UC Davis student expense budgets include systemwide tuition and student services fee, campus-based fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation, and a health care allowance. The Cost of Attendance used to package financial is based on your living arrangements, so be certain the correct student expense budget has been assigned.


Expected Family Contribution (EFC): Your EFC is based on your FAFSA or California Dream Act Application. If the EFC exceeds the Cost of Attendance, you are not eligible for need-based financial aid. However, if you are eligible to complete a FAFSA, you (and your parents) may still apply for Unsubsidized Direct Loans and/or Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) regardless of need.

Equals Demonstrated Need


Federal and State Grants: The U.S. Department of Education determines your Pell Grant eligibility and amount, and the California Student Aid Commission determines your Cal Grant eligibility, type and amount.

Student Self-Help and Loan Contribution: This is the amount that all undergraduates are expected to contribute toward the cost of an education, which may change from year-to-year. You may meet this expectation with loan, scholarships or earnings from employment. 

Other Awards: This may include UC Davis and/or outside scholarships or awards. These funds are first used to meet your Self-Help and Loan Contribution to reduce the amount you may need to borrow and/or work.

Equals Remaining Need

University (or other) Grant Eligibility: Grant awards vary and are subject to change each year. Grant funds are limited and awarded until funds are depleted.


To see different scenarios on how aid is awarded, please visit our Undergraduate Financial Aid Package Samples webpage.