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Important Updates

  • If you have been selected for verification, the deadline is June 15, 2023.  Please review your email for instructions.
  • For California Middle Class Scholarship updates, please visit MCS.
  • For Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief information, please visit Apply for Federal Student Loan Debt Relief.

Determining Financial Aid

Determining Financial Aid for Undergraduates

To be considered for most forms of need-based aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) 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 aid 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 CADAA. 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 loans, 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. Other awards that exceed Self-Help and Loan Contribution amounts may, by rule, reduce awarded grants.

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 Undergraduate Financial Aid Package Samples.