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Financial Aid

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Standard Educational Expenses

The cost of attending college covered by some combination of financial aid and students and their families includes a number of elements. Colleges and universities estimate the cost of attending their institution for three different living situations. Select the living situation below to see the range of costs by type of college. Costs here are estimates for the 2014-15 academic year and are not a guarantee of fees or your actual costs for other expenses.


The fees displayed in the charts below at the California Community Colleges, California State University, and the University of California are for California residents only. Nonresidents pay an additional $22,878 in tuition and fees at UC, $11,160 at CSU, and about $180 more per unit at the California Community Colleges. In general, dependent students whose parents have been in California or independent students who have been in California more than one year are considered state residents. For more information on residency for determining fee levels, please see the websites of the college in which you are interested. Independent colleges have a range of tuition and fees from $14,500 to $55,000 and usually do not have additional tuition for nonresidents.


This estimate includes average costs for textbooks, paper supplies, and computer supplies (not the purchase of a computer) related to full-year, full-time enrollment.


For on-campus living arrangements, this includes the cost of the dorm or apartment and any meal plan the student might have. It may also include estimates of groceries and eating out for students with small meal plans. Off-campus estimates include rent, groceries, and utilities. Commuter estimates include transportation, as well as groceries and utilities.


Miscellaneous costs include estimates for personal expenses, entertainment, transportation, and, at some colleges, an allowance for health insurance.

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