Student Fees Increase, But So Does Need-Based Financial Aid

As the cost of attendance at UC Irvine increases, students may wonder where their student fees are actually going.
Undergraduate California residents currently pay $7,474.50 in tuition and fees, while non-residents pay $17,820. With other expenses such as books, supplies and room and board, students are spending approximately $20,690 and $25,294.50, respectively.
According to a model cost of attendance chart provided by the UCI Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, a majority of this cost comes from room and board.
While rental rates are high around the Irvine area, housing is still less expensive than in other UC campuses.
\”Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz are more expensive than Irvine. San Diego has the cheapest on-campus housing, but overall, students here are paying approximately $1,000 less than others,\” said Brent Yunek, director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
With the increase in tuition and fees, some students have been forced to take out loans, but contrary to popular belief, the amount of aid being given out has also increased steadily.
During the 1990s, the state established a 5 percent student fee increase. Because of government financial hardships, the amount of funding the UCs received from the government decreased and expected student contribution increased.
Over a period of four years, the amount of aid being given out in the form of grants has increased by 31.9 percent while the number of borrowers has decreased by 10.6 percent.
\”The incoming classes aren\’t showing as much need as we have seen in the past,\” Yunek said.
A student with an expected family contribution of $0 receives funding from a variety of sources from statewide grants.
As part of the budget model, administrators are expecting students to contribute approximately $7,000 from either working or from loans. The UC\’s contribution toward a student with an EFC between $0 and $10,000 can reach up to $7,600.
Some of the funding allocated by the UC to students with a $0 EFC comes from tuition and fees.
Approximately 25 percent of student fees are set aside for students receiving financial aid.
However, legislation is in the works to cut government financial assistance for students.
The introduction of the Budget Reconciliation Act (H.R. 609) will cut $9 billion from student federal-lending programs and enforce a mandatory 1 percent fee for each student loan.
According to the Congressional Budget Office\’s Web site, if passed, H.R. 609 will reduce governmental spending on student loan programs-$6.3 million in 2006, $8.7 million over the 2006-2010 period and $4.5 billion over the 2006-2015 period.