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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What Does It Cost to Attend the University of California-Berkeley?

Last year, a study of two annual reports revealed that list prices at public colleges increased at a rate slower than inflation. However, that doesn’t mean attending a public college or university is cheap. On the contrary, the financial aid net prices at public schools often rival private school net rates, and University of California-Berkeley is no exception.


Located in Berkeley, an expensive city outside San Francisco, UC-Berkeley comes with a high sticker price. But because of the high variability in college costs, students are unlikely to pay the rate listed in the brochures. Keep reading to determine the factors affecting college pricing, along with what it really costs to attend the University of California-Berkeley.


Want to learn what UC Berkeley will actually cost you based on your income? And how long your application to the school should take? Here’s what every student considering UC Berkeley needs to know.


Why College Costs Are Highly Variable


The variability involved in college pricing can make it difficult for families to estimate what it will cost students to earn a degree. Although the list price at top public schools like UC-Berkeley may be high, the net price is often significantly lower. Families can determine a school’s financial aid net price by adding up the total of local, state, and federal aid, along with any grants and scholarships, and subtracting it from the price listed on the website.


Families on the college journey often assume that they’ll pay less to attend public schools than private. In particular, in-state students can score significant savings on college. However, because of their large endowments, private colleges may have more money to hand out in the form of financial aid. Do your homework to determine what schools offer the best rates for a college education.


What Is the List Price at UC-Berkeley?


UC-Berkeley has a high list price, particularly for students applying out of state. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the sticker price for in-state tuition and fees was $36,369. The cost for out-of-state students was $63,051. It’s worth noting that most families who paid the full list price earned at least $175,000 annually.


What Is the UC-Berkeley Financial Aid Net Price?


The good news is that the net price for UC-Berkeley is somewhat lower than the list price. As of the 2016-2017 school year, in-state students receiving aid paid an average of $33,181. For out-of-state applicants, the average financial aid net price was $59,863.


What Is the Family Income-Based Cost of Attending UC-Berkeley?


Net prices at UC-Berkeley vary based on a student’s expected family contribution. View average family income-based costs of attending UC-Berkeley below:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $8,677
$30,001-$48,000 $9,522
$48,001-$75,000 $13,920
$75,001-$110,000 $20,725
$110,000 $29,197


How Much Merit Aid Do UC-Berkeley Students Receive?


The University of California-Berkeley does award financial aid based on merit, but the amounts are relatively small. Last year, 9.8% of UC-Berkeley students received merit aid, with an average award of $1,311.


The net prices for students who didn’t qualify for aid were $35,058 and $61,740 for in-state and out-of-state applicants respectively.

How Many UC-Berkeley Students Take Out Loans?


The high rate for tuition and fees at UC-Berkeley means that a large percentage of students need to take out loans to afford tuition. Currently, 62% of UC-Berkeley students borrow money, with an average federal loan of $2,458 per undergraduate.


Student Outcomes at UC-Berkeley


Students considering UC-Berkeley for their undergraduate education should do their homework to assess whether the school offers a solid return on investment. With a six-year graduation rate of 90%, the university tends to graduate a majority of students on schedule. Ten years after finishing schools, students can expect to earn an average salary of $64,700 per year. Keep this figure in mind when deciding what you can afford to spend on your Berkeley degree.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Berkeley, Calif., is a beautiful place to attend college but it’s also an expensive one. With a cost of living index of 287.5, the town is 187.5% more expensive than the average American city. Pricing is particularly high in the housing market, where students can expect to spend $1991 for a one-bedroom rental, $2488 for a two-bedroom, and $3428 for a three-bed.


Working part-time may help students afford off-campus housing in Berkeley. The average Berkeley resident makes $61,106 a year, but the California minimum wage is just $11 an hour. Working for tips at a local restaurant or cafe may be a better way to make ends meet while attending school.


Ways to Save Money on College


Independent scholarships can help students afford UC-Berkeley and other colleges. A well-known academic competition, the National Merit Scholarship program provides recognition and grants to students based on their PSAT performance. Approximately 15,000 students a year receive scholarship money through this program. Prospective UC-Berkeley students can find additional scholarship opportunities on the college website.


If all else fails, students can use work-study jobs to make attending college more affordable. As a bonus, these on-campus positions tend to include plenty of time for students to read and do homework while on the job.


The CollegeVine Applications Team was developed to help students of all income levels achieve their academic goals. We work with families to narrow down college selections, develop robust application profiles, and manage the financial aid process. Need help getting your high schooler on the college track? Call today or set up an appointment online.

Short Bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.