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What Does it Cost to Attend the University of California-Davis?

Located in the college town of Davis in sunny California, UC Davis is a public research university a part of the University of California system. With four colleges and seven graduate and professional schools, UC Davis is known for its cutting-edge research as well as interdisciplinary approach to learning. If you’re considering applying to or attending UC Davis, read on to learn more about how you might navigate the tuition prices, and get more help in paying for an education at UC Davis.


Why the Costs of Attendance are Highly Variable


You’ll probably see many different numbers from many sources regarding college costs, but some can be misleading.


A good place to start for estimating how much a four-year education at any institution is to go to the institution’s page for tuition and financial aid. However, know that the tuition you see listed on the university’s website—what we call the list price–only a good place to start, for most students will not end up paying that price. The costs of college are highly variable. What you will actually pay is based on many different factors from family income to on-campus employment. This is what we call the net cost, the amount families actually pay out of their pockets.


In general, the amount of aid you receive comes down to three parts:


  1. Government aid at the federal, state, or local levels
  2. Institutional financial aid
  3. Merit scholarships


We’re going to look at each of these in how they can lower net cost.


UC Davis’ List Price


Tuition for colleges generally rise each year. That being said, for the 2016-2017, the list price for UC Davis was $34,967 for in-state students and $61,649 for out-of-state students. This number includes tuition, room and board, and other student necessities such as a student activities fee.


Remember that the families who pay the full list price are those whose annual household income is greater than $175,000.


Cost of Attendance with Financial Aid


The good news is that many students receive financial aid. For the 2016-2017 school year, the average net cost of attendance with financial aid at UC Davis was $30,198 for in-state students and $56,880 for out-of-state students.


Cost Based on Family Income


When it comes to financial aid awarded, the greater your family’s financial need, the more need-based aid your student will qualify for. In the table below, we have the average net costs for Davis students after receiving financial aid based on family income:


Family Income Average Net Price
$0-$30,000 $10,048
$30,001-$48,000 $10,813
$48,001-$75,000 $14,186
$75,001-$110,000 $21,527
Over $110,000 $29,890


Merit Aid Net Prices and Net Prices for Students Without Need


Merit aid, different from need-based aid, is awarded based on exceptional performance and potential in regards to academics and/or extracurriculars, and does not factor in a family’s financial need. Merit aid often comes in the form of a scholarship.


At Uc Davis, 211.4% of students without financial need receive merit aid. In 2016, the average amount awarded was $395.


The average net price for students who didn’t qualify for financial aid was $34,572 for in-state students, and $61,254 for out-of-state students.

Student Loans and Debts


If you think your student might still need additional help financing their college education, this is the time to look at federal student loans. Remember that loans need to be paid back, often with interest. Taking out loans is often for Davis students. In 2016, 68% of students took out loans, with an average amount of $2,801 per student.


Student Outcomes


It’s important to understand past-student outcomes at a school to get a sense of your student’s “return” on their “college investment”. At UC Davis, 79% of students graduate within 6 years, and the average salary ten years after graduation is $58,200.


Local Area Cost Considerations


Aside from tuition, room and board, health insurance, and student fees, college students will inevitably have other expenses, so it’s useful to look at local area living costs. Of course, if your student plans on living off-campus, this is even more important.


Davis, California has an overall cost of living index of 153; it’s 1.5 times more expensive to live in Davis than in the rest of the U.S. in general. Housing costs contribute the most to Davis’ relatively high cost of living; with a housing index of 255, Davis’ rentals go for 2.5 times higher than the national average. Students looking to find off-campus housing can expect to pay around $1,353 in rent for a 1-bedroom apartment, and $2,478 for a 3-bedroom.


While the UC Davis campus offers many student job opportunities, students looking to find off-campus jobs will be glad to know that the California minimum wage is now $12 per hour.


Other Ways to Save on College  


Private, merit-based scholarships are an excellent way to help reduce your net cost further for college. To begin, you can take a look at UC Davis’ page for external scholarships. You can also take a look at our guide to the National Merit Scholarship program, for which anyone who takes the PSAT is considered for qualification.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

Short Bio
Kimberly graduated from Smith College with a degree in English Literature. This year, she has been based in Beijing, China, where she works in the education field and rescues dogs in her free time. She will be starting her masters at Columbia University in the fall.