UC Student’s Approach To Affording College Tuition

March 03, 2016

The UC system has 9 undergraduate schools and often rank in the top 20 colleges that receives the most applications. Vast majority of these applications are from in-state applicants looking for a chance to get a higher education and a lower cost. However, the in-state tuition is still too costly for many students to handle. We understand the pressure that many students face and we’re here to offer some advice from current students at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSC, UCR and UCSB:

Iron_Man (UC Berkeley ‘19): I applied to MANY scholarships. Apply to as many as you possibly can without becoming overwhelmed; college costs A LOT without scholarships. Make sure to check out your college’s financial aid benefits and how to apply, as many colleges, like UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Northwestern, give undergraduate scholarships that are worth a lot. Scholarships can make the difference between surviving through college and thriving in college.

alinetteI did not begin applying for scholarships until my senior year in high school, and this was a very grave mistake. In financing my education, I relied mostly on the grants and merit scholarships offered directly by the university and student loans. You should begin to seek out and apply for scholarships as soon as possible, and as many as you qualify for—if even barely. Take a couple hours at least once a week to browse through 10-30 scholarships and apply for them. Spread out the essay-intensive scholarships with easier, less time-consuming ones that require only a short answer or completed survey. 

Sites such as fastweb.com and scholarships.com are great resources, however the best chance you will have of acquiring a scholarship is through local resources such as your school, local small businesses, or your parents’ companies. Make sure to frequently check in with your counselor or school resources center, as local organizations will be constantly adding new scholarship applications. Locally, the applicant pool is much, much smaller and your chances are therefore exponentially higher of being chosen.

Jacky1010 (UC Riverside ‘19): I applied for the Cal Grant, scholarships, and also took out loans. If you have the opportunity to get free money for college you should definitely take it. If you still have financial need, like in my case, loans are a great option.

499363823546513FB (UC Santa Barbara ’19): My biggest advice for loans and scholarships is to start early. Try to get some during the summer and during your school year keep in constant contact with your college counselor because they can open up a lot of opportunities for you.

CogsOfSteelI’ll state outright that I have the benefit of “daddy’s money.” My father saved and scraped 20 years to pay for my education, and so while paying for Berkeley will be a financial squeeze it is one that he can survive with no loans. With my mind occupied on getting to prestigious privates themselves (and the usually generous financial aid packages they give), I didn’t work very hard on getting scholarships. That, I am quick to admit, was a massive mistake. I have no financial gift aid at Berkeley, and I cannot in good conscience put all of that burden on my father for the next 4 years. Thus I am—and would recommend—applying to a variety of outside and private scholarship.

kevvasquez (UC Santa Cruz ‘19): I cannot stress this enough, apply to as many scholarships as you can!!! I got a decent amount of financial aid for my first year of college but it is not enough to pay it all. I need to receive loans in order to be able to pay for my college, and trust me that was the last thing I wanted to do. It is terrifying thinking how you are going to pay for school, especially when you are new in this situation. Go to your schools career center and ask for scholarship information, go see your counselor so they can further your search in financial aid; go to websites like fastweb.com, scholarship.com, niche.com (etc.). I regret not applying to as many scholarships as I could have applied to, but you new seniors have plenty of time to still apply and get some money to help pay for tuition

AdmitSee also offers a $5000 scholarship, so don’t miss out out on your chance! Whether you’re just starting your search or you’re looking for help applying, it’s never too early to make the college application process easier. Search to find students like you or contact a mentor for help with the admissions process so you can narrow down your choices and get a head start.

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.

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UC Berkeley ‘19

Accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, Northwestern, UMich

I'm a Jewish, volunteering, music writing and playing, MMA fighting, Berkeley bound student who puts my all into everything I do.
UC Berkeley ‘19

Accepted to CSULB, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCSB

I am a gay Vietnamese guy attending UC Berkeley this fall with a major in Economics and minor in film.
UC Berkeley ‘19

Accepted to UC Berkeley, Penn State, Colorado, UCLA, NYU

Passionate about Education. Lover of all things science!
UC Berkeley ‘19

Accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UCSD, Cal Poly, SDSU, UCSB

UC Berkeley Class of 2019 graduate working in the biotechnology industry as a Research and Development Associate for a drug stability testing company.

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