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UC Davis scholarships, student loans and grants

Merit- and need-based funding for California residents and more.

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University of California–Davis is on the expensive side for a state school — especially if you’re not from Cali. While the price tag might not be as high as Stanford, students actually graduate with a similar amount of debt. Looking into scholarships, grants and other free financial aid programs can help reduce the long-term cost of that UC Davis degree.

How much does it cost to go to UC Davis?

Costs of attending UC DavisAnnual cost
Tuition and fees
  • In state: $14,659
  • Out of state: $44,413
Room and board$16,100
Books and supplies$1,178
Transportation$585
Other expenses$1,341
Total cost for the 2020–2021 academic year
  • In state: $33,863
  • Out of state: $63,617

UC Davis might be a public school, but its cost rivals private universities — and tuition is only one factor to consider. The school also includes housing, meal plans, textbooks and other expenses when calculating the total cost of attendance (COA). Plus, students who don’t have health insurance are required to purchase the UC Davis plan, which costs an additional $2,712 per year.

What’s the average student debt load for UC Davis students?

UC Davis students graduated with an median federal student debt load of $18,575 in 2017, according to the Department of Education.

While that’s well below the national average of $37,000 for that same year, its higher than some private schools with a higher price tag. You can cut down on your loans by first looking into scholarships, grants and work-study programs.

Does UC Davis offer a tuition payment plan?

Yes. If you owe at least $150 for tuition, health insurance or qualifying fees, you can sign up for the Deferred Payment Plan (DPP) to make payments in three installments. Fees eligible to be paid through this plan include tuition, student housing and document fees.

While there’s no interest charge, it costs $60 to sign up for the annual plan and $25 to sign up for a quarterly plan. Payments are due on the 15th of each month and start the first month of the fall, winter or spring quarter.

UC Davis scholarships, grants and tuition assistance

UC Davis offers more than $4 million in merit-based scholarships, in addition to need-based funding and tuition assistance programs. Consider some or all of these programs to lessen the financial burden of attending this expensive public school.

UC Davis undergraduate scholarships

UC Davis offers a variety of merit-based scholarships to undergraduate students. You typically need strong academics to qualify, and some scholarships are only available to certain majors, career plans, socioeconomic backgrounds or graduates of certain high schools.

These don’t automatically renew, so you’ll have to submit a new application each year.


UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan

This need-based grant is available to low-income students who qualify for in-state tuition. You can apply to have up to 100% of your tuition and fees covered by this grant in combination with federal, state and private financial aid. You can apply by filing the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application no later than March 2 each year. First-time applicants must also submit a CAL Grant GPA verification form to the California Student Aid Commission.


Aggie Grant Plan

This need-based grant is available to UC Davis students from middle-income families in California. Unlike the UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, it only covers 30% of your tuition costs. You’re automatically considered for this grant as long as you complete the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application by March 2 each year.


Cal Aggie Alumni Association (CAAA) Leadership Scholarship

This merit-based scholarship goes to UC Davis students from the West Coast. Each year, the UC Davis CAAA awards over $50,000 to incoming students with strong academics and leadership skills from California, Oregon or Washington.

This is one of the few scholarship programs that requires you to complete and submit an application separate from the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application — and you’ll have to write an essay about your experience with leadership as well.


Child care financial assistance

Parents attending UC Davis as an undergraduate or graduate student can receive financial assistance to cover childcare costs. Grant amounts vary depending on the age and number of children that are at least 50% in your care. Students need to apply each year, and eligibility is based on your FAFSA or California Dream Act Application.


Additional UC Davis financial aid

Students can also apply for the following scholarships, grants and financial assistance programs through UC Davis:

  • 5A Award and Membership Award
  • Adams Award for Leadership in a Student Organization
  • Advancing Academic and Career Goals Award
  • Aggie Parent and Family Scholarship
  • Balanced Leaders Award
  • Cal Aggie Lambda Alumni Association Scholarship Award Program
  • Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association Scholarship Award
  • Community Service and Civic Engagement Awards
  • Excellence in Collaboration Award
  • Global Engagement Award
  • Green Fellowship
  • Inspirational Aggies Award
  • Margarita Robinson Student Leadership Award
  • Mary Jeanne Gilhooly Award
  • Organizational Improvement Award
  • Principles of Community Awards
  • Social Justice and Inclusion Award
  • Student Promoting Advocacy and Redefining Community Award
  • Veloyce Glenn Winslow Jr. Award

    Are there other scholarships and grants available?

    Yes. In addition to UC Davis financial aid, you can also apply to federal, state and private programs as well. For example, California’s Middle Class Scholarship Program offers additional funding to students with family incomes and maximum household assets up to $177,000.

    Since most state scholarship programs are based on where your family lives, California residents might have the most options. Students from elsewhere might want to look into what their home state has to offer, as well as grants and scholarships from private organizations.

    California scholarships, student loans and grants

    Student loans to pay for UC Davis

    If you don’t receive enough scholarships and grants, you can apply for student loans to cover any remaining costs. UC Davis recommends that you first apply for federal student loans, which typically come with lower rates and more flexible repayment plans.

    When federal loans aren’t enough, you can also apply for a UC Davis University Loan. Borrowing amounts range from $200 to $4,000 with interest rates fixed at 5%. You’ll make repayments to student loan servicer Heartland ECSI.

    Need even more funding? You might want to look into your private student loan options.

    Compare private student loan providers

    Data indicated here is updated regularly
    Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
    Ascent private student loans
    540
    $200,000
    2.71% to 12.99%
    EDvestinU Private Student Loans
    675
    $200,000
    4.07% to 9%
    Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
    LendKey Private Student Loans
    Varies by lender
    4.99% to 11.06%
    This connection service partners with Sallie Mae and WSFS Bank to offer competitive rates.
     Advantage Education Loan Refinance Loan
    670
    Starting at 3.74%
    Refinance to a more flexible repayment plan with this nonprofit lender.
    Alliant Credit Union Traditional Student Loan
    680
    $60,000
    Starting at 4.56%
    All-purpose personal loans from @pl_product_min_loan_amount@ to @pl_product_max_loan_amount@ with rates that stop at @pl_product_var_rate@.
    ChangEd student loan payment app
    Securely connect all of your student loans and bank accounts to one place for a painless repayment experience.
    Chicago student loans
    None
    Cost of attendance, up to $50,000
    7.53% to 8.85%
    No cosigner needed for this fixed-rate financing option.
    Citizens Bank Private Student Loans
    700
    $295,000
    1.25% to 10.57%
    loading

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    UC Davis might be a public school, but it can set you back as much as a private education — sometimes even more if you’re from out of state. You can reduce your costs by looking into scholarships, grants and other financial aid programs from both inside and outside the school. Just know that some may require a separate application.

    Learn more about how paying for school works with our guide to student loans.

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