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Is UCLA Expensive? (Tuition & Financial Aid)

In 2019, Forbes ranked UCLA as the 4th best-value university in the US. This ranking considers the tuition fee, the average student debt, education quality, future earnings, and other essential factors. It shows that UCLA is a good value for money, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inexpensive.

Whether or not UCLA is expensive is a question worth asking if you want to seek admission into the university. Prestigious institution usually has the highest tuition fees, and UCLA is one of the most prestigious universities in the USA.

To determine if the school is costly, compare its tuition with other universities in its class and see how it performs.

This article will educate you on anything you may need to know about UCLA’s tuition and help you determine whether or not it’s expensive.

How Much is UCLA Tuition?

The University of California tuition fee is different for in-state and out-of-state students. While they pay the same amount in most other expenses, non-residential undergraduate students must pay a non-resident supplemental tuition. The UCLA tuition fee is $13,804 for both in-state and out-of-state students, but the non-resident supplement tuition is $31,026.

It’s imperative to note that tuition is only one of the many fees you’ll need to pay. These are fees like accommodation, transportation, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal. Most of these fees are the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

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To provide a breakdown, you must pay an estimated $17,231 for room and board and $1,434 for books and supplies. Transportation costs $635 annually, while you’ll have to pay $1,494 for personal fees. Lastly, all students must pay an estimated $2,850 in health insurance.

Altogether, the total estimated amount you’ll spend annually at the school if you’re an in-state student is $37,448, while out-of-state students will pay $68,474. UCLA considers international students as out-of-state students, and they both pay the same fees.

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How Much is UCLA Tuition For Graduate Students?

The tuition fees for graduate students at UCLA differ from undergraduate students. For graduate programs, the amount is around $18,136 for in-state students and $33,238 for out-of-state students. As you might’ve noticed, the fee is more expensive for graduates than undergraduate students.

It’s imperative to note that the fee is subject to change depending on the program and year. Therefore, the best way to check the exact amount for each program is through the university’s bursary site. For instance, postgraduate law students might need to pay upwards of $53,000 for in-state students and over $64,000 for out-of-state students.

Medical school graduate students must pay around $40,585 if they’re in-state and $52,580 if they’re out-of-state students. Note that these fees don’t include books, transportation, accommodation, or other related expenses.

What is UCLA’s Financial Aid?

Do you know that around 45% of UCLA undergraduate students don’t pay tuition? Many others pay less than the actual amount and won’t need to pay anything back after graduation. Some others are on convenient student loans that they can return after graduation.

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Financial aid

All these situations are made possible because of the financial aid and grants available to students at UCLA. These incentives are in place to ensure that every student gets to afford their education without hassle. Without further ado, here are some of the most popular financial aids at UCLA.

1. Scholarships

Scholarships can either be partial or full. A full scholarship will cover all your tuition fees for all time spent at the university, while a partial one will cover some of your tuition fees. You can get a UCLA scholarship by need, academic merits, specific talents, background, talents, or professional interests.

The most popular UCLA scholarships are the UCLA Regents Scholarships, UCLA Alumni Scholarships, and UCLA Students Aid Program Funds. The UCLA Alumni and Regents Scholarships are merit-based, while the Students Aid Program Funds are need-based. You should identify the one that suits you among these scholarships and apply for them.

Feel free to explore other non-UCLA scholarship options that can benefit you while at the school.

2. Grants

Grants are like a type of financial assistance that you won’t need to repay, and they can be UCLA or federal government-sponsored. Benefactors disburse these grants mainly on need merit, and you’ll need to apply. The deadline for applying for UCLA-sponsored student grants like the University of California Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan or Cal Grants is March 2.

UCLA or other California-sponsored grants are usually available only to in-state students. However, others like the Pell Grants and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants are available for students from any part of the US. It’s imperative to research the eligibility requirements of these grants to give you a better admission chance.

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3. Loans

A student loan is another way to fund your stay at UCLA without spending much out of your pocket. There are private and government-sponsored student loans available for you at the school. Federal loan is the most popular among UCLA students because it offers a lower interest rate than their private counterpart.

Around 34% of UCLA students take federal loans, while only 1 percent opt for private. It’s imperative to carefully research the one you want to take to determine the one that’s best for you. You can find more information about popular federal and private student loans on the UCLA website.

4. Part-Time Job

A part-time job is another way that you can use to make paying the tuition fee easier, and almost 10,000 students work-part time annually at UCLA. If you’re lucky to find a work-study grant, getting employment after graduation will be easier. A part-time job as a student at UCLA can also give you access to numerous discounts on campus.

These are some financial aids that you could get if you attend UCLA. As mentioned earlier, most of these incentives are optimized to favor California residents. However, you could benefit from federal financial aid as an out-of-state resident if you know where to look.

UCLA doesn’t have scholarships or financial aid for international students. Therefore, you must prove that you have the financial capacity to attend the university as an international student. As of 2023, you must have up to $73,500 before UCLA can consider you fit to study at the university.

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Is UCLA Expensive?

UCLA is one of the Public Ivies, and it’s only fair to compare its school fees to the best public universities in the US.

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Only UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Texas have lower in-state tuition than UCLA among the eight original Ivy League schools. For out-of-state tuition, the school is costlier than most other public ivies. Despite that, it’s cheaper than the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia.

Summarily, UCLA is expensive. However, it’s worth it when you consider the level of education you’ll get at the school. It has one of the best infrastructures in the world, the best tutors, and highly intellectual students.

A peek at its rankings is enough to convince you. UCLA is consistently ranked among the best US universities and the top ten best public universities annually. Whether or not you should attend the school is all about your preferences and budget.


The University of California is one of the costliest public schools in the US, especially for out-of-state students. However, the school has many financial aids, and you might not pay a dime throughout your stay if you’re lucky. It’s all about scouting for financial aid programs you qualify for and signing up with them.

If you’re attending the school from your pocket, there are money-saving tips that could help reduce costs. Understand mandatory expenses and try as much as possible to avoid unnecessary ones. Evaluate your accommodation and transportation options, and you could find one that would save you money.

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