The University of California (UC) is the largest public research university system in the world, with more than 264,000 students, 165,000 faculty and staff and 1.8 million living alumni. It includes 10 campuses, five medical centers and three affiliated national laboratories. UC remains committed to carrying out its research, education, health care and public service missions, and strengthening programs established in the Higher Education Act (HEA) will allow the university to continue to thrive and serve as an economic engine for California and the nation.
UC has one of the most robust student aid programs in the nation, dramatically reducing the net cost of attendance for the neediest families. In 2015-16, for UC’s California undergraduates, the net cost of attendance – including tuition, fees, room and board, books, health insurance, transportation and other expenses – after grants and scholarships was $10,230 for the lowest income families, and the average net cost for all of UC’s California undergraduates was $18,260. The net cost of attendance after financial aid for California resident students has remained stable or declined since 2011–12. Additionally, 57 percent of California undergraduates have their tuition fully covered by grants and scholarships – these students pay no tuition – and nearly half of UC undergraduates graduate with no student debt.
UC appreciates the support the federal government provides institutions of higher education through the Higher Education Act and looks forward to working with Congress throughout the reauthorization process. UC pledges to provide accurate data and appropriate analysis of legislation that is introduced, and to offer technical review of proposals to ensure that any new requirements are feasible for institutions to implement and helpful to students and their families.
Below are priorities UC would like to see addressed in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. As legislation and proposals are further developed, UC will provide additional comments and recommendations.