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The University of California is the nation's most generous public university in awarding financial aid to freshmen, a new study has found.
UC campuses snared seven of the top 10 spots among 250 public universities surveyed about their financial aid packages, according to The Student Loan Report news site.
According to the survey, UC Riverside was the nation's most generous campus, giving freshmen an average of $22,241. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine and UC San Diego, also on the top 10, had average awards ranging from $21,100 to $19,028.
The data include grants, loans and work-study awards.
"This report shows what a bargain the University of California is," said UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein. "It’s the nation’s top public research university, and the excellent education it provides is also the most affordable."
The UC system's average cost of attendance this year for students living on campus was $34,700 -- with tuition and fees amounting to $13,900.
The most generous Cal State campus was San Jose State, which ranked 36th, with an average award of $11,596.
Other key facts about UC financial aid, according to Klein:
- The UC system allocates one-third of tuition dollars to financial aid. Students may also receive state Cal Grants and Middle-Class Scholarship awards, federal Pell Grants and private scholarships.
- Overall, financial aid totaled $4.1 billion this year.
- UC awarded aid to three-quarters of all undergraduate students. More than half of UC students pay no tuition at all.
- The average UC student debt at graduation is $20,900, compared with the national average of $30,100.