Myth: There’s plenty of financial aid

One of the most often repeated phrases we hear from those trying to defend the proposal to raise student fees is that “there’s plenty of financial aid.”

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Here’s the truth.

Fact: The cost of a college degree is much more than tuition. Cost of attendance also is books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses (no, not dry-cleaning). 

  • This academic year, the average cost of attendance in the CSU is over $24,000.

Fact: Even after all financial aid is accounted for, most students have thousands of dollars in “unmet need” each year. In the CSU, students who receive financial aid still have, on average, thousands each year in unmet financial need. They must work, take out loans, or forego basic needs to make ends meet. 

  • Unmet need = Cost of attendance – Expected family contributions – Grants and Scholarships.
  • Cost of attendance = Tuition and fees, room and board, books, transportation, and personal expenses.
  • Expected family contribution= Amount families are expected to pay toward college, determined when filing FAFSA.
  • Grant and scholarship aid = Includes Pell Grants, Cal Grants, State University Grants. 

Need a visual?

Check out the graphic, which shows the real cost of attendance and unmet need for a typical CSU student.

For more information about myths and facts surrounding the proposed fee increase, click here.