Is UCLA worth it? (out of state)

Hello, I was just admitted to UCLA. I’m from out of state, and I will have to pay $33,000 a year ( I guess it’s much better than the total $55k price for out-of-staters). My parents can pay $15k a year and if I do work study, I will be offered $2000 per term (is it easy to get a work study at UCLA?). I plan on majoring chemical engineering. Is the quality of education worth the hefty $33,000 a year? I dream of going to UCLA, but I hear that the UC schools are bumping up the tuition which makes me more apprehensive on enrolling at UCLA.


Your parents will pay $15k…where would you get the other $15???

What exactly was put in your aid pkg??? Provide the list with amounts.

Sorry I was pretty unclear… the total cost is around $58,000. I got around $25,000 in grants and was offered $2000 a term if I did work study. Then the rest are loans (Perkins $2,700, subsidized/subsidized loans for $3500/2000, and then a Parent Plus Loan (~$20,000).

So assuming I did work studies for the whole year, my total cost would be around $26,000. My parents could pay about $15,000 and then I take out loans for the rest (I’m assuming). UCLA has stellar academics, but is it really worth that much?

You left out relevant information… what other universities accepted you, and what are the exact breakdowns of costs and financial aid and loans.

I was just accepted to University of Rochester and now I’m debating between the two. However, I haven’t gotten their financial aid package yet, but I think I will have to pay around $19,000 based on the net price calculator (without loans).

Both Rochester and UCLA have excellent academics. I love Rochester’s curriculum and the size of the school, but it’s extremely far from where I am. However, I really like the setting of UCLA: it’s in an urban city, sunny weather, and beautiful campus (Rochester is nice too, but I prefer UCLA). I feel like UCLA is more of a fit for me, but it’s expensive $$$$$$$.

then I take out loans for the rest (I’m assuming). U



No, you can’t. You’re already taking out the max loans.

No, UCLA isn’t worth it.

And it’s very hard (nearly impossible) to go to school full time as a ChemE major and earn $6k per year from Work Study.

Work Study jobs are mostly always M-F. That is when you’d be doing homework. To try to earn $2k each quarter would be crazy.

I’m trying to remember…isn’t a quarter about 12 weeks? And they expect you to earn $2k as a ChemE major per quarter???

What are your other affordable choices.

So for UCLA, you would pay $2000 in work study, take out $6000 in student loans, your parents would pay $15,000, and then take out additional loans of $10K?

So, at the end of 4 years, you will have $24,000 in loans, your parents would pay $60,000 out of pocket, and then have additional loans of $40,000.

This seems quite steep… If your family is wealthy, I guess it doesn’t matter… but if your family is not wealthy, this might be a struggle.

the total cost is around $58,000. I got around $25,000 in grants and was offered $2000 a term if I did work study. Then the rest are loans (Perkins $2,700, subsidized/subsidized loans for $3500/2000, and then a Parent Plus Loan (~$20,000).

$58k COA
$25k grant


$8,200 student loans (ouch!)


$15k parents pay

$10k remain
how much in work study? $2k per term? so, $6k per school year???

Is the above right?

Yup this is correct! Do you know if the Parent Plus Loan can cover for the remaining cost?

My family definitely isn’t wealthy… I applied for local scholarships, but who knows if I will get them. I hear many great things about UCLA, but I also hear about the increased tuition and class sizes. UCLA is a dream school for me, but the cost is nasty :disappointed:

So UCLA is offering $6k per year in work study? That is insane!!! You can’t earn $6k per year as a full time ChemE student. Your grades would suffer.

If that is what UCLA is now doing (offering ridiculous WS), then it’s being naive.

Oh gosh! I’m sorry I forgot to tell you that I applied as a biochemistry major, but now I wanted to switch to ChemE, but now I guess I’ll go back to biochem haha :smile: but yes, I was offered $2000 for work study. I assumed it was for each term because it said " Students may work up to 20 hours per week during the course of an academic term." If it is for the whole year, ohhhhh boy.

You can’t just switch majors in the UC system. There are lines of people ahead of you waiting to get into impacted majors. You can’t afford UCLA. Wait until you get Rochester’s FA offer. Do you have a safety on your list you KNOW you can afford?

As a UCLA alum, I would say it’s not worth it. It’s just far too expensive and not affordable for you and your family. I would seriously consider going to Rochester if I was in your position. It’s an excellent school, and you’d receive a fine education there.

Erin’s Dad is right… Chemical engineering is incredibly difficult to get into. To transfer you need to get a 3.5 in all Math and science courses to switch into the major. The two math classes alone, are probably 2 of the hardest classes at UCLA.

The fact that the engineering program has a direct admission from HS acceptance rate of less than 10% speaks competitiveness…

Your financial aid though is impressive… I got nothing!

How did you, as an OOS student get $25K in scholarships from UCLA? OOS students pay premium fees because the school is funded by California taxpayers monies.

Anyway, paying $33K per year for UCLA, and residual interest rates on that $33K, will add up. Plus, you will be stuck in your major for a while, so paying for a major that you don’t want to do is another questionable issue. Jobs are lacking in biochem with just a BS, so how will you pay back those loans?

You’re getting valuable advice, OP. UCLA is not worth the extra debt.