So you want to come to California for college?

@Happy2Help and several posters are finding that we are repeating ourselves constantly on the posts, so we’re going to try to consolidate our information here.

**Myth 1: All I have to do is get great grades and scores and I’ll get tons of scholarships. **

Costs vary for public and private colleges.

-You will get no state funding towards our public universities. Our colleges are paid for by taxes from California residents, and those ain’t cheap. Priority goes to the children of those taxpayers. They will be implementing a cap on OOS and international students.

-(Recruited athletes may be an exception; if you don’t have 15+ Pac10 schools trying to get you, don’t bother them)

-That means the UCs and Cal states won’t give you much towards your tuition and fees.

-Plan on $58k for the UCs per year and $36k for the Cal States. Privates will generally run about $60k

-The CCs may run about 20k depending on the county.

Berkeley is spelled in this manner.

Myth 2: It’s all sunny, warm, and beachy in California. I can go to school at Irvine and get to the Silicon Valley in a couple of hours.

California is big in population and in geography.

It takes at least a full day to get from one part of the state to the other. (It takes me 10 hours to drive from San Diego to Davis-through valleys, desert and near mountain ranges)

Mosts of our coasts are rocky and cold unless it is summer. People wear wetsuits in the water. We get dense fog near our coasts that takes a while to burn off in the morning.

Northern California gets colder than Southern California. Berkeley is in the northern section of the state, make an assumption about the weather there. It is greener than Southern California. Fascinating boy hear people talk about the great sunny weather in Berkeley.

UCSD’s campus is not directly on the beach; UCSB’s is.

Myth 3: My stats are exactly like the posted stats, so I’m in for sure.

Nope, our stats also include those local “underperforming” high schools’ students (SES) who have admission guarantees with the local universities as well as recruited athletes, so your stats have to be above those posted.

Myth 4: I’ll just pay OOS fees for two years and then I’ll get instate residency.

Nope, if you come to California with an OOS transcript, you’re going to pay OOS funding for all 4 years.
Working some minor part time job won’t recover the state’s university fees that they would have to pay for your education. Our state is out of money so if you come here trying to get residency, that isn’t going to happen. What the CCs do for residency at the CCs does not transfer to the publics.

Myth 5: Everyone is fit, tan and blond.

Those people are on TV. California used to be New Spain. The population of California is 51% Hispanic.
We also have a rich Asian population in the Bay Area which is largely comprised of the Chinese Culture. This population was crucial in the building of early California but doesn’t get a whole lot of credit for that. The Los Angeles area has large pockets of community centers with various ethnicities and religions, that bring a great mix of people together. If you don’t like being around a great cultural mix, don’t apply.

Myth 6: I’ll just get from point A to point B on public transportation.

Nope, our transportation is not good. Everything is done by car.

Myth 7: I’ll find a cheap apartment near the beach.

Rents are ridiculously expensive. Don’t expect to find a cheap apartment anywhere near a large city.

@Happy2Help, your turn:

1 Like

Wow I think you’ve covered it all @“aunt bea”!

Hey kids, apply all over, and if you get in, come to California, because we need your money! Tuition will probably rise in a couple of years. It bears repeating: there is little to no financial aid for nonresidents.

Only $4 per gallon for gasoline on SoCal just a few weeks ago!

Auto insurance annually for a driver under 25: at least $2K.

Minimum wage will be $15 but employers will probably only do part time to get around giving benefits.

The Asian population is growing here in Southern California too.

We have good privates too. Plan on $60K+ annually!

Tag @NCalRent @Gumbymom your turn!

Tag @mom2collegekids

At @aunt bea, great post. I would add that if you are looking for merit aid from the CSU’s and UC’s, expect to be at the top 1% of applicants and again there is little merit aid available. California privates would be far more generous with merit aid than the California publics so if you are a OOS competitive applicant, target the privates.

“The population of California is 51% Hispanic.”
nope !!
Hispanics make up the group with the largest percentile in Calif, but the Latino population totals 39%, not 50%.

I stand corrected^^^. Maybe it’s just my neighborhood :))

…and mine!

But wait, they may not have counted all the undocumented immigrants?!

@auntbea - Great post - Where do i start.

As someone who was born and raised in CA, (and a recent visitor to Santa Barbara) I understand the allure - particularly to an 18 year old who live somewhere where the weather stinks 300+ days a year.

While it is true that living near the coast and major employment centers like LA, San Diego and the Bay Area is absurdly expensive. A crappy 2 bedroom apt on a busy street in a sketchy neighborhood is $1600+, gas is $4/gal+, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc add to the expense. Then there’s the traffic and the drought… I can’t imagine living in those areas as an unskilled worker or a struggling student.

There are vast swaths of CA that aren’t crowded and are affordable - The San Joaquin Valley and pretty much anything North of Sacramento County for example. In these areas, you can rent the same crappy apartment for $800 or less. Of course, jobs are more scarce outside metro areas but, I’d argue , for most the quality of life is much better in these areas.

On to college:
For CA residents, our public colleges are one of the key things that mitigates what I affectionately call the Sun Tax. CCs are virtually free, tuition at a CSU is about $7k and UCs $13k - making them compelling values for residents. There are a many options and they are open to virtually anyone who is willing to try.

There are also a number of good private schools, including Stanford and Cal-Tech that will discount tuition aggressively to lure well qualified applicants - In many cases, they wind up significantly cheaper than our public schools, especially for out of state applicants.

If you want to attend a CA public, bring a very thick wallet. For a host of reasons, - we gouge our OOS students and, with the possible exception of UCB and UCLA, it is simply not a good value when compared to other options out there. Most states have public options on-par with CSUs and mid-low UCs at a fraction of the cost. I think it’s silly to pay $35K/year to attend Northridge when Boise State is $20k for Idaho residents and Purdue, $22k for Indiana residents… Take advantage of that subsidy - then move to CA when you graduate with the skills you’ll need to lead a nice life here. We’ll still be here… Sure you have to suck up the weather for a few year - but you’ll save enough over 4 years to buy a new BMW.

Understanding residency:

You folks forgot another reality of life in CA – exorbitant sales tax, which in some areas is close to 10%

Thanks! @katliamom^^^^^^^ we forgot!
And on that note, not a whole lot of deductions available on the 1040

Great advice.

@katliamom That’s exorbitant? Here I was, thinking NY’s 8% was normal all along. I guess you do, indeed, learn something new every day.

@BobNotBob Only New Yorkers don’t think 8-10% sales tax isn’t exorbitant :slight_smile:

Minor corrections:

1: UCs do offer financial aid to OOS students, but not against the additional OOS tuition (currently nearly $25,000). So the net price for an OOS student will be about $25,000 more than the net price for a California resident with similar financials. Effectively, this means that UCs will be too expensive for financially needy OOS students, unless they earn rare big merit scholarships. (Use the net price calculators to see.)

5: California is 39.0% Latino, 38.4% white, 14.1% Asian, and 6.6% black as of 2013, according to . Of course, the population mix varies locally. The Asian population in California is about a quarter Filipino and a quarter Chinese ethnicity, with substantial numbers of people of Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, and Japanese ethnicity.

Many of the universities in California (public and private) are not majority white, which may be a surprise to some people from other parts of the US.

On the “fit” part, California does have a lower obesity rate than most other states in the US, but it is not really something to be proud of (24.1% of adults in California are obese). On the “tan” part, there are a lot of brown people in California, but they would be brown regardless of where they live (see above).

If all of that isn’t enough to dissuade you, be careful of your college budget because here in only-sometimes-sunny-CA, we share our massive budget crisis with YOU, OOS students. What this means is that your dream to come to these great, internationally known universities will be met with overcrowded conditions, bureaucracy, and the worst part - not being able to get the right classes for popular majors in time to graduate in 4 years. So, add another year of that OOS tuition to your budget as a contingency to make sure you actually can get that degree.

And don’t forget drought and earthquakes. Also extremely high cost of leaving. Everything is more expensive in California.

Actually the UC spent $32 million on financial aid for nonresidents in 2013-14

If you don’t plan on driving in California and think that $4+ per gallon will not affect you, think again. It is incorporated into the price of any product you buy.

“As someone who was born and raised in CA, (and a recent visitor to Santa Barbara) I understand the allure - particularly to an 18 year old who live somewhere where the weather stinks 300+ days” @NCalRent

Well the weather is a good reason in my book to think about coming out here. Honestly, it is like living in paradise out here most days. And most of us who live near the beach along the super expensive CA coast don’t mind the high cost as much after we return from visiting friends and family in less paradisiacal climes.