If you’ve decided to go to the University of Central Florida or are considering going there, one of the most important things you’ll need to figure out is if you can afford it. There’s no denying college is expensive and that you’ll need to know as much about UCF Financial Aid as you can to make certain it’s within your reach. So if you want to learn more about tuition, what kind of debt you can expect, and if UCF is a good value for you, then keep reading.
What Does It Cost to Go to UCF?
When it comes to determining how much money you need, there’s more to consider than just tuition. You actually need to think about cost of attendance as a whole. This includes housing, paying for books and supplies, and miscellaneous fees assigned to help pay for services on campus like computers and printers. The Cost of Attendance takes all of this into account before UCF Financial Aid gets involved.
For the 2016-2017 academic year, here are the sorts of fees you can expect:
Fee NameIn State RateOut of State RateTuition105.07105.07Non-Resident Fee0.00511.06Capital Improvement6.766.76Financial Aid Fee5.165.16Non-Resident Financial Aid Fee0.0025.55Activity and Service Fee11.6711.67Transportation Access Fee9.109.10Health Fee10.8410.84Athletic Fee14.3214.32Tuition Differential44.2044.20Technology Fee5.165.16Tuition and Fees Total Per Credit Hour212.28748.89
Other fees that you can be charged for include the following:
Fee NameIn State RateOut of State RateDistance Learning Course Fee (Course Specific, Per Hour)18.0018.00Repeat Course Fee (Per Hour)177.57177.57Excess Hour Fee (Per Hour)Up to 105.07Up to 105.07ID Services and Access Fee (Annual)10.0010.00Material and Supply FeeUp to 70.00Up to 70.00International Student Fee (Per Term)50.0050.00Equipment FeeUp to 90.00Up to 90.00Late Registration Fee100.00100.00Late Payment Fee100.00100.00Credit Card Convenience Fee2%2%Returned Check Fee25.0025.00
(via UCF website)
How Can UCF Financial Aid Help You?
If after looking at those numbers you’re feeling nervous about being able to afford college, you’re not alone. But before you start scraping your dreams of going to college, let me tell you this: most students do not pay the full cost for attendance. That’s because UCF Financial Aid helps bridge the gap between what families can afford and how much college actually costs.
Financial aid comes in a variety of ways including need-based scholarships for those who demonstrate an extreme financial need, merit-based scholarships for academic achievements, and student loans which you have to repay after a certain amount of time. Financial aid has multiple sources as well, including aid from the federal government and from the school you’re attending.
It’s important to know that your financial aid package, the collective amount of scholarships, and grants awarded to you, can change from year to year or even term to term. Loans for school are generally divided up between each semester you attend school and the amount you receive is more dependable.
Roughly 45% of students receive some type of school-based grant from UCF Financial Aid. On average, those students receive a little over $2,000 from the school. Now remember, these are just grants provided by UCF itself. Federal aid is not being examined and can depend on your personal financial situation. Grants and scholarships do not need to be paid back, however there are often specific requirements you must meet in order to keep them.
About 40% of students have federal loans, averaging a little over $5,000. Another 2% have private loans, which come from banks and other non-federal financial institutions, and those amounts average just under $10,000. Interest fees on this type of financial aid vary from year to year and from one financial institution to another. Loans also need to be repaid over the course of several years and the terms of your repayment are laid out when you initially accept the loans.
Can You Afford UCF?
Now that I’ve thrown a bunch of information and numbers at you, let’s talk about what attending UCF will actually cost you. This is something called Net Price, which is the total cost of attendance minus your financial aid package.
UCF provides its own Net Price calculator so you can quickly and easily determine what yours could look like.
In addition to the Net Price, we have something called the Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. The EFC was created by the federal government as a way to estimate how much families can reasonably contribute to a college education. You can learn more about the EFC here.
After you have these two numbers, you simply subtract your Net Price from your EFC and you will have any extra costs you may need to cover. A good rule of thumb when you're looking into whether or not you can afford college is if your Net Price is greater than your EFC, then you probably can’t afford to attend that school.
Your college education is one of those investments that set you up for the rest of your life. We’ve covered what costs are really associated with attending UCF and what sorts of financial aid are available to you. And you now know how to figure out if you can actually afford to attend UCF. If you’re uncertain about whether UCF is for you or what your other options are, I welcome you to reach out to one of our college consultants so they can discuss your options with you and help figure out if there are other schools worth your consideration.
What are your thoughts on UCF Financial Aid? Do you have more questions about financial aid? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below!