Did you know the University of California’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan can cover your system-wide tuition and fees?
The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan for the University of California makes education more accessible for California residents. If you are a California native with an average family income of less than $80,000 a year and are qualifying for financial assistance, the package lets you pay your UC systemwide tuition and fees.
Your financial aid awards will include scholarships or grants of at least $12,570 for the academic year of 2020-21 if you apply for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan. To reimburse your fees, the program incorporates all sources of scholarship and grant awards you get (federal, state, UC, and private) to count.
Find out if you qualify for the program through these thoroughly compiled FAQs list.
What is the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan?
The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan guarantees that qualifying California undergraduates with an annual family income of up to $80,000 will have their tuition and fees covered by gift assistance in the scheme or foundation.
You will be awarded enough federal state, university, and/or private grants/scholarships as part of your Financial Aid program to cover your base tuition and school year fees.
For 2019-20 and 2020-21, basic tuition and fees are $12,570 for the academic year. It is important to remember, however, that no student can receive more funding from the grant than their projected financial need.
In addition, to help minimize the cost of attending, Blue and Gold students with ample financial need can apply for even more grant funding.
What benefits are offered for the Blue and Gold students?
Your system-wide tuition and charges would be entirely compensated by scholarship or grant money if you are eligible. In order to pay your tuition and fees, the package incorporates all sources of scholarship and grant awards you earn.
In order to help defray other educational costs (such as books, lodging, travel, etc.), students with greater financial needs may apply for even more grant support.
To apply for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, you do not need to fill out a separate application. If you apply, you will receive the benefits of the Blue and Gold plan automatically.
Do Blue and Gold take into account all of my financial awards?
Your Blue and Gold reward will make up the difference with UC grant money if, for example, you receive a Pell Grant, a Cal Grant, and private scholarships that do not entirely cover your fees.
How do I qualify and maintain eligibility for the scheme?
To qualify and maintain eligibility for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan of UC Davis you will need to meet the following criteria:
- An undergraduate student in your first 4 years of UC attendance (first 2 for transfers)
- A California resident or qualify for a nonresident tuition exemption under AB 540
- Your family earns less than $80,000
- Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is less than your Estimated Cost of Attendance
- Enrolled in at least 6 units (half-time)
- Maintain UC Davis Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
To be eligible for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan of UC Berkeley, however, these requirements are obligatory:
- Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application by the March 2nd deadline
- Meet all other financial aid deadlines and criteria, such as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
- Be classified as a California resident, or be eligible for an AB 540 waiver
- Apply for a Cal Grant (if you are not already a recipient)
- Have financial need (as determined for federal need-based aid programs)
- Be enrolled at least half-time and not in default on student loans
- Have annual income below $80,000 as determined for federal need-based aid programs. This is a measure of parents’ income for dependent students
- Be in the first four years (two, if a transfer student) of your undergraduate attendance
Regarding the UC Davis and UC Berkeley Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), financial aid regulations require that students meet specific Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain eligibility for financial aid.
These criteria assess qualitative and quantitative requirements and the maximum timeframe for the advancement of a student towards the completion of a degree. Students must meet these requirements in order for undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary medicine students to be eligible for financial assistance.
In July, SAP (GPA, Pace of Progression and Maximum Timeframe) is annually measured. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the termination of your eligibility for financial assistance. You have the opportunity, however, to appeal to regain eligibility.
Your SAP status at the end of the annual evaluation period determines your SAP status for the current academic year. Changes to your academic record after the end of the official evaluation period will not impact your SAP status for the current academic year.
The UC Davis and Berkeley SAP requirements fall into three areas:
- Making progress toward your degree by completing a minimum percentage of attempted units
- Maintaining a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA)
- Completing your degree within a maximum specified amount of attempted units
While minimum academic achievement standards are required to be met to retain the eligibility for financial aid, it is understandable that extenuating circumstances often prohibit students from making adequate progress towards their degree.
If you are ineligible for financial aid because before the beginning of the academic year you do not meet SAP standards, and extenuating circumstances have impeded your academic performance, you can send a SAP Appeal to have your eligibility reconsidered.
If your SAP Appeal is accepted, you will be responsible for meeting strict requirements during that academic year to retain your financial aid eligibility for each term.
You will be notified via email of the conditions that you are required to meet to maintain eligibility and your progress will be reviewed before any additional aid is disbursed to you each term.
If your SAP Appeal is denied, you will be responsible for all costs associated with your enrollment during the academic year. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will certify a private educational loan if you secure a loan and are approved by a private lender.
Please note that submission of an SAP Appeal does not guarantee its approval and you should not assume aid eligibility until your appeal has been approved. If you withdraw before your SAP Appeal is reviewed and approval is received, you will be responsible for all costs associated with your enrollment.
How do I know if I qualify for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan?
If you qualify for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, your financial aid awards will include scholarships or grants of at least $12,570 for the academic year of 2020-21. Please note that you cannot receive more awards under the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan than your calculated financial need.
How do I apply for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan?
There’s no special paperwork. Just apply for financial aid on time. To be considered, file your FAFSA or Dream Act Application no later than March 2nd each year. For first-time applicants, you must also submit a Cal Grant GPA verification form to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) by March 2nd.
If I am eligible, when will I receive my award?
Blue and Gold awards are calculated as part of your original financial aid package. If you receive additional gift aid from an outside source after the Blue and Gold gift aid has been added to your awards, your awards from the University of California may be reduced.
Whom should I contact if I have questions about the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan?
Currently, staff is answering phones and email. You may reach them by phone or email through UC Davis’ “Contact Us” page or UC Berkeley’s “Contact Us” page.