SEARS will generate timely, relevant information
This survey data is essential to inform the State Legislature and
policymakers as they work to ensure that Cal Grants and other
financial aid programs help make college affordable for all
students. Hundreds of colleges and universities in California
also use this information as they plan their own financial aid
offerings, and as they publish information on their cost of
The California Student Aid Commission will use the survey results
to update and improve the estimate for how much the typical
student in California pays annually for books and supplies,
technology, housing, food, transportation, medical care, and
other expenses while attending college. We’ll also report on the
sources of funds—such as wages, grants, loans, and money from
parents—that students use to pay for all costs of college.
The survey will provide student expense information that is
specific to regions of California. It will also examine any
differences in expenses based on demographic characteristics
including gender and race/ethnicity.
This year’s survey is especially important because it is the
state’s first comprehensive research on college expenses in more
than a decade. The survey results will be of high interest to
education groups in California and across the nation.
You can help
Data will be collected between fall 2018 and spring 2019 from a
representative cross-section of students.
Campus leaders: Promote the survey to
make sure the experiences of a range of students on your campus
are included in this important research.
Invited students: Complete the survey to make sure that
your experience, and the experience of students like you, is
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with
questions, or download the SEARS overview below to learn more.
Download the SEARS Overview
2018-19 SEARS Survey Instrument