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Why federal advocacy matters for UC, California and the nation

The University of California is an engine for California’s economy that educates over 200,000 California residents each year and supports — directly and indirectly — 430,000 California jobs.

But UC’s reach extends beyond state borders. And our ability to make a difference in the world is fueled in part by the investment of federal funds that help educate the future workforce, advance scientific breakthroughs and provide world-class medical training and patient care. The federal government’s investment in UC makes a real difference, and it’s worth fighting for.

Helping students succeed

38 percent of UC undergraduates qualify for Pell Grants — more than at any comparable research university — and this federal investment is essential to UC student success. For 2017-2018, UC students received approximately $1.65 billion in federal student aid, combined with $1.53 billion in institutional aid and $914 million in state financial aid. Because of this shared commitment, 56 percent of UC’s California undergraduates have their tuition covered in full.

The return on investment is clear. UC’s Pell Grant recipients graduate at similar rates to non-Pell Grant recipients, and within five years of graduation the majority of these students go on to earn more than their family’s income during the time they attended UC. New data show that UC graduates from families in the bottom 20 percent of incomes go on to earn as much as students from middle-income families.

Driving pioneering research

UC campuses represent the federal government’s largest university research partner. With federal support, UC produces more patents than any other U.S. university, including the vaccine for Hepatitis B, drugs to treat prostate cancer and other diseases, mobility bionics and exoskeletons that enable paraplegics to walk and market-leading varieties of strawberries and citrus.

UC research generates knowledge and innovations that are beneficial on a global scale. CRISPR gene-editing technology, which holds potential for medical, agricultural and other applications, emerged from work funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Agricultural research helps farmers compete globally and meet food demand. UC manages three U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, addressing national interests in energy, environment, health and homeland security.

Making expert care, innovative treatments and cures possible

UC Health’s five medical centers serve some of the most critically ill patients in the state, providing over $1 billion in charity and uncompensated care in 2017. Federal research funds — including more funding from the NIH than is awarded to any other institution — enable UC scientists to advance understanding of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV and more, and to find improved therapies for patients, from treating pain to developing an artificial kidney.

UC is committed to stemming the growing physician shortage and increasing opportunities to train with UC’s renowned faculty at world-class medical facilities. UC partners with the federal government to train more than 5,500 medical residents, and has taken on $59 million in additional costs to cover training for residents who don’t receive federal funding support.

How you can help

To maintain the university’s excellence in education, research, health care and public service, UC supports robust and sustained funding for federal agencies. The NIH, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and NASA all contribute to UC’s ability to serve as an engine for growth and innovation.

To take a stand and become an advocate, visit the UC Advocacy Network website.


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