Well, lets be honest, the cost report used to be a crap indication of actual "cost". Its better now with the standardizations but still far from realistic in my view.
We had $25,000 in cash and probably like $100,000 in "gifts in kind" to clarify. Almost 0 funding from the university (we do have nice shops and equipment, and an occasional donation, but nothing we can count on), so we are nearly completely funded by corporate sponsors. Its a rough life but as I have learned in the "real world", about as realistic as it gets.
To clarify, CF monocoques are possible for the top 30 or so teams in the world, but the competition is not just about those teams. The only school that I know of that REALLY understands the CF manufacturing process is TU Delft, who are really in a class of their own is anyone saw the FS Germany results and saw some of their car. CF is terribly expensive so it takes a huge helping hand to produce a chassis.
There are quite a few teams with the CF chassis that don't know the first thing about manufacturing one which is an integral part of the competition.
One other note, which I'm sure any other alums can attent to, it makes life a lot easier in the professional world when you are used to having to scrounge and work with what you have. Perhaps the greatest learning experience from FSAE?
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Formula SAE: '06, '07, '08, '09
2007 Formula SAE World Champions
2008 Formula SAE at VIR Champions
2009 We switched engines and learned a lot...the hard way