University of California, Santa Barbara

Eligibility

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress

    All students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and wish to be considered for University, State and Federal Aid must meet the criteria stated in this policy. Financial aid eligibility is based on satisfactory academic progress standards established by the University, pursuant to federal law, to ensure that all financial aid recipients progress towards degree completion.

    The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships monitors qualitative and quantitative standards for undergraduate and graduate students after the end of the students’ completion of the academic year. Students who do not complete classes enrolled in or fail to achieve the minimum standards for grade point average may lose their eligibility for all types of University, State and Federal aid.

    Undergraduate Students

    Qualitative Standard: Undergraduates must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.0 grade point average (GPA). Please note that while passing grades (P) are treated as completed units, they do not count in the GPA calculation.

    Pace (Quantitative) Standard: Undergraduates must maintain a 100% completion rate of the minimum unit requirement established by the University. Students achieve a 100% completion rate once they have completed the minimum units required during the academic year. Please note the following:

    • Courses graded as Incomplete, Failed, Not Passed, or Withdrawn do not count toward completed units.
    • In the event a student receives permission to repeat a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count, subsequent repeats will not. This does not apply to courses that are repeatable for credit (i.e. independent study courses).
    • Transfer units will be counted in the completion rate provided they have been accepted by the University for degree credit.

    Maximum Time Frame of Eligibility for Financial Aid: The federally regulated financial aid requirement specifies that students are eligible to receive aid for 150% of the time normally required to complete an academic program. Undergraduate degree programs are designed to be completed in four years. For example, an undergraduate student admitted to UCSB as a freshman loses all undergraduate financial aid eligibility after 18 quarters of attendance (150% of 12 quarters) including quarters in which the student withdraws. Additionally all periods of attendance count toward the duration of eligibility whether aid is received or not.

    • Freshman: 18 Quarters
    • Sophomore: 15 Quarters
    • Junior: 12 Quarters
    • Senior: 9 Quarters

    Graduate Students

    Qualitative Standard: Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA). Please note that while passing grades (S) are treated as completed units, they do not count in the GPA calculation.

    Pace (Quantitative) Standard: Graduate students must maintain a 100% completion rate of the minimum unit requirement established by the University. Students achieve a 100% completion rate once they have completed the minimum units required during the academic year. Please note the following:

    • Courses graded as Incomplete, Failed, Unsatisfactory, or Withdrawn do not count toward completed units.
    • In the event a student receives permission to repeat a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count, subsequent repeats will not. This does not apply to courses that are repeatable for credit (i.e. independent study courses).

    Maximum Time Frame of Eligibility for Financial Aid: The federally regulated financial aid requirement specifies that students are eligible to receive aid for 150% of the time normally required to complete an academic program. Graduate students are required to meet the University approved time-to-degree standards for their program of study. Therefore, graduate students may not be eligible to receive financial aid once they exceed 150% of their program’s time-to-degree standard (i.e. 9 years for a program with a 6 year time-to-degree standard).

    Reinstatement of Aid

    Students who are declared ineligible to receive aid (placed on financial aid suspension) for not maintaining satisfactory academic progress will not receive any financial aid in subsequent quarters and will be notified promptly, via email, at the end of the academic year. If special circumstances exist which caused a student to fail to meet one of the above standards, a written appeal may be submitted. Specific instructions for submitting an appeal will be included in the email notification. Examples of special circumstances include, but are not limited to: death of an immediate family member, injury or medical condition of the student, or other special circumstances. The appeal should address and document these special circumstances AND describe how circumstances have changed in the student’s situation that will allow the student to demonstrate SAP progress at the next evaluation. The student will be notified via email of the decision to approve or deny financial aid eligibility. Appeals must be submitted to The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and must include supporting documentation. Incomplete appeals or those missing adequate documentation will be denied.

    Students who are not meeting satisfactory academic progress standards but have successfully appealed will be placed on Financial Aid Probation and have their eligibility reinstated, subject to availability of funds. This type of probation is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic probation policies for academic standing with the University. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will evaluate the student’s academic progress at the end of each subsequent quarter, when applicable, as determined in the approved appeal. Students who are on Financial Aid Probation may experience delays in receiving funds the following quarter due to the need to confirm previous quarter's grades before releasing further financial aid.

    Students may also gain future financial aid eligibility, subject to availability of funds, if they enroll in school at their own expense, without the help of student financial aid, and do well enough in the coursework to satisfy both the qualitative and/or quantitative standards. Please note that this will only make students eligible for future aid once reinstated. It is not retroactive.

  • Penalties for Drug Violations

    Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Financial Aid shall not be eligible to receive any federal or institutional grant, loan, or work assistance during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table.

    If convicted of an offense involving:

    Possession of a Controlled Substance Ineligibility Period
    First Offense 1 Year
    Second Offense 2 Years
    Third Offense Indefinite
    Sale of a Controlled Substance Ineligibility Period
    First Offense 2 Years
    Second Offense Indefinite

    A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of a controlled substance may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

    • The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that:
      • complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; and
      • includes two unannounced drug tests;
    • The student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; or
    • The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.