How do I Apply for Financial Aid?
To apply for Financial Aid, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Refer to Applying for more information.
Am I Eligible to Apply for Financial Aid?
To be eligible for financial aid, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Be in a degree-seeking program
The following students are not eligible for Financial Aid:
- UCSB Extension students
- Students who have defaulted on a prior student loan or who owe a repayment of aid to the U.S. Department of Education
How is Financial Aid Determined?
The types and amount of Financial Aid awarded to students are determined by comparing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount determined by the FAFSA, with the estimated cost of attendance at UCSB. When the EFC is lower than the estimated cost of attendance, the student is eligible for more need-based aid, such as grants and work-study. Students who are not eligible for need-based aid, however, will still be eligible for other types of aid, including loans and scholarships. Almost every student will have some form of loan in their "package" of Financial Aid.
To receive an official Financial Aid Award Letter (FAAL), which details all of the types and amounts of Financial Aid awarded to a student during an academic year, you must:
- Complete a FAFSA
- Turn in all documents requested by the "Request for Additional Documents" (RAD)
How do I Accept My Financial Aid?
Grants and scholarships awarded to students are automatically accepted. However, students and parents must accept loans and complete specific requirements, including promissory notes and entrance interviews, for loans to credit to a student's BARC account.
To learn more about the requirements for loans, visit Loans.
How do I Use My Work-Study?
Unlike like other types of Financial Aid, Work-Study does not disburse to a student's BARC account. Instead, Work-Study is paid directly to a student's employer. For more information, visit Work-Study.
When will I Receive My Financial Aid?
Financial Aid will disburse to a student's BARC account each quarter. For Financial Aid to disburse on time, students must ensure they have completed the following steps:
- Complete a FAFSA
- If applicable, complete Cal Grant requirements, such as the GPA Verification
- Turn in all of the documents requested by the "Request for Additional Documents" (RAD)
- Accept your loans and complete loan requirements, such as an entrance interview and a master promissory note
- Enroll in at least 6 units
One-third of your accepted aid will disburse for each quarter (fall, winter, spring). For example, if you had a $1200 grant for an academic year, $400 of that grant would disburse to your BARC account before the beginning of each quarter. After your aid has been disbursed to your BARC account, university fees are then deducted from your Financial Aid. These fees include tuition, student services fees, health care, and housing if you live in University-owned on-campus housing. If there is a credit remaining after these fees have been deducted, the remaining amount will be sent to either your local address as specified on Gold or directly to your bank account if you have enrolled in Gaucho Direct Deposit.
Remember that the Financial Aid sent to you is intended to pay for the remaining costs of college not automatically deducted from your BARC account, including rent for off-campus housing (including University-affiliated housing, such as Tropicana Gardens), books, supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses.
What if My Financial Aid Doesn't Cover My Fees?
If the Financial Aid in your BARC account does not cover your university fees, you must pay the remaining fees before the quarterly fee deadline or you will be considered late, charged a $50 late fee, and may be dropped from your classes.
Will I be Charged Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition?
Most students who live in another state are considered "non-California resident" students, and will incur higher University fees. The amount of loans in a non-California resident's Financial Aid package will increase to cover their increased costs.
However, under AB 540 legislation, students enrolled or in the process of enrolling at a University of California campus after January 1, 2002, who attended a high school in California for three or more years, and who graduated from a California high school (or attained the equivalent), may qualify for an exemption from the nonresident tuition. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are eligible to apply for this exemption. For more information, visit the Registrar's website.
How will the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships Contact Me?
Our office will usually contact you through your U-mail account, your personal UCSB e-mail account. If you do not have a U-mail account, you must activate it at the U-mail website.
Please check your U-mail frequently and ensure that your U-mail inbox does not become too full. Otherwise, e-mails sent from our office will be rejected. Furthermore, if you forward your U-mail to a different address, please update the mail filters of your forwarding address to accept e-mails from "ucsb.edu."
What if Extraordinary Circumstances have Reduced My Ability to Pay for College?
If a student or their custodial parent(s) have been adversely affected by extraordinary circumstances that have reduced their ability to pay for college expenses, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships can review those circumstances in order to recalculate the expected family contribution. This could potentially increase eligibility for need-based aid subject to the availability of funding. Please visit Appeals - Request for Review for more information. Remember that Requests for Review are reserved for extraordinary circumstances only and will require the student or parent to provide additional documentation supporting these circumstances.
What if My Actual Educational Costs Exceed the Estimated Expenses?
If a student believes the cost of attendance used in determining their Financial Aid was insufficient, they may request to increase their budget (and aid eligibility) with a Student's Request for a Budget Increase (SRFBI). Due to fund limitations, budget increases are funded with additional loan eligibility.