California Middle Class Scholarship Program

On July 1, 2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed historic legislation aimed at making higher education more affordable. Starting in the 2014-15 academic year, the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program would apply to undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000 and who attend a University of California campus.

Read more from the California Student Aid Commission.

Direct Loan Interest Rates - Effective July 1, 2014

The interest rates on new federal education loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2014 are based on the May 7, 2014 10-Year Treasury Auction Yield, which is 2.61%, according to the U.S. Treasury Department's press release

This represents a 0.80% increase in the interest rates as compared with current rates.

The new interest rates are as follows:

  • Federal Stafford Loans to Undergraduate Students: 4.66% (up from 3.86%)
  • Federal Stafford Loans to Graduate and Professional Students: 6.21% (up from 5.41%)
  • Federal Grad PLUS and Federal Parent PLUS Loans: 7.21% (up from 6.41%)

This corresponds to an increase in the monthly loan payments on a 10-year term of about $4 for every $10,000 borrowed, or about $46 to $49 a year. Total costs will increase by $460 to $492 over the 10-year repayment term of the loans.

Summer Office Hours and Closures

June 2 - June 13 
We will remain open normal business hours:

M-F 9am - Noon, 1pm -4pm

June 17 
The front desk will be closed from 9am - Noon. Phones will remain open during normal business hours.

June 18 - June 20 
The front desk will be closed all day. Phones will remain open during normal business hours.

June 23 - September 
The front desk will be closed on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9am - noon. Phones will remain open during normal business hours

Direct Subsidized Loan 150% Rule

As of July 1, 2013, a first-time student loan borrower is no longer eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans after he or she exceeds 150% of the published length necessary to graduate in an undergrad degree program. For example, students in a four-year program will only be eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans for the equivalent of six years (aggregate loan amount limits still apply). However, students may continue to receive Direct Unsubsidized Loans after losing the Subsidized eligibility.

In addition, a borrower reaching the 150% limit becomes ineligible for the interest subsidy benefits on all Subsidized Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013. Repayment does not begin, but the interest will start accruing on those Subsidized loans. Any and all periods of Subsidized Loan borrowing will count against the 150% time limit. For more information, please see the announcement (PDF) released by the Department of Education.

OFAS Social Media Scholarship – Summer Session 2014

Attention Gauchos! Attending Summer Session 2014?

“Like” us on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for a chance to win a $250 Scholarship for Summer Session 2014. One Facebook or Twitter follower will be chosen randomly and will receive a $250 Scholarship for Summer Session 2014.

“Like” us on Facebook 
Follow us on Twitter

If you do not have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can sign up at http://www.facebook.com orhttp://www.twitter.com.


One Facebook or Twitter follower will be chosen randomly and will receive a $250 Scholarship for Summer Session 2014.


  • Entrants must “Like” UCSB Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship on Facebook and/or follow @UCSBFinAid on Twitter by Friday, August 29, 2014.

  • The winner must be enrolled in Summer Session 2014.

  • The winner must complete a minimum of 6 units in Summer Session 2014.

  • The winner must have a Summer Financial Aid Application on file.

  • The winner will have the scholarship applied only to Summer Session 2014.

  • The winner must have financial need as determined for federal need-based aid programs. Federal rules for resolving overawards apply.

  • The winner will be notified via Facebook message or Twitter message. The winner must respond within 72 hours of contact or he/she forfeits the scholarship. If the scholarship is not claimed within the time limit, an alternate winner will be selected at random.

Facebook and Twitter Disclaimer: 
This scholarship is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and Twitter.

IRS Data Retrieval Option for 2011-2012 FAFSA

Beginning January 30th, 2011 you will be able to select the IRS Data Retrieval option on your FAFSA. We strongly recommend that parents and students select this option during the initial filing or when subsequent corrections are made to a 2011-2012 FAFSA application. This option will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid application with the UCSB Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

In order to successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval option, you must have a federal tax return filed with the IRS, have a valid Social Security number, a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN), and have an unchanged marital status since December 31, 2010. For parents without a Federal Aid PIN, you will be prompted to apply for one during the FAFSA application process. The PIN will also help you (student or parent) electronically sign the FAFSA.

If on the FAFSA you listed your tax filing status as “Will File” because you had not yet filed a return, please remember to change this status to “Already File,” update all relevant income fields to your FAFSA, and select the IRS Data Retrieval option once you have actually submitted a federal tax return to the IRS.

According to the IRS:

  • Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed
  • Data from paper tax returns will be available in 6-8 weeks

Persons unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval option include the following IRS tax filing statuses:

  • Amended federal tax returns
  • Married filing separately
  • Foreign tax returns

How It Works

When either a parent or student selects the IRS Data Retrieval option, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. As the federal income tax filer, you will be redirected to a secure IRS website, where you will permit the IRS to transfer income data to the CPS. Data that is successfully matched will be marked on the FAFSA with the following notation, “Transferred from the IRS.” It’s as simple as that.

A successful match between CPS and the IRS will allow us to forego the need for certain federal income tax return documents, so long as income data fields are not subsequently altered on your FAFSA. This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected. Please note that you may still be required to supply other income information as part of general verification process.

We hope that both parents and student elect to use this streamlining process for the 2011-2012 application cycle. The IRS Data Retrieval tool will make reporting easier and accurate for FAFSA filers, as well as allowing us to redirect our administrative focus to better serve your needs and enhance your application experience.

Understanding Financial Aid Revisions

When students receive additional funding from sources outside of what is offered in their initial Financial Aid award letter, your Financial Aid award is reevaluated and may change. The following presentation explains this process:

View "Understanding Financial Aid Revisions"

Financial Aid Privacy Policy

Can I Access My Student's Financial Aid Information?

The confidentiality of student Financial Aid information is protected in accordance with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and UC Santa Barbara Policy and Procedure “Student Education Records – Disclosure of Information” issued March 2004 (available from the UCSB Registrar).

Providing access to student Financial Aid records or information contained in these records to unauthorized persons is also prohibited. Your student’s information cannot be disclosed to third parties (parent, spouse, sibling, friend, landlord, associate, etc.) without their express written consent.

If your student wishes to grant access to you or another third party, he/she must complete the Student Consent to Release UCSB Financial Aid Information to a Designated Third Party form. This form must be completed each academic year.

This form is available in the Forms.

Office Hours Now at the EOP Office

Beginning November 3, 2014, OFAS will be hosting regular office hours at the EOP Office on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1-4PM. Students will be able to drop-in to discuss financial aid matters with a professional staff member.

Location: Student Resource Building – EOP Suite # 2232 
Dates: Mondays and Tuesdays 
Time: 1-4PM

Proposed Tuition Increase and Financial Aid Information

Please read this letter (PDF) regarding proposed tuition increases and financial aid.

Cal Grant, Pell Grant, and Work-Study Recipients: IMPORTANT Enrollment Requirements

In order to remain eligible to receive your full Cal Grant and/or Pell Grant award, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units at census date every quarter. Work-Study eligibility can also be affected if enrolled units are below amounts as listed below. Census date occurs one day after the last day to add classes on GOLD. If you are enrolled in less than 12 units on the census date, your Cal Grant and/or Pell Grant will be reduced or prorated accordingly after the census date has passed, which may result in a charge on your BARC account.

Cal Grant

Full-time award (12 units): $4080 per quarter (nothing billed back)
3/4-time award (9-11 units): $3060 per quarter ($1020 reduction)
1/2-time award (6-8 units): $2040 per quarter ($2040 reduction)

If you receive the Cal Grant Stipend, this may also be reduced based on units.

Pell Grant

Full-time (12 units): Nothing billed back
3/4-time (9-11 units): Reduction depends on award amount
1/2-time (6-8 units): Reduction depends on award amount


Full-time (12 units): no adjustment
3/4-time (9-11 units): no adjustment
1/2-time (6-8 units): no adjustment
Less than 1/2-time (5 or less units): award is terminated for the quarter

Our office will only check your enrollment at the census date of every quarter, so a student may make changes to their enrollment during the first 3 weeks without penalty (add or drop classes, crash classes, etc.). If you are adding classes with approval codes or with special professor approval, be sure these are completed by the census date to maintain your grant eligibility.

Students must also meet published campus academic standards. Additional information regarding those standards can be found in the General Catalog.

5 Facts About University of California Affordability

While it’s no secret that student loan debt is on the rise across the nation, a University of California degree remains one of the best investments you can make in your future. With that in mind, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships would like to share the following Five Facts about University of California Affordability:

  1. Over 50% of all CA resident undergraduates receive grants and scholarships (“gift aid”) that cover 100% of their systemwide tuition and fees.

  2. UC continues to enroll a much higher percentage of low-income Pell Grant recipients than comparable universities. Last year, 39% of UC students received Pell Grants. In contrast, the estimated percentage at other AAU public institutions was less than 25%, and less than 20% at AAU private institutions.

  3. Nearly half of UC’s 2010-11 graduating class had no student loan debt. The 51% who did borrow had average debt of about $17,700, well below the national average of about $25,000.

  4. UC students’ average debt can be repaid with monthly payments of about $200 – less than 6% of their estimated average starting salary – based on a standard 10-year payment plan. Income-based payment plans are available for students with unusually high debt or low income.

  5. After taking grants and scholarships into account, the average net tuition paid by all UC students was about $4,400 in 2010-11 – lower than at many comparable public research universities.

California Dream Act Application

The California Dream Application is now available at California Dream Act website. Students made eligible for Financial Aid based on the California Dream Act must complete this application in order to be considered for Financial Aid.

Read our FAQ below and visit University of California - California Dream Act for more information.

  • What is the California Dream Act?

    The California Dream Act became law through the passage of two assembly bills, AB 130 and AB 131. Collectively, these bills are known as the California Dream Act. They allow certain, qualified nonresident students, including those who are undocumented to apply for Cal Grants, and institutional grants and scholarships awarded by California public colleges and universities. These new laws took effect on January 1, 2013 with respect to UC institutional aid and will take effect Fall term of the 2013-14 school year with respect to Cal Grants.

  • Does the California Dream Act affect all undocumented students?

    No. The California Dream Act affects only students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under a previous Assembly Bill, AB 540. To qualify, students must have attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated from a California high school. In addition, undocumented students must attest that they have filed an application to legalize their immigration status, or will file an application as soon as they are eligible to do so.

    At UCSB, AB 540 determinations are made as part of the Statement of Legal Residence process in the Office of the Registrar. Only the campus Residence Deputy can make decisions related to AB 540 eligibility. Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships staff will not be able to assist you in making these determinations

  • How will undocumented students apply for Cal Grants and UC financial aid?

    Eligible students will apply for Financial Aid using the California Dream Application, administered by the California Student Aid Commission. The application is now available at California Dream Act website. Students should also review the California Student Aid Commission’s site to determine if you are required to submit a Cal Grant Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification Form.

    Documented students, who are eligible for Financial Aid, should file the FAFSA at the FAFSA website.

  • Why did UC support the California Dream Act?

    UC believes that students who attended and graduated from high school in California, but are not legal residents, should have access to higher education. These students are highly motivated to succeed despite the obstacles they face. Through their hard work and perseverance, they have met the academic standards required to attend UC. Their accomplishments should not be disregarded or their future jeopardized because of their immigration status. By allowing AB 540 students to apply for and receive Financial Aid from the State and UC, these bills help place these students on a more equal footing with other needy students and would enhance their access to college.

  • How many students will benefit under the California Dream Act?

    UC estimates that about 800 undergraduates who will qualify Cal Grant entitlement awards worth about $7 million. Among these students who are newly-eligible for Cal Grants, UC estimates that about 300 are undocumented and 500 are documented. UC estimates that about 440 undocumented undergraduates will qualify for roughly $4.3 million in UC grants and scholarships. These are rough estimates only, however, because UC does not currently collect information about the income or other financial resources of undocumented students.

  • Will expanding aid to undocumented students result in less aid for documented students?

    Cal Grants received by undocumented students will not reduce the number or amount of Cal Grant awards available for other students. For UC grants and scholarships, the impact on other students will be negligible because undocumented students represent a tiny fraction of the student body. (UC estimates that fewer than one-half of one percent of its students are undocumented.)

  • Where will funding for UC awards come from?

    UC’s financial aid programs are primarily funded from tuition revenue. UC sets aside about 30 percent of undergraduate tuition revenue for Financial Aid. Undocumented students pay into this pool but have been prevented from receiving any assistance from it. Under the California Dream Act, eligible undocumented students with financial need can apply for aid.

Important Winter Information

Winter Closure

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be closed during winter break from December 22, 2014 through January 2, 2015.

Our phones will be open December 29, 30, and January 2 from 9AM – 12PM and 1PM - 4PM.

Our office will resume normal business hours Monday, January 5, 2015

Winter Refunds

Winter refunds are generated by the BARC Billing Office and will start being released seven days before the start of winter classes for students with accounts in paid status. 

Financial Aid Probation

Students on Financial Aid Probation will experience a delay in receiving Winter 2015 financial aid. Our office is required to confirm your fall grades before winter aid is released. All students on financial aid probation have been placed on a short-term fee extension status with the BARC billing office to prevent being dropped from classes or from receiving late fees. The short-term fee extensions will expire on January 15, 2015.

Students on Financial Aid Probation will experience a delay in receiving Winter 2015 financial aid. Our office is required to confirm your fall grades before winter aid is released. All students on financial aid probation have been placed on a short-term fee extension status with the BARC billing office to prevent being dropped from classes or from receiving late fees. The short-term fee extensions will expire on January 15, 2015.

Financial Aid will not be released until fall grades are confirmed, so we recommend that you plan accordingly for paying expenses such as rent, food and personal items. Our office anticipates reviewing grades the week of December 29, 2014.

To meet the condition of financial aid probation, undergraduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and pass a minimum of 12 units per quarter. Graduate students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and pass a minimum of 8 units per quarter. 

If you complete the minimum unit and GPA requirement, your winter aid will be released the week of December 29, 2014. If you fail to complete the required number of units or maintain the minimum cumulative GPA during fall quarter, you will be placed back on financial aid suspension for winter quarter and will be notified by email.

Students placed on suspension may gain future financial aid eligibility, subject to availability of funds if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Enroll in school at their own expense for winter quarter without the help of financial aid 
  2. Complete 12 units during the winter term with a cumulative GPA of 2.0.

Note: This will only make students eligible for future financial aid once reinstated; this is not retroactive.

Please note that financial aid probation status is for financial aid purposes only and is separate from academic probation policies for academic standing with the University.

¿Necesita usted asistencia financiera para la universidad?

Para tener derecho a los programas de asistencia financiera a nivel federal, estatal y universitario, es obligatorio rellenar y entregar la Solicitud Gratuita de Ayuda Federal para Estudiantes (FAFSA) cada año. Para cumplir con este requisito y aprender más de los programas disponibles, vaya usted a uno de los siguientes enlaces: En español: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/es_ES/, En inglés: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

Además, no se olvide que el código de la Universidad de California en Santa Barbara (UCSB) es 001320. Es necesario incluir este código cuando uno entrega el FAFSAsm para que la solicitud sea enviada a la Oficina de Asistencia Financiera y Becas de UCSB, después de ser controlada por el Departamento de Educación de EE.UU. Al mismo tiempo, para tener derecho a recibir becas universitarias y estatales en California, es necesario entregar la Solicitud (FAFSAsm) antes del 2 de marzo cada año. (Por ejemplo, para recibir asistencia financiera para la universidad empezando en septiembre de 2015 – el año escolar 2015-2016-, hay que entregar la Solicitud entre el primero (1ero) de enero 2015 y el 2 de marzo 2015.) Conjuntamente, algunos individuos de familias inmigrantes a California que cumplen con los requisitos pueden también solicitar asistencia financiera estatal por el California Dream Act. Para más información y la solicitud del Dream Act, vaya al siguiente enlace: http://www.csac.ca.gov/dream_act.asp.

Financial Aid Matters Guide for Students and Parents

We view financial aid as an investment that requires a partnership between our office, students and parents. It requires open communication and collaboration from the point of filing the first application to loan repayment after graduation.

Financial Aid Matters Guide

A Guide for Students and Parents

We developed this resource in hopes of providing you the information you should know about your student’s financial responsibilities, including:

  • How to navigate the award letter and determine net costs
  • The verification process and important dates and deadlines
  • How the cost of attendance and financial aid eligibility is determined
  • Loan options, budgeting, smart borrowing, and repayment
  • Billing, disbursements, authorization of charges, and refunds
  • Term and conditions, revisions, and return of aid
  • Special circumstances and appeals

Moving Off Campus?

How moving to off-campus housing will affect Financial Aid

Many college students, specifically juniors and seniors, will live off-campus at one point or another during their college career.  While living off campus can be rewarding, it does present new responsibilities and some challenges.

Below are some important things to think about and some of the most commonly asked questions about moving off campus and how it will affect the financial aid award letter and general process.

In preparation for moving off-campus, here are some important things to plan for:

  • Finding the right apartment that fits within your student budget.
  • Coming up with the security deposit and first months rent.
  • Considering expenses like utilities, transportation and food.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How will my financial aid be calculated if I live off-campus?

Your financial aid will be calculated based on the off-campus budget which includes tuition and fees, housing and food, books and supplies, health care, transportation and personal expenses which are based on the 9 month academic year. Since the cost of living off-campus varies for each student depending on where you live and your spending habits, we use a standard cost of attendance estimate for all students. Given that the estimated cost of living off-campus is less than the cost of university housing, students may see a reduction in their financial aid.

Does the off-campus budget allow money for rent and food?

Your accepted financial aid, except for Federal Work-Study, is applied to your billing charges first. If your financial aid is more than the charges on the billing account, you will have a refund due to you that can be used to pay for the off-campus housing expenses, including food.

Note - Room and board expenses for the summer months are not part of the calcu­lation of your financial aid. Your financial aid for the academic year will be based on the 9 month period; fall, winter and spring. Therefore, any refunds received should be budgeted appropriately and are not intended to help meet summer expenses.

Are there loans available for my off-campus living expenses?

Yes, Federal Direct Loans, including the parent PLUS loan or a private alternative loan are available to meet these expenses. Off-campus living expenses are included in your total budget, so loans can be borrowed to cover them.

What if my monthly rent is more than the amount included in the cost of attendance per month?

If your actual rent cost does exceed the financial aid estimate, it may be possible for you to borrow an additional amount for living expenses, but that is dependent on your eligibility and availability of loan funds. Be aware that you will incur start-up costs for your apartment (security deposits, phone installation, furnishing, etc.) that are not a part of the financial aid budget.


Student Loans Consolidation

U.S. News & World Report has published an in-depth guide that breaks down student loans consolidation, how they work, and what students should know before considering them. Read more here: https://loans.usnews.com/student-loans-consolidation-refinancing

How to Request a Tax Return Transcript and/or Verification of Non-Filing Form

If you need to request a student or parent tax return transcript from the IRS, please review our step-by-step instructions.