• How do I Apply for Financial Aid?

    To apply for Financial Aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (CADAA). Priority filing deadlines are March 2 of each year. Refer to How to Apply for more information.
  • Am I Eligible for Financial Aid?

    To be eligible for aid through the FAFSA, you must:

    To be eligible for aid through the CADAA you must:

    The following students are not eligible for Financial Aid:

    • UCSB PACE (Formerly Extension)
    • 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?

    Types and amounts of financial aid is determined by comparing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) / *Student Aid Index (SAI), an amount determined by the FAFSA or CADAA, with the estimated cost of attendance at UCSB. When the EFC/SAI is lower than the estimated cost of attendance, the student is eligible for more need-based aid, such as grants, scholarships and work-study. Students who are not eligible for need-based aid, will still be eligible for other types of aid, including loans and scholarships. Almost every student will have some form of loan in their Financial Aid Award Letter.

    *The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in 2024-2025.


  • How do I Accept my Financial Aid?

    Grants and scholarships are automatically accepted and applied to BARC, if all other criteria is met for disbursement.

    Loans for students and parents must be accepted on My Aid Status and all loan requirements must be complete in order for them to apply to the UCSB 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 the student through a bi-weekly or monthly paycheck from their 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 or CA Dream Act Application
    • If applicable, complete Cal Grant requirements, such as the GPA Verification
    • Submit all of required documents requested by the deadline 
    • Accept your loans and complete loan requirements
    • 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 $6,000 grant for the academic year, $2,000 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 and charges, you must pay the remaining balance due before the quarterly fee deadline or you will be considered late, charged a $50 late fee, and may be dropped from your classes.

  • Can I Afford a UC Education?

    The University of California has provided a comprehensive explanation of the Financial Aid process at the University of California website.

  • How Much Does it Cost to Attend UCSB?

    To view the estimated cost attendance for undergraduate and graduate students at UCSB, please visit Cost of Attendance.

    The Cost of Attendance includes direct and indirect costs and is based off the 9 month academic year.

  • 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 university email account. If you do not have a university email account, you must activate it at the U-mail website.

    Please check your email frequently to ensure you are receiving all important emails we send to you.  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."

  • 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 written consent.

    If your student wishes to grant access to you or another third party, they 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 and is accessed through My Aid Status.

  • What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) / Student Aid Index (SAI)?

    The EFC/SAI is a figure used to determine your student's Financial Aid. The calculation of the EFC/SAI is based on the information that you provided on your FAFSA. This figure is not an actual amount that you must pay but an approximation of how much you should reasonably be able to contribute to your student’s educational expenses this academic year.

    *The Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) in 2024-2025.

  • 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 the Appeals section of our website for more information. Remember that these appeals 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 Cost of Attendance Appeal. Due to fund limitations, budget increases are funded with additional loan eligibility.

  • How Do I Receive My Aid?

    Loans from our office are disbursed to a student's BARC account. For more information, visit FAQ.

    The disbursement method of fellowships and extramural funding depends on the type of assistance. For more information, please visit the Graduate Division Financial Support website.

    Please remember that loans administered by our office are disbursed on a quarterly basis: yearly awards are split into three quarterly disbursements. This may or may not match with the disbursement schedule of funding from other sources.

  • I am going through a financial emergency; can I get help?

    If you are experiencing a financial emergency, please contact the Financial Crisis Response Team by emailing financialcrisis@sa.ucsb.edu. This team assists students who are facing a financial crisis or urgent financial need that jeopardizes their path to graduation.