• How do I apply for Financial Aid?

    To apply for Financial Aid, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). 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 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?

    Types and amounts of financial aid is determined by comparing the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), an amount determined by the FAFSA or CADAA, 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, 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.


  • How do I accept my Financial Aid?

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

    Loans for students and parents must be accepted and all loan requirements must be completed in order for them to apply to BARC.

    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 or CA Dream Application
    • If applicable, complete Cal Grant requirements, such as the GPA Verification
    • Submit all of the documents requested by the document deadline 
    • Accept your loans and complete loan requirements, such as an entrance counseling 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 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.

  • 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.