How to Apply

Big changes are coming in the 2024-2025 year! Learn about these exciting updates to the FAFSA Form and the change in methodology used to determine financial aid eligibility.

To apply for Financial Aid, students must complete one of two Financial Aid Applications listed below:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

To be eligible to file the FAFSA, students must:

CA Dream Act Application (CADAA)

This application became available following the passage of two California Assembly bills, AB 130 and AB 131. Together, these bills became known as the California Dream Act. The California Dream Act makes certain undocumented students eligible for State and University Financial Aid.

To be eligible to file the California Dream Application, students must:


Here are a few key things to remember when applying for Financial Aid:

  • Only one application is required, either the FAFSA or the CA Dream Application
  • Complete a new FAFSA or CA Dream Application each academic year
  • Complete your application by March 2. If you miss this deadline, you may miss out on free money!
  • Remember to list UC Santa Barbara’s school code #001320

Additional Application Requirements

  • Scholarships: The University awards a limited amount of scholarships to students each year. All internal scholarships managed by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships are awarded on the basis of need. For more information, visit our ScholarshipUniverse page.
  • Cal Grant: The Cal Grant, a grant awarded to California residents, has additional application requirements beyond the FAFSA or CA Dream Application. Refer to the Types of Aid - Cal Grant for more information.

After Filing Your Application

  • Approximately one week after you complete the FAFSA or CA Dream Application, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). Carefully review your status and follow the instructions if you need to make any corrections. Our office will receive your information as long as UC Santa Barbara is listed in the School Selection section.
  • Newly admitted freshmen will be sent an email informing them to view their Financial Aid Offer. This offer is meant to assist them in their admissions decision.
  • Newly admitted transfers will be sent an email in informing them to view their Financial Aid Offer. This offer is meant to assist them in their admissions decision.
  • If you would like to pursue an appeal due to unusual or special circumstances, please see the Appeals section of our website.
  • All students will be sent an email to their university email account, informing them to check the status of their Financial Aid application in My Aid Status. It is the students responsibility to regularly check their email for all communications from our office.