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 Cover

 Financial Aid Matters (PDF)
 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

Financial Awareness Counseling

The Department of Education has released a new tool to help you understand your financial aid and to assist in managing your finances and debt.
Financial Awareness Counseling

Financial Literacy

Learning to effectively manage your finances is an important skill to learn while you are in college. In the current economic climate, financial literacy on college campuses is a growing concern. More and more parents and students are turning to loans to fund the increasing cost of a college education. The financial decisions that students make now will impact them for years to come. is brought to you by the National Endowment for Financial Education, an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics and empowering them to make positive and sound decisions to reach their financial goals.


Budget Planning Tools

Our office encourages students to budget their money wisely in order to avoid over borrowing or the use of high interest loans and credit cards. In an effort to help students track their Financial Aid, income and expenses we have developed two budget calculators. These budget calculators are Microsoft Excel files, optimized for use on Microsoft Windows.

Simple Budget Planner »

A simple personal finance budget planner that allows you to quickly sum the costs associated with each quarter at UCSB.

Monthly Budget Planner »

A detailed planner for comparing monthly income and expenses, including projected and actual amounts.

Financial Aid Estimator

The Financial Aid Estimator provides an estimated Financial Aid Award Letter for prospective students.