Financial Resources

Money Matters Student Financial Guide

This guide is not a comprehensive list of all existing resources, but intends to provide you with helpful information. Please be sure to read the Money Management Basics and Financial Aid 101 sections of this guide, which include tips on how to develop good financial habits and make the best of available aid, as well as problem-solving steps to take when you’re experiencing financial hardship. In particular, the If You’re Struggling Financially section will help you come up with a step-by-step strategy on how to use the resources below.


Graduate Division Financial Support 

The Financial Support unit administers fellowship programs and certifies student eligibility for fellowship funding and graduate student academic appointments. The Fellowship staff is responsible for administering University fellowships; department block grants; government and federally funded fellowships; and private, foundation, and corporate awards. Access guidelines on how to access tax Information here.


Graduate Student Resource Center (GSRC)

The GSRC offers a number of resources on finding funding for your research as well as personal finance matters such as loans, credit, insurance, and taxes. Take advantage of their ongoing workshops, one-on-one advising, and
extensive online resources.

GSA Emergency Relief Grant

The GSA Emergency Relief Grant was approved by the UCSB graduate student body in 2011 and is designed to help graduate students who are experiencing sudden financial distress due to unforeseen circumstances  The amount of an award ranges between $100 and $1000 depending upon individual circumstances. 


Financial Crisis Response Team

The UCSB Financial Crisis Response Team exists to assist students who are facing a financial crisis or urgent financial need. This effort aims to assist undergraduate and graduate students who are facing significant financial difficulties that jeopardize their path to graduation. The team works closely to evaluate, respond, and support students in crisis in a streamlined and timely manner. If you are experiencing a crisis, email the Financial Crisis Response Team the details and they will work with you to develop a plan of action. Depending on the situation, you will either be asked to answer a few questions about the situation in an on-line form or be asked to meet in person with an advisor in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, or both. An advisor will help guide you through the process. This effort was put in place to help undergraduate students as well as graduate students. Additionally, an emergency loan program has been established to assist international students in need. 


Alumni Association Loans

The Alumni Association provides $250 in emergency loan monies, with varying repayment terms to Graduate students only (undocumented AB540 students are eligible) who are experiencing a financial emergency. The student must submit an application form with valid photo ID. Visit the UCSB Alumni Association office in the Mosher Alumni House, located off of Mesa Road and near Campbell Hall. Applications not submitted in person will not be considered. To verify availability of funding or to schedule an appointment, call (805) 893-3767.


Student Medical Emergency Relief Fund

SMERF was designed to assist UCSB students experiencing medical emergencies and students who have graduated will be eligible up to one quarter after their graduation date if they incurred a medical emergency during a quarter in which they were enrolled. Moreover, a student is eligible if they are unable to pay existing, anticipated or outstanding medical expenses. Any inquiries can be directed to the SMERF Account Manager by email or at (805) 893-325.


Campus, Advocacy, Resources, and Education Emergency Fund

CARE Program assists survivors of interpersonal violence by providing advocacy and accompaniment services. Professional advocates with CARE specialize in helping individuals heal after an experience with sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, or sexual harassment by connecting them to other campus and community resources and helping them navigate different medical, legal, and campus processes. To apply, contact CARE at (805) 893-4613 to schedule an appointment. If you have general questions about this fund, you can call the Women’s Center office manager at (805) 893-3779.


Women's Center Bridge Over Troubled Waters Fund

The Women’s Center provides small emergency grants to women who are single student parents. Grant amounts vary and are determined on a case-by-case basis. To apply, first contact Assistant Dean of Students and WGSE Director Kim Equinoa by email or at  (805) 893-3858 to schedule an appointment. Students can receive this grant a maximum of one time per year. The turnaround time is approximately 1-2 weeks.


Guardian Scholars Funds

Emergency grants of varying amounts are available for Guardian Scholars (former Foster Youth) experiencing serious financial difficulties. Requests are reviewed by a committee in consultation with Financial Aid. To apply, contact Lisa Przekop in the Office of Admissions.


Orion Medical Fund

The Orion Fund provides grants up to $5,000 toward uncovered medical costs, medical technology, educational costs, and living expenses to college students in California who are living with serious, non-congenital illness and injury so they may continue working toward their educational goals. Grants are applied to cover the costs of medical crises that occurred within the previous year. To apply, an application form, personal statement, letters from medical/other advisors, unofficial transcript, copies of medical or other bills are required.


Danny Riley Medical Fund

The Danny Riley Fund was created to assist students who are suffering from cancer and other serious, chronic illnesses, and to help them remain actively engaged in their educational careers and achieve their full potential. Grants of varying amounts are used to support these students and their families, thereby easing their financial burdens while attending to their medical needs. To apply, contact the Disabled Students Program director at (805) 893-2182 or (805) 893-2668.


Undocumented Students Services' Dream Scholar Fund Scholarship 

Every year, USS has the opportunity to award a few scholarships for current UCSB students. They will announce them through the USS website and through email as they become available throughout the year. Scholarships will most likely become available winter and spring quarters. Each will have varying amounts and will be based on different criteria to ensure every student is eligible.