The General Assembly approved the GSA COVID-19 Relief Grant in April 2020 to assist graduate students who are experiencing sudden financial hardship due to the novel coronavirus. Examples may include but are not limited to loss of employment, medical expenses, sudden necessary travel, and other COVID-19 related expenses. The amount of an award ranges between $100 and $1000 depending upon individual circumstances. An Advisory Board reviews all applications to verify that they meet the guidelines established for this program. A graduate student can receive this grant once.


  1. You are a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara.

  2. You have sudden financial distress due to COVID-19.

  3. You do not have enough savings to cover your expenses.

  4. You have not already received this grant.


  1. You have a need: it doesn’t have to be medical, and it doesn’t have to be a specific type.

  2. Apply: share as much as you would like, include specific numbers for the situation (e.g., how much emergency travel cost), and be clear about how the grant can help

  3. The Advisory Board might follow up with you to request additional information such as bills and other documents.

  4. The Advisory Board will make a decision as quickly as possible and will notify you via email.

  5. If you receive the grant, you will get it through mail

How Long Does the Process Take?

The application process can take one to three weeks to complete once the Advisory Board receives the application packet.

Are There Any Situations the Grant Won't Cover?

The grant will not be awarded to applicants that have unused personal savings.  The grant also requires that the hardship being caused by COVID-19. For other situations, see the GSA Emergency Grant. This grant is not intended to offset hardship caused by a lack of TA or GSR employment unless the lack was COVID-19 related.

COVID-19 Grant Form