The Gsa Emergency Relief Grant Was Approved by the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Student Body in 2011 and Is Designed to Help Graduate Students Who Are Experiencing Sudden Financial Distress Due to Unforeseen Circumstances. Examples of This Type of Hardship May Include but Are Not Limited to the Loss of an Immediate Family Member, a Medical Emergency, or an Unexpected Loss of Employment. The Amount of an Award Ranges Between $100 and $1000 Depending Upon Individual Circumstances. The GSA Emergency Grant Advisory Board Decides the Amount to Award. The Three-member Advisory Board Consists of Campus Administrators, Staff, and Members of the GSA Executive Board.


  1. You are a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara.
  2. You have sudden financial distress due to unforeseen circumstances.
  3. For FAFSA eligible students, you have completed the FAFSA for the current academic year (if eligible) and have accepted any loans offered through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship (OFAS). You do not have to complete the CA Dream Act for undocumented students since you are not eligible for federal loans.
  4. A graduate student can receive this grant a maximum of 2 times during your UC Santa Barbara graduate career.

If you have taken out at least half of the loans offered through OFAS, you might be eligible for help from the Financial Crisis Response Team (FCRT). If your expenses are for unpaid medical bills, you should apply to the Student Medical Emergency Relief Fund (SMERF) first and apply here for anything they won’t cover. 


  1. You have a need: it doesn’t have to be medical; it doesn’t have to be a specific type. When in doubt, apply!
  2.  Apply: share as much as you would like to, be clear about how the grant can help; the online form has details about the Advisory Board and the process.
  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 notify you via email.



The application process can take two to four weeks to complete once the Advisory Board receives the application packet.

Are There
Any Situations
the Grant
Won't Cover?

The Emergency Grant will not be awarded to applicants with unused personal savings or financial aid resources available. Awards will also not be given to students if hardship results from personal financial mismanagement (e.g., gambling) or family financial stress that does not directly impact a student’s ability to remain enrolled at UC Santa Barbara. This grant is not intended to offset hardship caused by a lack of TA or GSR employment.

PLEASE NOTE: GSA is currently updating its website. For information regarding the Emergency Relief Grant please reach out to the VP of Financial Affairs at "gsa-vpfa@ucsb.edu"!

Emergency Relief Grant Form