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Guide to Financial Aid & Scholarships for UCSC Students

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Attending college can be a bit overwhelming. Especially when faced with the decision of how to pay for college. However, UCSC students need not worry. All students are required to complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for financial aid.

At UCSC, financial aid need eligibility is determined by taking the cost of attending UCSC and subtracting the student’s family expected contribution and any outside scholarships. Once that is determined and a student demonstrates a financial need, UCSC works with that student to find the best suitable financial aid package. As a result, your financial aid package may include any or all of the following: grant programs, campus employment, or outside scholarships and awards.

Grant Programs for UCSC Students

Paying for college doesn’t have to be discouraging. By submitting a FAFSA, UCSC students open the door to many federal, state, and university grant programs.

Some grant programs include:
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Award (FSEOG)—awarded to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Award money is limited.
Federal Pell Grant—awarded to undergraduates with high financial need. Maximum amount awarded is $4,731.
Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)—awarded to freshmen or sophomores who receive a Pell Grant in the same award year. Awarded $750 in the first year; $1,300 in the second year.
National SMART Grant—awarded to students in their junior or senior year who receive a Pell Grant. Amount awarded is up to $4,000 each year.
Cal Grant A—is awarded to students from low to middle income families. This grant only covers the mandatory fees, not the campus-based fees.
Cal Grant B—is awarded to students who come from low-income, disadvantaged families.
UC Santa Cruz Grant—is awarded to students who demonstrate high financial need. Amounts vary and are funded by the University of California—Santa Cruz.

UCSC students can also consider federal work-study programs. These programs allow students to apply for any on-campus job. Money earned is used to pay college expenses.

Scholarships and Awards for UCSC Students

Free money is a great way to help pay for college. Scholarships and awards are two free money opportunities available at UCSC.

Some examples include:

Regents Scholarship —is awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements. Amount awarded is $6,000 per year for up to four years. This is a renewable scholarship.

Campus Merit Scholarships —are awarded to students demonstrating a financial need and a good academic record. Award amount ranges from $500 – $1,500 per year. This scholarship is renewable.

Restricted Scholarships—these scholarships are awarded based on specific criteria such as academic major, family background, county of residence, and special interests. These scholarships are made possible by the donation of campus benefactors.

Deans’, Chancellors’, and Steck Awards —awarded to 50 undergraduate students who have completed a senior thesis or project during the current school year. Recipients receive $100 and the chance to win the Chancellor’s and Steck’s Award.

David L. Boren (NSEP) Undergraduate Scholarships—awarded to undergraduate students studying abroad in selected countries. This scholarship is based mainly on merit and other factors. A service requirement is included with this scholarship. Maximum award is $8,000 (summer); $10,000 (semester); and, $20,000 (academic year).

IIE Fulbright Award—this is an exchange program which provides students international graduate study, university teaching, research, and elementary and secondary teaching opportunities.

Marshall Scholarship—is awarded to up to forty students interested in studying in the United Kingdom at the graduate level. This scholarship is awarded for two years.

Donald A. Strauss Scholarship—awards a junior $10,000 to pursue a public service project. Service is completed in the student’s senior year.

Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship—awards graduate scholarships to students with a high financial need. Award amount includes tuition, living expenses, and other fees from a graduate degree program. Up to $50,000 maximum is awarded.

UCSC Alumni Association Scholarships—awards scholarships to high-achieving students with an undeniable financial need. Amount awarded up to $3,000 per year.

Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Awards Program—awarded to students from community colleges transferring to UCSC. Amount awarded is $10,000 a year for two years. Applicants must be nominated by one of the participating community colleges’ presidents to be considered.

Page and Eloise Smith Scholastic Society and Scholarship —this is a special program for foster youth, homeless, orphans, runaway youth, and wards of the court. Scholarship amount is $1,000.

In addition, UCSC students can seek outside scholarships and awards. It is the responsibility of the student to seek and apply for outside scholarships and awards. If a student receives an outside award, they are required to report it to the UCSC financial aid office.

UCSC Students Have Loan Options

To supplement their financial aid package, UCSC students can apply for loans. To be considered for federal loans, a FAFSA must be filed.

UCSC loan options include:
Federal Perkins Loan—this loan offers a 5% fixed interest rate with repayment beginning nine months after the student leaves the school.
Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan—this loan offers a 5.6% fixed interest rate for undergraduate students; and, a 6.8% fixed interest rate for graduate students. Repayment begins six months after the student leaves the school.

Both the Perkins and the Direct Subsidized loans do not accrue interest until repayment begins.

Other federal loan options include the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan, the Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), and the Graduate PLUS Loan.

UCSC students can also pursue private loans. The University of California provides a lender list on their website of common, reputable lenders to consider. Some of those lenders include: Sallie Mae, Well Fargo EFS, Wells Fargo Graduate Loan, and SunTrust Educational Loan.

Students who are looking for short-term loans can consider the Emergency Short-Term Loan offered by UCSC. This loan is typically used for small amounts—no more than $500. Students are only allowed to use the short-term loans twice in an academic year.

Another option UCSC offers is a monthly Payment Plan, typically used for fees and tuition payments. Students can choose from three or nine month installments. A one-time $25 application fee is required for the three month plan; a $60 application fee for the nine month plan.

Key Points about UCSC Financial Aid

  • Talk to a financial aid officer, admissions representative, and departmental staff to learn what financial aid options are available to UCSC students.
  • Go to a href=“http://www2.ucsc.edu/fin-aid/scholarships.shtml”>UCSC’s website for scholarship and grant listings and locate the ones that suit you. This is a good first step to finding any potential ‘hidden’ scholarships for which you may qualify.
  • Be sure to complete a FAFSA soon after January 1 and apply online for faster approval. Have all pertinent documents in front of you when completing the form online.

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