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Enrollment Requirements Current Undergraduates

Students of all class levels should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for all types of federal and state aid: grants, work-study, student and parent loans, and some scholarships. For California Dream Act Applicants, instead of the FAFSA you will need to complete the annual CA Dream Act application for state and institutional financial aid.

The 2023-24 state priority funding deadline is March 2, 2023, and the 2024-25 state priority funding deadline is May 2, 2024. We strongly encourage all students to complete their aid application no later than May 2, 2024 to ensure timely financial aid information for 2024-25. Eligible late filers will be considered for federal funding only.

Facts About Financial Aid and Enrollment

  • Wait-listed units don't count toward your quarter total.

  • UC San Diego verifies your enrolled units each quarter before disbursing financial aid funds into your student account.

  • UC San Diego re-verifies your enrolled units at the end of each quarter's add period.

  • You may be required to repay previously disbursed aid if you reduce your units to less than 12 units per quarter.

  • Approved part-time study: Your fees and tuition will be reduced if you're approved for part-time study. This also results in financial aid reduction which may require you to repay previously disbursed aid.

Additional Enrollment Requirements

  • Pell Grant and Cal Grant

    These grant amounts are reduced if you're enrolled in less than 12 units. Pell Grants and Cal Grant stipends pay according to the number of enrolled units:

    • 6–8 units = 1/2 of the award amount
    • 9–11 units = 3/4 of the award amount
    • 12+ units = full award amount

    Please note: the enrollment criteria for the UC San Diego Part-time fee reduction program is separate from the federal, state and institutional financial aid disbursement requirements. If enrolled in less than half-time (6 units) students are not eligible for institutional grant and initial loan disbursements for the quarter.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans

    These loan funds are based on your actual number of enrolled units at the time of disbursement.

    • You must be enrolled in at least 6 units at the time the loan funds are disbursed to your UC San Diego student account.
  • Summer Session financial aid (any type)

    To be eligible for Summer Session financial aid, you must enroll in at least 6 quarter units in one UC San Diego Summer Session or a combination of sessions.

    If you're attending other UC summer sessions, you must enroll in at least 6 quarter units at the other UC.

    If you’re attending both Summer at UC San Diego and at another UC summer session during the Summer, you must be enrolled in a combination of at least 6 units.

    If you're enrolled in multiple sessions, your aid will be divided among the sessions.

    If your enrollment changes after you've been awarded summer aid, it may affect the amount of your summer eligibility, and as a result:

    • Your aid disbursements may be canceled.
    • You may have to repay aid you've already received.

    Read more about financial aid for summer sessions.

Eligibility Requirements

Be Enrolled and Admitted to a Degree Program at UC San Diego

If you're enrolled as a "limited status" or post baccalaureate student (returning to UC San Diego after graduation), you may be eligible for limited funding in the form of Direct Loan. For eligible students, the Direct Loan annual limits are $7,500 combined subsidized and/or unsubsidized for dependent students, with no more than $5,500 subsidized. The annual limit for an independent student is $12,500, combined subsidized and/or unsubsidized, with no more than $5,500 subsidized.

Be a U.S. Citizen or An Eligible Noncitizen

You're eligible if you're a:

  • U.S. citizen
  • U.S. national (includes natives of American Samoa and Swain's Island).
  • U.S. permanent resident who has an I-151, I-551 or I-551C (Alien Registration Receipt Card).
  • Conditional permanent resident with a Conditional Green Card (I-551C).
  • Student who has an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the INS with one of the following designations:
    • Refugee
    • Asylum Granted
    • Indefinite Parole and/or Humanitarian Parole
    • Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)
    • Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)

You are not eligible for federal financial aid if:

  • You have only a Notice to Apply for Permanent Residence (I-171 or I-464)
  • You're in the United States on an F1 or F2 student visa only
  • You're in the United States on an J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa only
  • You have a G-series visa

Have a Valid Social Security Number

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will verify your Social Security number with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Be In Good Standing With Satisfactory Academic Progress

Note: The requirements for satisfactory academic progress for financial aid recipients may differ from the requirements for UC San Diego's minimum progress policy.

You must maintain progress toward a degree to receive and remain eligible for financial aid.

Not Be In Default on Federal Education Loans, or Owe Any Federal Grant Money to Any Institution

"Default" means a failure to make loan payments or otherwise honor a loan's terms. Loan defaults are reported to credit bureaus and can influence future credit and your ability to receive financial aid.

Register With the Selective Service, If You Are Male

Effective June 17, 2021 failing to register with the Selective Service or having a drug conviction while receiving federal Title IV aid no longer impacts a student’s Title IV aid eligibility.

Be Enrolled in the Required Number of Units For Each Type of Aid Received

Before funds can be disbursed, most types of aid require enrollment in at least 6 units per quarter and 6 units during Summer Session.

  • Read more about UC San Diego's Undergraduate Enrollment Requirements and how they affect various types of financial aid and the amount you'll receive.

  • Some awards may be pro-rated or not disbursed at all if you're not enrolled full time.

  • A student cannot receive federal financial aid for repeating a course a second time if the course was previously passed. If you are a financial aid recipient planning on taking a course as a second repeat you are advised to consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office regarding any effect to your financial aid eligibility. Visit the Registrar's website for more information on repeating a course.