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Eligibility Requirements Graduate Students

To be eligible for the loan programs, a student must maintain satisfactory academic progress in their course of study. An annual review will be completed prior to the start of the Fall quarter. Students not meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress standards will be notified of their ineligibility for the upcoming academic year.

Eligibility Requirements

Be enrolled and admitted to a degree program at UC San Diego.

Your financial aid funding is limited to a certain number of quarters, depending on the type and availability of aid, and the degree or certificate program you're in. For example, a Ph.D. student is eligible for all types of financial aid for 18 quarters, plus 3 additional quarters of limited funding.

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)
  • 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.

This progress includes a 3.0 cumulative GPA and credit for 36 units during the academic year. You can't receive more than 8 units of "U" (unsatisfactory) grades.

  • For more details and requirements, read UC San Diego's Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards for Financial Aid Eligibility (PDF).

  • If you don't meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards:

    • You must maintain SAP standards and must also meet with an academic advisor for a progress plan at the beginning of the year.

    • If you fail to meet SAP standards, you will lose your financial aid eligibility.

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 at least 6 units per quarter.

Before funds can be disbursed, you must be enrolled in at least 6 units per quarter or Summer Session.

  • Even though your financial aid awards may be disbursed while you're enrolled in only 6 units per quarter, you must still meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines.

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? Use this resource to find answers to all your frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions