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Packaging Policy Graduate Students

How Packaging Works

Financial assistance for graduate students at UC San Diego is usually one or more of the following types:

  • Graduate Division support (fellowships, stipends, fee awards), awarded by your academic department

  • If you're eligible for financial aid and file a FAFSA, Federal Direct Loans (Unsubsidized, Graduate PLUS)

The law requires the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to coordinate your financial aid awards with all university support awarded by your department and the Graduate Division. Your university support includes any of the following awarded by your or any other department:

  • Assistantships (TAs, GSRs, Associates, and staff employment titles)
  • Fellowships and traineeships
  • Fee and tuition payments
  • Stipends

How UC San Diego Coordinates Your Financial Aid and Other Support

After your department has determined the amount of your university support and has reported it to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will determine your financial aid eligibility by taking this University support into account.

Make Sure You

  • Access and review your financial aid awards via the Financial Aid tool to verify the types and amounts of support listed. Incomplete or incorrect information will affect your eligibility for all or part of the financial aid awarded to you.

  • Notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office about any omissions or discrepancies in the university support listed on your Financial Aid Award Confirmation. Send an e-mail, or report university support via Financial Aid tool: While on the Financial Aid Checklist page, choose the link "Reporting of Additional Resources."

    • If you receive additional university support not listed on your financial aid award confirmation your financial aid will be reduced, requiring you to repay aid received or to return/ cancel loans.

Adjustments to Your Awards

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will adjust your awards throughout the academic year as any additional university support is later reported.

Make Sure You

  • Notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office immediately if the source or amount of your support changes in subsequent quarters, even if the total dollar amount remains the same.

  • Ask the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office for advice on how your university support can affect your financial aid awards, so you can plan accordingly and avoid a financial crisis.

  • Notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office about any omissions or discrepancies in the university support listed on your Financial Aid Award Confirmation.

How UC San Diego Determines Financial Aid Awards

Learn about UC San Diego's philosophy and practices for awarding financial aid.

UC San Diego awards financial aid based on need. Need-based financial aid reduces barriers to higher education for students and families who could not otherwise afford college costs. This need-based packaging philosophy assures that:

  • Students with similar circumstances are treated equally.

  • "Need" is the only criteria used to award most undergraduate financial aid (only about 4% of total financial aid funds available are not based solely on need)

Financial need is the difference between UC San Diego's budget (estimated cost of attendance) and your expected family contribution:

  Cost of Attendance
- Expected Family Contribution
= Financial Need

Note: Non-California Residents pay Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (currently estimated at $28,992 annually) in addition to charge paid by in-state students. The university is unable to provide university grant support for this additional tuition cost included in the financial need. Federal loans, which must be repaid by you or your family, may help cover some or all of this cost. Any remaining amount remains the family’s responsibility.

Effective for Fall 2016 Admits:
The university is unable to provide university grant support to Non-California Residents. Federal Pell Grant, Work-Study, and student loans are available to assist with education costs.

Your expected family contribution (EFC) is determined by the U.S. Department of Education's Central Processing System, using formulas determined by Congress and written into public law. Your own EFC is calculated based on the information you provide in your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Please note:

  • To secure the best funds available, you must file your FAFSA by March 2 and submit any additional requested documents by the May 1 deadline.

  • Limited funding is available. If you're eligible for financial aid, your need will be funded by various sources on a first-come, first-served basis, based on fund availability. Read the packaging policy for graduate students to learn more about the various ways UC San Diego helps you cover your costs.

Paying for your education is a partnership among you, your parent(s), UC San Diego, the state of California, and the federal government. To help achieve the goal of equity, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office assumes that:

  • Parents of dependent undergraduates will contribute to their child's education to the extent of their ability.

  • All students will work and/or borrow to help finance the costs of attendance. A set amount of self-help (which may include loans and work-study) is included in every student's package before campus-based grants are awarded. The set amount of this self-help increases as you progress in your education.

  • You and your family will pursue and obtain any outside financial aid for which you qualify, including veterans benefits, ROTC funds, and outside agency scholarships.