Skip to main content

Financial Aid Timeline Graduate Students

The financial aid process begins as soon as you apply to UC San Diego. Use this timeline to keep track of important filing deadlines and other events during the year before you enter UC San Diego. Contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, (858) 534-4480, for specific questions about your file.


  • October 1

    If you're a new financial aid applicant, register for your FSA ID from the Department of Education so you can electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

  • The FAFSA is available. You must file a renewal FAFSA before each new school year to be considered for financial aid. Make sure to list UC San Diego school code 001317 on the application, so UC San Diego will receive your information.

    • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer Federal Income Tax information onto your FAFSA.

    • Learn more about FAFSA.

    • The Dream Act Application is not an application for federal financial aid. Students who have a Social Security Number must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students should not complete both applications.

      • AB 540 eligible students.

      • Students who cannot file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

      • Students who attended at least three full years in a California public or private high school.

      • Graduated from a California High School or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the college term.

      • If without lawful immigration status, have or will file an affidavit with the college or university they are attending stating that they have filed an application to legalize their immigration status, or will file an application as soon as they are eligible to do so. This affidavit is filed with the college they attend.

  • Create a folder to keep all financial aid-related documents in one place.



  • The Department of Education notifies you when your application was processed and provides you with a Student Aid Report (SAR) for the FAFSA or confirmation from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) for the CA Dream Act Application.


  • March 2 is the priority filing deadline for the FAFSA OR CA Dream Act Application.


  • Mid-April: After you file your federal income tax returns, correct any estimated information provided on your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • If your Student Aid Report indicates you've been selected for verification: Complete the requested independent verification worksheet and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. Update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, then submit your IRS Tax Return Transcripts.


  • Additional documents/actions deadline, May 1: Check the Financial Aid tool for additional documents or required actions. Submit any additional documents by the deadline to qualify for the best financial aid awards. Additional documents/actions may include verification worksheets, using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA, tax return transcripts, and resolving FAFSA processing holds indicated on your Student Aid Report.

  • Upon admission to UC San Diego, you'll receive a PAC number (personal access code). Use your PAC to access your financial aid status and official financial aid awards using the Financial Aid tool.

  • Set up your UC San Diego e-mail account as soon as possible, and check your e-mail in-box often, for important communications from the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. These messages may include requests for additional information to complete your application or to view and accept your official financial aid awards.


  • Graduate departments begin to notify the Financial Aid Office of any department support you'll receive. (This needs to happen before the Financial Aid Office awards any other funding.)

  • Continue to check your e-mail account often for important communications from your department and the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.

  • Begin saving money for expenses that you'll need to pay before you receive your fall quarter financial aid.


  • If your department has notified the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office of your department awards, the Financial Aid Office will determine your Graduate student loan eligibility.

  • Review your financial aid status and view and accept your awards using the Financial Aid tool.

  • If you're receiving any other support (including employment) not included on your financial aid award notification offer, notify the Financial Aid Office.

  • If you've accepted an Unsubsidized Loan and/or Grad PLUS Loan:

  • If you've accepted a CA Dream Loan:

  • Continue to review national competitive scholarships and outside agency scholarships so you can meet application deadlines. Many require references, essays, and application forms that take time to complete. Carefully follow the application instructions required by each scholarship.



  • Enroll in direct deposit by the first week of September. As soon as university charges are taken from your account, any remaining award funds will be deposited into your bank account.