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Our Best Answer - What are the eligibility requirements for financial aid?

Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid is awarded based on Financial Need, as determined by your financial aid application (FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application). The types and amount of Financial Aid awarded to students are determined by comparing the expected family contribution (EFC) with the estimated cost of attendance at UCSB. When the EFC is lower than the estimated cost of attendance, the student is eligible for more need-based aid, such as grants, and work-study. Students who are not eligible for need-based aid, however, will still be eligible for other types of aid, including loans and scholarships. Almost every student will have some form of loan in their award letter. 

Eligibility is recalculated each year based off your current year financial aid application. If your family’s calculated ability to pay for college changes from one year to the next, so too will your eligibility for need-based forms of financial aid.

Basic Financial Aid Application Requirements
Additional Eligibility Requirements
Financial Aid Estimator

Types of aid:


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The answers provided are generally applicable and not student specific. For individualized assistance, please email or contact the appropriate campus office.