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Financial Aid: Eligibility Requirements for Graduate Students

Learn what you need to do to be eligible to receive and keep post-graduate financial aid.


Graduate Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Be enrolled and admitted to a degree program at UCSD.

    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.
  • 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 UCSD'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 UCSD'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.

    If you're a male U.S. citizen (or eligible noncitizen) between the ages of 18 and 26, you must register with the Selective Service. Register in one of the following ways:

  • 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, which require you to receive credit for 36 units per academic year.