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Financial Aid Timeline for Graduate/ Professional School Students

Learn the steps you must take to successfully apply for financial aid, and see important deadlines and details for each step.

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


  • File the UCSD Graduate Studies application.
  • Complete the appropriate section of the online Application for Graduate Admissions to apply for financial assistance.
    • Important note: If you plan to apply for financial aid, then provide your Social Security Number on your Application for Graduate Admissions for your financial aid information to be processed.
  • Visit the Graduate Division for more information about financial assistance for graduate school.
  • In addition to aid you apply for on your application, you may also qualify for national competitive scholarships and outside agency scholarships. Review these lists often for new entries, and add the scholarship deadline dates to your personal calendar. Follow the application instructions required by each separate scholarship sponsor.


  • Register for your FSA ID from the Department of Education so you can electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


  • Jan. 1: The FAFSA is available. Make sure to list UCSD school code 001317 on the application, so UCSD will receive your information.
  • Create a folder to keep all financial aid-related documents in one place.


  • The Department of Education notifies you that your application was processed and provides you with a Student Aid Report (SAR).



  • 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 UCSD, 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 UCSD 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 ucsd.edu 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 eligibility for Direct Unsubsidized and/or Grad PLUS Loans.
  • 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 letter, notify the Financial Aid Office.
  • If you've accepted an Unsubsidized Loan and/or Grad PLUS 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.


Enrollment continues through September.


  • 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.