Undergraduate Policies and Conditions

The following are the policies and conditions that pertain to financial aid recipients and applicants. By accepting your financial aid you are also agreeing to specific conditions and requirements. Unless otherwise specified, all questions about the below policies and conditions may be directed to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at (831) 459-2963.

Rights and Responsibilities [show]

Your Rights

You have the right to know:

  • What financial assistance is available at UCSC.
  • The deadline for submitting applications for each of the financial aid programs available
  • The cost of attending UCSC and UCSC's refund policy
  • The methodology used by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office to select financial aid recipients.
  • How your financial aid eligibility was determined.
  • What resources are considered in the calculation of your financial aid eligibility.
  • How much of your financial need is unmet, as determined by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.
  • The terms and conditions of the various financial aid programs, including the criteria for your continued eligibility in the programs.
  • The method by which disbursements will be made to you and the frequency of those disbursements.
  • The portion of the financial aid you receive that must be repaid, and the portion in gift aid that does not need to be repaid. If the aid is a loan, you have the right to know what the interest rate is, the total amount to be repaid, the procedure for repayment and when the repayment is to begin.
  • How UCSC determines whether you are making satisfactory academic progress for financial aid and the consequences of not meeting SAP standards.

Your Responsibilities

You are required to:

  • Report to the UCSC Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (FASO) any change in the following:
    • Housing changes
    • USHIP enrollment
    • Enrollment status
    • California residency status
    • Additional earnings, funds or support, including any graduate assistance.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time. Half-time is defined as six (6) credits per term.
  • To receive the loan(s) you were offered, you must accept the loan, submit all required loan paperwork, and complete the loan counseling. These all must be completed while you are still enrolled at least half-time for the same academic year the loan was offered to you.
  • For Federal Direct Student Loans, notify the loan servicer of address changes and other information as specified in the loan terms.
  • Complete mandatory loan exit counseling upon ceasing to be enrolled in at least 6.0 or more credits if you have borrowed from the Federal Direct Stafford, Graduate PLUS and/or Federal Perkins Loan programs.
  • Review the loan terms and process any documents regarding repayment prior to graduation.
  • Assume responsibility for repayment of all loans accepted.
  • Repay any funds you receive which cannot be reasonably attributed to meeting your educational expenses (overpayments).
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress per the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Undergraduate Students.
  • Notify the UCSC FASO should you be convicted of a drug offense while receiving Title-IV funds.
  • Notify the UCSC FASO if you currently are or if you become incarcerated in a federal, state or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm or similar correctional institution.
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Complaint Process [show]

The University of California takes very seriously complaints and concerns regarding the institution. Most complaints should be resolved at the campus level. If your complaint regarding the University of California has not been resolved at the campus level, you may present your complaint as outlined in the Complaint Process Notice.

Enrollment Requirements [show]

In order to be eligible for payment of all financial aid awards you must be enrolled in at least six (6) credits each quarter. Our office will verify the number of credits you are enrolled in at the add/drop/swap deadline for each term (or each session in summer term).

Some financial aid programs (Federal Pell, Federal Teach and Cal Grant) require you be enrolled in at least twelve (12) credits in order to receive the full award amount. If you enroll in fewer than twelve (12) credits, your grant will be prorated based on your enrollment and aid program requirements.

Part-Time Enrollment

If you enroll in the Official Part-Time program, your fees and your financial aid will be adjusted. There is no net effect to your student account from participation in this program.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) [show]

In order to be eligible to receive financial aid, you must be making satisfactory academic progress. For information on our general SAP policies click here. The more detailed policy items surrounding SAP are linked below.

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Withdrawal Policy [show]

Students who withdraw from UCSC prior to completing 60% of the term for which they received federal financial aid will be subject to both the UC Fee Refund Policy and the Federal Return of Title IV Funds policy. Title IV funds are federal funds awarded to a student to meet educational expenses. Title IV funds include:

  • Federal Pell Grant,
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG),
  • Federal Perkins Loan,
  • Federal Direct Student Loan,
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan and
  • Federal Teach Grants.

Students who cancel their enrollment (or have their enrollment cancelled by the University) prior to the first day of classes will be billed for all financial aid disbursed on their behalf.

UC FEE REFUND POLICY

Students who withdraw may have some of their fees refunded under the UC Fee Refund policy. Any fee refund due a student will first go toward any federal financial aid amounts paid on behalf of the student (or to the student), regardless of what source was used to pay fees. You can find the Fee Refund Schedule on the Office of the Registrar website. The UC Fee Refund Policy is detailed in the UCSC General Catalog.

FEDERAL RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS POLICY

Federal law requires federal aid recipients to "earn" the aid they receive. Students who withdraw prior to completing 60% of the term for which they received federal student aid may be required to return some of the aid they were awarded, including Federal Pell or Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Student Loan or PLUS loan and withdrew prior to completing 60% of the term.

The return of Title IV financial aid is based upon the amount of federal financial aid received, the University charges incurred AND the student's date of withdrawal. University charges include tuition and fees, non-resident supplemental tuition, and on-campus housing charges.

Students who withdraw prior to completing 60% of the term will "earn" a percentage of the financial aid paid to them (or used to pay their fees) for each day of the term they attended.

Students who withdraw after completing 60% of the term will have earned all financial aid received.

For details on how your financial aid is affected by a withdrawal, see Financial Aid Procedures for Students who Withdraw.

Return of Federal Title IV Funds: Prior to 60% of the term, the federal formula for returning aid is as follows:

WCMS

The University will return to the federal government any funds that were credited from the UC Fee Refund first. If the amount returned by the University is not enough to repay the entire unearned amount, the University will bill the student for portions of amounts received for non-institutional charges (such as books, supplies and off-campus living expenses).

Students who do not officially withdraw from the University, will initially be assessed using the mid-point of the term as the "official" withdrawal date. Any funds due to the federal government will be billed based on this mid-point and the student will not receive any refund of fees. The university requires students to have an instructor verify their class attendance that term. If an instructor can verify attendance in a course passed the 60% point of the term, then the student retains 100% of their aid. If all of a student’s instructors notify us of no attendance for that term, then all financial aid will be billed.

Special note for students living in campus housing: Any student who withdraws prior to completing 60% of the term will be billed for a portion of the federal financial aid the student received to cover their UCSC housing costs. The amount billed will depend on the point in the term the student withdrew. Students should contact Campus Housing Services at 831-459-2394 to determine if they will receive a refund from Housing that may be used to pay the amount the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office bills to the student account.

A Final Note about Withdrawing: Any student contemplating withdrawing from the University should contact the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office to speak with a Financial Aid Adviser concerning the financial ramifications of withdrawing.

Students who are receiving a Cal Grant should also contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to discuss the ramifications of withdrawing on their Cal Grant status. Check with your financial aid counselor on how you may be able to re-establish a term of eligibility for your Cal Grant.

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Enrollment Verification of Family Members [show]

If you reported more than one family member in college on your FAFSA, the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will ask you to have their enrollment verified. We will post a To Do item on your MyUCSC student portal to have completed by their college. Your financial aid eligibility may be revised based upon that verification.

Your financial aid eligibility will be impacted if the family member is no longer enrolled in college or is enrolled less than half time. Parents do not count towards the number in college. Please notify our office if you included your parent in the number in college so we can update your FAFSA information.

Changes to the number of family members enrolled in college have a substantial impact on your aid eligibility. It is vital you report any changes as soon as possible so your aid eligibility is accurate.

Dependent Students:

Who is an eligible family member for federal aid?

  • A sibling who is enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program at another college and is considered dependent upon your parents (your parents’ provide more than half of their support).
  • A member of your parents' household, who (a) will enroll in college at least half-time during the academic year and (b) will be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program and (c) they are provided more than half of their support from your parents.

Who is not an eligible family member?

  • Parents.
  • Foster children
  • Family members attending foreign colleges, military schools, non-degree granting programs and/or non-financial aid recipient colleges.
  • Family members enrolled in less than half time.
  • Siblings or family members who are graduate students or are considered independent per the FAFSA. This criterion affects institutional aid only.

Independent Students:

Who is an eligible family member?

  • Parents.
  • Foster children
  • A spouse, who (a) will enroll in college at least half-time during the academic year and (b) will be enrolled in a degree or certificate program.
  • A child or other dependent of yours who is enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program at another college.

Who is not an eligible family member?

  • Foster children.
  • Foster children
  • Family members attending foreign colleges, military schools, non-degree granting programs and/or non-financial aid recipient colleges.
  • Family members enrolled in less than half time.
  • A child or other dependent enrolled in Graduate or Professional Schools, or who are otherwise considered independent per the FAFSA. This criterion affects institutional aid only.

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Student Financial Aid Verification Process [show]

Verification is a process required by the state and federal government that is intended to improve the accuracy of the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California Dream Application. College financial aid offices may not disburse federal student aid until the verification process is complete. In addition to verifying certain tax information on the federal tax return, UC Santa Cruz employs an in-depth analysis when awarding our own institutional grant funds. Your financial aid offer may be adjusted as a result of the verification process. Federal, state, and institutional aid is most commonly adjusted due to factors such as the reported number in the household/college, untaxed income (retirement contributions, foreign income exclusion, asset depreciation, Social Security benefits, etc.), investment net worth, and tax filing status.


Student Loan Code of Conduct [show]

The code of conduct regarding preferred lender arrangements is designed to prohibit a conflict of interest for all UC employees and agents of the UC system who have responsibilities that include private student loans. All such employees must be annually informed of the provisions of the code of conduct

Loan Counseling (Entrance and Exit Counseling) [show]

All student loan borrowers must complete loan counseling.

If you are a new borrower you must complete entrance counseling prior to receiving your loan.

When you graduate or leave school you must complete exit loan counseling.

Loan Entrance Counseling

First-time Borrowers/Loan Entrance Counseling: Each student receiving a federal loan for the first time at UCSC must complete Loan Entrance Counseling. This requirement applies to students who have previously borrowed at another institution. Loan funds cannot be released until this requirement has been met. To complete Loan Entrance Counseling, visit studentloans.gov and “Sign in” under “Manage My Direct Loans.”

Please note: It will take at least two business days before we will receive confirmation that you have completed the entrance counseling.

Loan Exit Counseling

Federal regulations and UCSC policy requires that students who take out a student loan must complete exit counseling before they leave school (graduate) or drop below half-time (6 credits). This requirement is in place so that you will receive essential information regarding your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. You will receive information about the types of loans you received, when and where to make your payments, what to do if you cannot make your payments, and what can happen if you do not make your payments.

If you fail to complete exit counseling a hold will be placed on your records. You will not be able to enroll in classes, or obtain other university services and documents including, but not limited to your transcripts or diploma.

To complete Loan Entrance Counseling, visit studentloans.gov and “Sign in” under “Manage My Direct Loans.”

If you had any Perkins loans you can complete exit counseling on line by visiting Student Business Services at http://sbs.ucsc.edu/exit.html. If you have questions, contact Student Business Services at (831)459-2107 or oarinfo@ucsc.edu.

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Student Health Insurance [show]

The University of California Regents mandate all students be covered by a health insurance plan. All full and part-time undergraduate students are automatically enrolled and charged for the University of California Student heath Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) unless they choose to submit an on-line insurance waiver confirming they have comparable health insurance coverage to the Health Center. Please note that a waiver of the UC SHIP may result in adjustments to awarded aid.

Domestic Partnership [show]

The California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 extends rights, benefits and obligations to individuals in Registered Domestic Partnerships, effective January 1, 2005. If you, or your parents, are in a Registered Partnership this may impact your eligibility for state and institutional financial aid.

If you are affected by this change you must complete the Domestic Partnership Status form and return it to our office in order to be considered for state/institutional aid including Cal Grant and UC Santa Cruz Grant. This does not impact your current eligibility for federal student aid (i.e., Pell Grant, Perkins Loan, Direct Loan).

Information for students in a Registered Domestic Partnership

  • Federal Aid
    • Your eligibility for federal financial aid is not based on your status as a Registered Domestic Partner.
    • You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using only your information.
    • If you are an independent student as defined on the FAFSA, you must complete the FAFSA using only your information.
    • If you are a dependent student you must complete Step Four (Parent's Information) and have a parent sign the form.
  • State/Institutional Aid*
    • If you are in a Registered Domestic Partnership you must provide information regarding your partner for state and institutional financial aid purposes. This is in addition to your FAFSA information already submitted for federal aid. You should submit that information using the Verification of Domestic Partnership Status Form. The student and partner must sign the form.
    • A copy of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership or Certificate of Domestic Partnership issued by the Secretary of State must be submitted with this form.
    • If the partnership is recognized outside of the state of California documentation from the issuing state must be submitted.
    • If you are a dependent student, your application for state and institutional financial aid will be revised to reflect your and your partner's information only (your parent's information will not be used for state/institutional aid eligibility).

Information for parents in a Registered Domestic Partnership

  • Federal Aid
    • Your eligibility for federal financial aid is not based on your custodial parent's status as a Registered Domestic Partner.
    • You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using only your and your custodial parent's information.
  • State/Institutional Aid
    • If your custodial parent is in a Registered Domestic Partnership you must provide information regarding your parent's partner for state and institutional financial aid purposes. This is in addition to the FAFSA information already submitted for federal aid. You should submit that information using the Verification of Domestic Partnership Status Form. The student, custodial parent and partner must sign the form.
    • A copy of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership or Certificate of Domestic Partnership issued by the Secretary of State must be submitted with this form.
    • If the partnership is recognized outside of the state of California documentation from the issuing state must be submitted.

As always, should you have questions or need additional information regarding your financial aid, you should contact our office.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003

When does the Act take effect?

The California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act, also known AB 205 became law on September 22, 2003, and became effective January 1, 2005.

What does the Act do?

The Act extends new rights, benefits and obligation to individuals in California Registered Domestic Partnerships. Implementation of the law means changes to many state and university programs, including the information used to determine student eligibility for financial aid for those programs.

What financial aid programs are affected?

Eligibility for financial aid funds from the state or university will be based upon the Domestic Partnership status of the student and/or parent. These include:

  • Cal Grant A*
  • Cal Grant B*
  • Cal Grant B Stipend*
  • UCSC Grant
  • Blue and Gold Grant

What financial aid programs are not affected?

Eligibility for federal financial aid or private sources will not be affected. These programs include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS)
  • Federal Teach Grant
  • Private/Alternative Loans
  • Outside scholarships/fellowships

What do I have to do?

If you, the student, are in a Domestic Partnership you need to have your partner complete the Independent Student Verification Packet- California Registered Domestic Partner. If you are a dependent student, then your custodial parent and their partner need to complete the Dependent Student Verification Packet - California Registered Domestic Partner. Once the form is complete and signed, return it to our office. We will then re-evaluate your financial aid eligibility for state/university funds based on this information. You will receive notification of your revised aid eligibility within 4-6 weeks.

How is financial aid eligibility affected?

  • Dependent students in a Domestic Partnership:
    • Dependent students will be considered independent for state and university aid.
    • The partner's information will be considered as part of the resources available to the student when determining eligibility for state and university aid.
    • For federal financial aid the student will remain a dependent student and their parent's information will be used to determine their eligibility.
  • Independent students in a Domestic Partnership:
    • Your dependency status for financial aid does not change.
    • The partner's information will be considered as part of the resources available to the student when determining eligibility for state and university aid.
  • Dependent Students with a custodial parent in a Domestic Partnership
    • Your dependency status is not affected.
    • The partner's information will be considered as part of the resources available to the student when determining eligibility for state and university aid.

How is the information submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships used?

As with any information submitted to the Office, data provided on the Domestic Partnership Form is subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and university privacy policies. The information is used to assess the student's financial resources available to assist in paying for their UCSC costs.

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Special Circumstances and Appeals [show]

Some students and families experience special circumstances that affect their ability to pay for educational expenses. Additionally, during the school year students may experience increased educationally related expenses that go above and beyond their basic financial aid budget. For either of these cases, you may request a review of your file. With appropriate documentation changes may be made to your financial aid eligibility. Examples of special circumstances and educationally related expenses are listed below.

If you are a prospective student who has been admitted to more than one UC campus or other college, you should submit appeal information to each respective campus.

For details on the various appeal processes visit Financial Aid Appeals.

Change in Financial Circumstances

If you or your family had a change in your economic circumstances after filing your financial aid application you may request your application be reviewed. Circumstances that will be taken into consideration are:

  • Death of a parent or spouse
  • Parent(s) Loss of Job/Reduction of Wages
  • Student Loss of Job/Reduction of Wages
  • Uninsured Medical Expenses
  • Legal Separation or Divorce
  • Private Elementary Tuition Expense

If you, or your family, have experienced a significant financial impact as a result of any of these circumstances, you may request a review of your application. You may submit a letter explaining your circumstances along with required documentation listed on our site at http://financialaid.ucsc.edu/types-eligibility/appeals/financial-changes.html.

Any adjustments made to your financial aid eligibility due to extenuating circumstances will be considered for available funding including loans.

Circumstances that cannot be taken into consideration include:

  • Requests dealing with real estate, business or investment loss as those are difficult to predict if these losses will be included in your IRS income tax returns.
  • Requests dealing with discretionary expenses such as excessive credit card debt or second homes.

Educationally Related Expenses

Expenses must be incurred during the current academic year or summer during which you are enrolled at UCSC, and you must provide documentation for requested budget additions. You may submit a letter describing the reason for the increase you are requesting and attach supporting documentation for the cost. Your cost of attendance may be adjusted to include: Expenses that may be considered for budget appeals include:

  • Rent/mortgage or utilities
  • Transportation expenses
  • Computer purchase
  • Medical, dental or vision expenses not covered by insurance
  • Special books, course fees, or supplies
  • Childcare expenses

Any adjustments made to your cost of attendance will be covered with available funding including loans.

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Drug Conviction [show]

Under the provision of the Federal Higher Education Act, a conviction of any offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which a student receives Title IV, Higher Education Act Federal Student Aid (i.e. grants, loans, or work study), the student shall be ineligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance from the date of the conviction for the period of time specified in 20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1): (r) SUSPENSION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR DRUG-RELATED OFFENSES-

(1) IN GENERAL- A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:

If convicted of an offense involving:

The possession of a controlled substance:

Ineligibility period is:

First offence, 1 year

Second offence, 2 years

Third offence, Indefinite.

The sale of a controlled substance:

Ineligibility period is:

First offence, 2 years

Second offence, Indefinite.

Additionally under the Higher Education Act, a student whose eligibility has been suspended may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that complies with certain criteria and includes two unannounced drug tests; or the conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory:

(2) REHABILITATION- A student whose eligibility has been suspended under paragraph (1) may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period determined under such paragraph if--

(A) the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that--

(i) complies with such criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of this paragraph; and

(ii) includes two unannounced drug tests; or

(B) the conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

More information can be found by viewing the entire legislation:
 http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea98/sec483.html

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Disclosures [show]

Privacy Statement The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is responsible for maintaining the information you provide on your financial aid application and accompanying documents. The information will be provided to the state and federal governments if required by law. You have the right, according to the law, to access your information.

The State of California Information Practices Act of 1977 requires the University to provide this information to applicants for financial aid who are asked to supply information about themselves. Maintenance of the information is authorized by University policy.

Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy Statement Regarding Student-Related Matters. The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and university policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy*, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services. The university also prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in university programs and activities.

Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to Student Judicial Affairs, (831) 459-1738, or e-mail sja@ucsc.edu.

Inquiries regarding the University's affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, and nondiscrimination policies as they relate to student employment may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, (831) 459-3676 or e-mail cbene@ucsc.edu.

*Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

Accreditation Statement UCSC is a member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The campus is fully accredited by the Senior Commission of WASC. This accreditation requires periodic review in accord with WASC policies and standards. Further information is available from WASC, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501; telephone (510) 748-9001; http://wascsenior.org/.

The original Accreditation Statement is maintained by Academic Affairs. If you wish to review the complete Accreditation Statement, you may contact Academic Affairs, (831) 459-2351.

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