In Financial Aid 101
, we mentioned a few strategies for alleviating the negative impact that unforeseen or emergency situations can have on your finances. In many cases, simply applying for a federal student loan based on pre-existing eligibility can fix the problem. In others, the Request for Review
, Budget Increase
, and emergency loan request
processes can be effective solutions. In other words, communicating your difficulties to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships should be one of your first steps.
If, after consulting with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, you still find yourself in need of financial resources beyond student loans, take a look at the recommendations below. The Resources
section of this guide is also a useful roadmap to other campus and community resources.
Take Action: Developing a Step-by Step Plan
A Note on Financial Emergencies
- Review Your Financial Situation
- Take time to examine your financial situation and understand where your money is going each month. Review or create your budget. Note your income sources each quarter or month, as well as your basic living costs such as rent, utilities, school supplies, food, medical expenses, and personal care items. See if there are areas where you might cut your spending – for example, by shopping more cost-effectively, exploring free alternatives, and eliminating certain expenses. Is your income sufficient to meet your basic needs at UCSB? If not, how much more do you need?
- Use the online budget calculators available at www.finaid.ucsb.edu/Features.aspx.
- You can also visit the Worksheets section of this guide and complete Worksheet 4: Financial Problem Solving, which will best prepare you to take the next steps.
- Visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Even if you are not currently a financial aid recipient, it is wise for you to connect with a financial aid advisor to review your situation. Contact Anna Lin at (805) 893-4382.
- Find out if you are eligible for additional financial aid or work-study or a budget increase if you’ve incurred unexpected circumstances.
- If your family’s financial circumstances have changed for the worse since you filed your FAFSA, let your financial aid advisor know as this could beneficially impact your overall financial aid package.
Ask Parents, Relatives, or Others for Help
- See if they are able to provide you with money or connect you with resources in their network that may be helpful to you.
- In addition, check if a family member might be willing to co-sign on a loan or borrow on your behalf. If so, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at (805) 893-2432 for more information on how to proceed.
Visit Career Services
- Explore how you might increase your regular income by finding a part-time job on campus or in the local community. Many campus jobs and internships are advertised in winter and spring quarters for the coming year. To start the process:
- Visit Career Services in person to speak with a career peer, use the resource library, get feedback on your résumé and cover letter, and meet with a professional career counselor.
- Use GauchoLink and other online job search engines accessible from the Career Services website at http://career.ucsb.edu/students/job_search/job_links.html.
- For students with work-study allocation, GauchoLink is also a great place to look for on-campus employment. To find out if you’re eligible for work-study, check the “My Aid Status” section of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website at www.finaid.ucsb.edu.
…contact one of the following resources, as appropriate:
- you were unable to locate resources that meet your needs after following the above suggestions, or
- you feel overwhelmed or confused about how to proceed, or
- you feel that your situation is putting your health and safety at risk or causing you undue emotional stress,
- Educational Opportunity Program – Visit www.sa.ucsb.edu/eop/Home/EopContact.aspx or call (805) 893-4758 to schedule an appointment.
- Graduate Student Resource Center – Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 893-8994 to speak with a peer advisor about funding resources or, in emergency situations, schedule an appointment with Walter Boggan, director of admissions and outreach, by emailing email@example.com or calling (805) 893-2322.
- Student Health Social Workers – Call (805) 893-3087 to schedule an appointment.
- Counseling Services – Call (805) 893-4411 to make an appointment or to speak with a counselor on the phone after hours and on weekends.
- Dean of Students Office – Call (805) 893-4521 to schedule an appointment.
If you’re experiencing a financial emergency and you feel that you are out of time or solutions, get help immediately! In addition to the options and contacts listed above, you might also try the following:
- Speak with Anna Lin in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at (805) 893-4382 to see if you qualify for emergency loans or other quick solutions.
- If the nature of your emergency allows for it, see if you can temporarily increase your work hours or find a quick-cash type of job. You might search for this on GauchoLink, local bulletin boards, Craigslist, and other job search engines available at http://career.ucsb.edu/students/job_search/job_links.html. You could also ask your department or professors if they need assistance with a project. In addition, try visiting Career Services in person to get advice from a career peer or a professional counselor.
- Visit the Resources section of this guide to see if other options fit your needs. For example, you might look into emergency funding through the A.S. Cashier’s Office, the Graduate Students Association, the Educational Opportunity Program, and other resources found in this guide.