Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is GOLD?

Gaucho On-Line Data (or GOLD) is the website where UCSB students can view important information and take care of University business, including: signing up for classes, accessing grades, accessing official and unofficial transcripts, viewing the progress of their degree, and declaring candidacy for graduation. It is important to note that GOLD has a student portal only, there is no parent log in option as all of the data included is protected by FERPA. For more information about FERPA, please see below.

Your student will learn more about GOLD during their Orientation, or from the academic advising office of their college.

2) What is FERPA?



The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 or FERPA established in 1974 and protects the privacy of student records. Students are considered to be adults by the university as soon as they submit their SIR (Statement of Intent to Register), regardless of their age. At UC Santa Barbara, students are responsible for managing their own academic records, as well as determining who else can access academic information about them.

Parents are not able to view private student information without written authroization from the student. Private information includes, but is not limited to: transcripts, exam scores, physical and mental health records, disciplinary actions, financial aid, and advising records.

For more information, please visit this page.

3) Do parents need to attend Orientation?

The Parent & Family Orientation Program provides a parallel program to New Student Orientation, where parents can learn about what their student will experience and how they can support them. You can find more information about freshman & transfer Orientation programs here.

4) Is there a main point of contact for Parents?

For general comments, concerns, and questions, please contact us at gauchoparents@sa.ucsb.edu

For Student Crisis or Emergency concerns, please contact D'Anna Sandor, Student and Parent Liaison. (Office of Student Life, danna.sandor@sa.ucsb.edu, (805) 893-4521

For additional resources, please visit this page

5) What is Gaucho FYI? What is the New Student Requirement?

All incoming students (freshman, transfer and EAP) are required to complete mandatory educational requirements. Some requirements are online and must be completed before students arrive on campus in the fall. Gaucho FYI is an in-person mandatory session offered during the first few weeks of your student’s first quarter.

For more information on UCSB’s New Student Requirements, please visit this page.

6) I want to visit my student. Are there any local hotels in the area?

The Santa Barbara area is a beautiful place to visit, as is the campus. Please see this page for a list of local accommodations. You can also check out The Club & Guest House at UC Santa Barbara, which is right on campus overlooking our beautiful lagoon.

7) Where do I go to find more information on Health Insurance for my student while they’re in college? 

For the most updated information on UCSB’s health insurance requirement, Gaucho Health Insurance, and the Gaucho Access Plan, please visit the page listed here: http://studenthealth.sa.ucsb.edu/gaucho-health-insurance 

8) What are the immunization requirements for New Students?

For the most updated information on immunization requirements for new students, please visit the page listed here: http://studenthealth.sa.ucsb.edu/medical-services/immunization-information/university-immunization-requirements

9) My student is “Undeclared”, what does that mean?

If a student is Undeclared, this means that they have yet to determine a major within the College of Letters and Science. It is very common for first year freshman to be Undeclared. There are many graduation requirements that a student can fulfill while exploring which major they’d like to pursue. Encourage your student to visit their college academic advisors for guidance and more information on how to pick a major.

10) What is Isla Vista?

Isla Vista is a small beach-side community adjacent to the UCSB Campus. Many UCSB students, as well as community members, staff, faculty, and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) students live in Isla Vista. There are restaurants, businesses, many parks, religious centers, and much more. For more information about Isla Vista, please visit this page.

11) Is there tutoring available on campus?

There are many academic support services available to UCSB students. One is Campus Learning Assistant Services (or CLAS) which offers group tutorials, drop-in help sessions, learning skills workshops, writing labs, and other tutoring services. All of these services are funded through quarterly student service fees, so there is no additional cost.

To learn about the many more academic resources for your student, visit this page 

12) My student is the first in our family to go to a 4 year university. Are there resources for them?

A very large number of our students are first generation college students (42% of incoming students admitted for Fall 2017), meaning they will be the first in their immediate family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from a 4 year university.

 The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)  provides counseling and other services to help first generation students navigate college and persist through graduation. They also have an excellent EOP Peer program where students can connect with and get advice from other first generation college students. You can visit their website here: http://eop.sa.ucsb.edu/