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Transportation and Travel

You can find a lot of local transportation information, including cost-effective options, on UCSB’s Transportation Alternatives Program page at If you are in need of emergency funding for travel, in addition to the options below you can look into emergency loans through Associated Students, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, and other sources listed in the “General Purpose Funding” section of this guide.

Academic Department Funding – Travel
Many academic departments offer funding for travel related to academic conferences or other major- or degree-related purposes. Consult with your department advisor or administrative office for more information. (Also, see the “Conference Funding” section of this guide).

Academic Senate Doctoral Student Travel Grants
These grants are available to doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy, or M.F.A. students in their second year and in candidacy, who have been invited to present a research paper at a scholarly meeting, to give a performance, or to present the results of research before a distinguished audience. Students are eligible to receive support for one trip during their scholarly career. Applicants must be registered or on an approved leave of absence. Students in joint degree programs are eligible for up to one half of the regular allocation. Student applications for travel funds must be accompanied by an abstract of the paper to be presented, a copy of the formal invitation, and a letter of support from the student’s advisor indicating the importance of the forum. The conference must be important for the discipline and preference will be given to travel associated with potential academic employment. Funds are limited. Applications are accepted year-round until funds are exhausted or until May 15, whichever occurs first. For information and an application form, visit

AS/EOP Emergency Grants – Emergency Travel
These are available to Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students currently receiving need-based financial aid who have exhausted other resources. Grants are issued as reimbursement funding for transportation costs due to death or severe illness of an immediate family member only. The circumstances related to the travel must occur during the time the student is enrolled in classes. Turnaround time: usually 1-2 weeks. The deadline for submissions is every Thursday at 2 p.m. for review for the following week. Required documentation: Once the student has met with a counselor and verified eligibility, he or she will be asked to submit a written statement describing the circumstances and the amount requested, to be addressed to the EOP director; an application form (obtained from the EOP counselor); original receipts for the item that is being covered; other documentation substantiating the circumstances (see EOP counselor for more information); and a photo ID. How to apply: Schedule an appointment to meet with an EOP counselor to discuss eligibility and details by calling (805) 893-4758. You do not need to have all your documentation ready at the time of the appointment.

GSA Pre-Doctoral Student Travel Grant
The GSA has a small amount of funding available for graduate students to use towards the cost of registration and travel for professional conferences or meetings. You may apply if you have a presentation accepted for a conference or meeting and do not qualify for the Academic Senate’s Doctoral Student Travel Grant (see above). Up to $75 may be awarded for travel costs and/or registration or conference fees. The money is granted on a first-come, first-served basis each quarter until funds are exhausted. See

Local Transportation Options UCSB students can make use of the following, low-cost transportation options in the Santa Barbara and Goleta area. For more information, visit UCSB’s Transportation Alternatives Program page at

  • Buses. Currently enrolled UCSB students can ride Santa Barbara’s MTD buses anywhere between Goleta and Carpinteria at no additional cost by attaching their UCSB registration sticker to their Student ID card. Visit the Registrar’s office or the A.S. Ticket office each quarter to pick up a current registration sticker. For more information about MTD services and itineraries, visit or call the MTD Transit Center at (805) 963-3366.
  • UCSB Van Pool Program. This currently serves commuters from Santa Maria, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Solvang, Lompoc, Ventura, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks. Visit
  • CarShare by Zipcar. This service provides 24/7 access to Zipcars parked on campus for reasonable hourly rental rates, which include gas and insurance. For more information, see

Request for Budget Increase for Travel – Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
The official cost of attendance currently includes an allowance for travel between school and your permanent place of residence (i.e., parents’ home). If your travel costs exceed the standard allowance or there is a special circumstance requiring that you return home more frequently, you can report this additional, unusual cost through a Request for a Budget Increase. The increase to your budget will be funded with additional student loans, Parent or Graduate PLUS loans, or alternative bank loans. Receipts and other documentation are required to validate expenses incurred or to be incurred. Please visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or call (805) 893-2432 for details.