Financial Support

The following is information about Merit-Based Financial Support (Teaching Assistantships), Graduate Student Fellowships, Financial Aid, Tuition and Fees, Cost of Housing, and Cost Calculators.

Merit-Based Financial Support/Teaching Assistantships

Merit-based support is awarded on the basis of academic performance. Students who do not receive merit-based financial assistance during their first year are eligible for this type of aid in subsequent years if they do well in their courses and make good progress toward the degree.

The application deadline for merit-based financial support is ​December 1st. It is advisable for applicants to submit all application materials prior to the December deadline.

Most merit-based financial assistance is in the form of teaching assistantships, which recently have been sufficient to support approximately forty-five students. A somewhat greater number receive at least partial support. Teaching assistantships in the Department of Economics are awarded at various fractions of time. The maximum award, fifty percent (which is a full-time T.A. position), entails teaching two discussion sections per quarter. Teaching assistantships for continuing students are dependent upon satisfactory performance as a student and as a teaching assistant in previous quarters.

Students with multi-year offers of teaching assistantship retain their offer if they make normal progress (as outlined above) and perform well as a teaching assistant. Students without multi-year offers may receive annual offers. First priority for these annual offers is for students on the job market in their fifth year. Priority is next given to remaining students making normal progress, in declining order of seniority (second year students have highest priority, fourth year students have lowest priority).

Students whose native language is not English and who are awarded teaching assistantships must demonstrate proficiency in English. A committee including representatives from the Graduate Division and the English as a Second Language program evaluates the potential teaching assistant based upon a five to seven minute presentation on an undergraduate topic assigned in advance by the department. The evaluators assess the student's ability to explain academic concepts and respond to questions. Prospective teaching assistants who do not pass the evaluation for spoken English are required to enroll in an appropriate course and they are re-evaluated every quarter until they meet proficiency requirements.

Some research assistantships are available from individual faculty members, depending on research funding. Arrangements to work as a research assistant are made directly with individual faculty members.

International Doctoral Recruitment Fellowship (IDRF)

Doctoral students who are not US citizens or permanent residents are subject to non-resident supplemental tuition, until they are advanced to candidacy. 

The IDRF provides payment of Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (NRST) to international doctoral students beyond their first year of residency who have not yet advanced to candidacy.

The fellowship will take effect the fourth registered quarter and will continue until the student either advances to candidacy or exceeds the approved time to advancement for the department. Students, who exceed the time to advancement, and those who fail to maintain good academic standing, will lose their eligibility and the fellowship will not pay NRST. Once you have advanced to candidacy you will receive a three calendar year waiver of non-resident supplemental tuition while completing your degree.

US citizens and permanent residents are required to take steps to establish California state residency before beginning of the second academic year of your doctoral graduate program.

Graduate Student Fellowships

Merit-based fellowships are awarded to incoming and continuing Ph.D. students. Most fellowships are awarded for periods of several years and are intended to support the student until completion of the degree.

The Chancellor's, Doctoral Scholars, Eugene Cota-Robles and Regents Special Fellowships, which are awarded by the university in competition across departments, supply good support for two to six years and relieve the student of teaching assistant duties during at least two years. Within the department, the most generous and prestigious awards for entering students are the Andron Fellowships.

Top students can hold a Chancellor's or Regents Special Fellowship in addition to an Andron Fellowship. Regents Fellowships are also awarded by the department.

The numbers of fellowships in each category varies from year to year for numerous reasons. In addition, the department awards several fellowships each spring to an incoming or continuing student with an outstanding academic record.  Those fellowships are listed as follows:

  • Janet A. Alpert Fellowship in Economics
  • Robert T. Deacon Graduate Fellowship
  • Keith Griffin Memorial Fellowship
  • Raymond K. Myerson Graduate Fellowship
  • Thormahlen Family Fellowship in Economics
  • White Family Graduate Fellowship
  • Jenifer Jo Williamson Fellowship

Financial Aid (Need-Based Financial Support *)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required of all U.S. citizens and permanent residents. General information about need-based aid follows. Application forms and more detailed information regarding need-based financial support may be obtained from the following aid providers:

UCSB Financial Aid Office Mailing Address:

Financial Aid Office
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3180

or contact them via phone at: (805) 893-2432
UCSB Financial Aid Office
Federal Student Aid FAFSA

United States citizens and eligible non-citizens may apply for need-based financial aid in the form of loans and work-study awards through the UCSB Financial Aid Office. Eligible non-citizens are those who are: (1) a U.S. Permanent Resident with an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551); (2) a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or (3) an other eligible non-citizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service showing one of the following designations: "Refugee", "Asylum Granted," "Indefinite Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant". University of California financial aid programs are based entirely on demonstrated financial need and require a separate application called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The annual priority filing date is March 2 prior to the academic year for which you are applying, and the FAFSA should be postmarked no later than that date. The Graduate and Professional School Financial Aid Service Application (GAPSFAS) is not accepted at UCSB.

Students' eligibility for aid is determined by comparing the "Estimated Student Budget" with the individual student's actual resources. The Financial Aid Office has calculated specific estimated student budgets for both single and married students, residents and nonresidents. Assistance from the Financial Aid Office is usually offered as a combination package of the following types of aid:

Work-Study: Student salaries are paid partly by the federal government and partly by the hiring department. Any on-campus employer or eligible nonprofit off-campus employer may employ students with Work-Study funding. Graduate students may apply their Work-Study allocation to their TAship, if applicable.

Direct Loans: A maximum of $8,500 per year in subsidized Direct Loans is available for eligible Graduate students. Students who do not demonstrate need qualify for the unsubsidized Direct Loan. The maximum amount that graduate students can borrow through both the subsidized and unsubsidized programs is $20,500. The actual amount they can borrow will be determined by their financial need, based on their need-analysis.

* Subject to change without notice.

Tuition and Fees

The UCSB Office of the Registrar lists a summary of quarterly fees and expenses.  Citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible for California residency after one year and are expected to take the necessary steps to become state residents for tuition purposes. Information on requirements and procedures for establishing legal California residency can be found here.

Cost of Housing

New graduate students enjoy two years of guaranteed housing in single student apartments.  San Clemente Villages apartments are conveniently located between the main campus, Isla Vista, and shopping centers, and are accessible by bus, bike, or on foot. 

A range of housing options are available to UCSB students: university owned single-student and family apartments, off-campus privately owned apartments, duplexes, rooms and houses. However, many graduate students live in shared housing arrangements (room in a house or apartment). University owned family student apartments are available for married students. See the UCSB Housing and Residential Services webpage for further information on both university owned and community housing. Early application is necessary for University owned housing.

Cost Calculator

The UCSB Office of Financial Aid makes available to all incoming students a "Cost of Attendance" calculator which estimates the expenses you will incur as a student while attending ​UCSB.

Some of the figures used are averages ​and are updated annually for inflation. Some of these figures are fixed (such as student fees, non-resident tuition, and on-campus room and board).

Please not that these figures may not be final, as actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California or, as authorized, by the President of the University of California.

Please visit the Cost Calculator, for more information.