Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for financial aid, you must:

  • Enroll in an eligible program
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be registered with the Selective Service (if required)
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress
  • Must not be in default on a student loan or owe a refund on a student grant

Students enrolled in the following programs are not eligible for financial aid managed by the Student Financial Aid Office:  Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Nurse Midwifery program, second year Midwifery Master's Track and Family Nurse Practitioner attending UCSD, Paramedics, Emergency Room Technician, Dental Post-graduate fellowship programs in Oral Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology, Geriatric Dentistry or Advanced Education in General Dentistry, and Continuing Education.  Pharmacy and Medical Residents, Interns at the Landberg Center, limited status students, and international students who are not permanent residents of the U.S. are also not eligible.

Continue to read below for further information about the above and other UCSF requirements for receiving financial aid.

Financial Aid Entrance Interview

Students receiving financial aid for the first time at UCSF must attend a group information session, referred to as an entrance interview. In these meetings, financial aid representatives discuss student loans and debt management, budgeting, how eligibility is determined, student rights and responsibilities, and various other aspects of financial aid. In addition to this session, you are required to complete online loan counseling according to instructions found here. This should take about 15 minutes to complete and we will automatically receive confirmation.

Default/Owe Refund

In order to receive financial aid, students must not be in default on repayment for a Federal Perkins Loan/NDSL, a Federal Stafford Loan/GSL, Federal Direct Loan, or any other educational loan given for attendance at UCSF or another institution. Additionally, students must not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant, a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or a State Student Incentive Grant.

Selective Service Requirement

In order to receive financial aid from federal or state programs, male students must be registered with Selective Service if required to do so under registration law. Males ranging in age from 18 through 25, including permanent residents and other eligible non-citizens, are required to register. Failure to register when required to do so may result in denial of financial aid eligibility.


To receive funds from federal programs, students must sometimes complete a process called verification. If selected, the necessary verification form plus instructions will be provided by the Student Financial Aid Office. In such cases, the U.S. Department of Education requires us to verify the information used to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by collecting supporting documentation from students who are selected for verification during FAFSA processing.  If you are selected for verification, you will also receive notification from the Department of Education via the Student Aid Report.  The Student Financial Aid Office also notifies you about the verification process and may request additional documents.  You will find Verification Forms and instructions here.  Your financial aid package is conditional, and subject to change, until the verification process is completed and funds cannot be released to you. Once the verification review is complete, your Financial Aid Hold will be removed from your record.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students receiving financial aid are required to make satisfactory progress toward their degree objectives. The specific definition of satisfactory progress varies from one curriculum to another, and a copy of the applicable policy is sent to each entering student during the first quarter of enrollment. Copies of the policies can be viewed here: Dentistry, Graduate Studies, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy.

Full-time Attendance

UCSF students are expected to attend school on a full-time basis unless official arrangements have been made to attend part-time. Full-time attendance is generally defined as completing at least twelve units per quarter for the professional curriculums; eight units per quarter for master's degree nursing students and students working toward the D.N.S. and PhD degrees. Despite minimum program requirements, students must attend full-time to maintain eligibility. Federal Pell Grants will be reduced for less than full-time enrollment. For other UC financial aid programs, students may attend less than full-time, but UCSF financial aid will decrease. Borrowers receiving a Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan must maintain at least half-time enrollment.

Number of Years on Financial Aid

Students can receive financial aid for the length of time it normally takes to complete the program. Exceptions are occasionally made for students having academic or physical problems. Students who elect to attend longer (e.g. medical students who wish to do research) may fund the additional time with a Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan or other outside loans.

Report Changes

Financial aid recipients are required to report in writing any change in their status. Changes include but are not limited to:

  • Housing status
  • Student and spouse earnings
  • Resources from family
  • Receipt of scholarships and loans from outside agencies
  • Changes in marital status
  • Name changes

Avoid Overawards

If additional financial assistance is received after the initial offer is made, a student may be overawarded if the total amount of aid exceeds the amount of financial aid eligibility. Additional financial assistance includes but is not limited to:

  • Awards from UCSF such as Traineeships and Graduate Opportunity Awards
  • Private loans, or scholarships
  • Financial aid (usually loans) is reduced to resolve an overaward situation

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