Types of Aid - Frequently Asked Questions

CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant

Last updated: August 26, 2020

  • What is the federal CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?
    The CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant Fund provides emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus as stipulated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act that was signed into law March 27, 2020. Awards will be distributed to eligible UCSF students based on need derived from the 2019-20 FAFSA or College Board Profile. In partnership with the Controller’s Office and Office of Sponsored Research; UCSF signed and returned the Certification Agreement to the Department of Education attesting that awarded CARES Act funds will be used to provide federal emergency aid grants to UCSF students.
  • Who is eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant and how will eligibility be determined?
    Federal regulations require schools to confirm that a student receiving any CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Grant assistance be FAFSA eligible, which includes:
    • Is a US Citizen or an eligible noncitizen
    • Has a valid Social Security number
    • Is registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25)
    • Is not in default on a federal student loan
    • Does not owe money on a federal student grant
    • Is currently enrolled in spring 2020 quarter
    Additionally, eligible UCSF students must demonstrate need as determined by the FAFSA or College Board Profile, and must have applied for and been disbursed more than 20K in Federal Direct Loans while having attended UCSF.
  • How much will eligible students receive in the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?
    The CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant is one-time funding awarded to eligible UCSF students enrolled in spring 2020. Awards will be distributed based on financial need derived from 2019-20 FAFSA or College Board Profile. Funding will be disbursed as indicated below (per student):
    Graduate and Professional Students
    Students Amount
    School of Dentistry $600
    School of Medicine $600
    School of Nursing $600
    Graduate Division/PhD $600
    School of Pharmacy $600
    Physical Therapy $600
    Physical Therapy students unable to graduate in spring 2020 and extending to summer $3,862 (average award)
  • When will eligible students receive the CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?
    The distribution of funds to eligible students will begin the week of May 18, 2020. If you have not received your funds by June 1, please contact Student Financial Services. In the meantime, please sign-up for direct deposit.
  • Why didn’t I receive a CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant?
    If you are ineligible for a CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant, and if you or your family was significantly affected by issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be able to help you with other basic-need resources. For more information, please contact Student Financial Services directly.
  • How much CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant aid were awarded to UCSF for student grants and to how many students is this being distributed?
    • UCSF received a total of $434,317 in Emergency Federal Financial Aid Grant Aid to be awarded to eligible, needy students.
    • The number of registered students in spring 2020 was estimated at 3048.
    • Of registered students, 1,179 met the CARES Act eligibility criteria.
    • The projected number of CARES Act recipients is 626, and represents 21% of ALL students registered in spring 2020 (3,048).
    • The projected number of CARE Act recipients is 626, and represents 54% of registered students meeting eligibility criteria (1,179).
    • Number of Emergency Grants Distributed to Students (as of August 20, 2020): 626 out of 626.

Federal Direct Loans

  • Due to the federal Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by Congress, graduate students are no longer eligible for Federal Subsidized Direct Loan. Graduate students may apply for a Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan.
  • What is a Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan?

    Eligibility for this federal loan is based on the standard student budget minus outside scholarships and other financial aid. It is not based on financial need so student/spouse earnings and assets are not considered. Per federal regulations, the maximum annual limit can be found on Types of Loans page.

    The interest rate is fixed each year for the life of the loan taken out during that time (July 1 – June 30), unless the loan is consolidated. The current rate (7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018) is 6.0%. Interest begins to accrue as soon as funds are disbursed. You can elect to make interest payments while you are in school, thereby decreasing the amount you will ultimately repay, or defer interest until after you graduate or cease to be enrolled at least half-time. Accrued interest will be added to the principal (capitalized) at repayment if you choose this option. Loan repayment begins six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled as a half-time student.

    Funds are disbursed in equal quarterly installments. The Department of Education charges a loan fee which is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The current loan fee is 1.069% for loans first disbursed before October 1, 2017.

    Review “Step 3” of our application process for more information and to complete the Master Promissory Note. Once you've e-signed online, our office will receive an electronic notification of your application from the federal processor. You can complete the loan paperwork before you are admitted. Your loan will not be processed, nor any funds disbursed, until you are admitted to the program and begin your coursework.

  • What is the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?

    The interest rate is fixed each year for the life of the loan taken out during that time (July 1 – June 30), unless the loan is consolidated. The current rate (7/1/2017-6/30/2018) is 7.0%.

    The standard student budget minus all financial aid including Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan equals your eligibility for a Graduate PLUS. There is no annual maximum. Be aware that credit approval is required by the Department of Education for this loan. In addition to completing the online Federal Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note, you must also authorize a credit check. Students who are denied due to adverse credit (e.g., 90 days or more delinquent on any debt, or credit report showing default, loan discharge, foreclosure, repossession, and bankruptcy) may need to have an Endorser (co-borrower). More information will be provided by the Department of Education.

    Review “Step 3” of our application process for more information and to apply for the loan. Once you've e-signed online, our office will receive an electronic notification of your application from the federal processor. You can complete the loan paperwork before you are admitted. Your loan will not be processed, nor any funds disbursed, until you are admitted to the program and begin your coursework.

    Funds are disbursed in equal quarterly installments. The Department of Education charges a loan fee which is proportionately deducted from each loan disbursement. The current loan fee is 4.276% for loans first disbursed before October 1, 2017.

  • What are my options if my Direct Graduate PLUS is not credit-approved by the Department of Education?

    The Department of Education requires a credit check for the Graduate PLUS. Students with adverse credit are notified directly, along with their options. Students can appeal if the adverse credit information is incorrect, or provide document to the Department of Education if there are extenuating circumstances relating to their adverse credit history. Visit Studentaid.gov for more information. Students may also be able to apply with an endorser (co-borrower) who satisfies the credit requirements. Students should contact Applicant Services for Grad PLUS Loan Borrowers at 1-800-557-7394 (8am-8pm ET), Monday to Friday, if their loan is denied.

    UCSF IS UNABLE TO OFFER ANOTHER LOAN TO REPLACE THE GRADUATE PLUS. Students who are unable to borrow a Graduate PLUS are expected to cover the remainder of their educational expenses with their own resources or family assistance. It is the student’s responsibility to secure adequate funding to cover cost of attendance before beginning school.

Federal Work Study

  • What is Federal Work-Study?
    The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. This program encourages community service work and work related to a student's course of study. Students may apply for FWS under Basic or Full funding application options. View our Federal Work-Study webpage for more details. It is not likely that work-study will be feasible for the MS-HPL students.