Lack of funds need not be a barrier to attending UCI; more than 60 percent of UCI's enrolled students receive some form of financial aid. Students who demonstrate that they need financial assistance in order to attend may be eligible for scholarships, grants, loans, and/or work-study awards through the Financial Aid Office. In addition to awarding aid on the basis of financial need, some scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence.
Information regarding the application process, deadlines, and financial aid programs for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students may be found in the Financial Aid for the 21st Century handbook. The handbook is mailed to entering students in January and is available to continuing students in the Financial Aid Office, 102 Administration Building; telephone (949) 824-8262.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA/Renewal Application). To obtain financial aid, new and continuing students must file the FAFSA/Renewal Application and the necessary supporting documents each year. The FAFSA is available at high schools, local colleges and universities, and at the UCI Financial Aid Office. Renewal applications are mailed to current financial aid recipients starting in mid-November and continuing through the end of December. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible after January 1. The priority deadline to file the FAFSA/ Renewal Application for loans, work-study, and most grants is March 2. All other supporting documentation should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by May 1 for priority consideration.
The University expects the student and the parent (or spouse) to contribute toward the educational costs to the extent possible. For dependent students, an analysis of the FAFSA and supporting documents determine the amount a student and the student's parents can be expected to contribute toward the cost of the student's education. For independent students, the analysis determines the amount a student and/or, if applicable, a spouse can contribute to the cost of the student's education. Income, assets, size of family, and the number of family members in college are the major factors considered in the analysis. Assets include, but are not limited to, equity in real estate other than family residence; stocks, bonds, and other securities; business equity; and cash, savings, and checking accounts. Income includes wages, salaries, interest, dividends, and nontaxable income such as Social Security and Veterans' benefits.
All undergraduate financial aid applicants are required to apply for a Pell Grant, and eligible California residents are required to apply for a Cal Grant. The application deadline for Cal Grants is March 2 for the following academic year.
Special Expenditures. Financial aid recipients who are in need of money for special expenditures (beyond the cost of books and basic supplies associated with certain courses of study) may make an appointment to see a financial aid counselor to explore the possibility of a budget extension, based on the availability of funds. Examples of such special expenditures include special equipment for students with disabilities.
Federal financial aid programs are subject to regulations that define the criteria students must meet to qualify and maintain eligibility for those programs. The regulations state that a student must: (1) be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen of the U.S.; (2) be accepted for admission to the University; (3) be enrolled in good standing at the University; units taken through the University Extension program are not counted toward half- or full-time enrollment; (4) demonstrate financial need (except for William D. Ford Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal PLUS loans); financial need is the difference between the reasonable and approved expenses of attending UCI and all available resources, including the expected contribution from parents, the student, and any outside aid; (5) maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid, as outlined below; (6) be registered with the Selective Service if the student is a male at least 18 years old, born after December 31, 1960, and not on active duty with the armed forces; (7) not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal educational loan.
Once a student meets the above criteria, disbursement of financial aid funds is made only if the student does not have outstanding debts owed to UCI.
Undergraduate and Graduate Students
In defining student eligibility for financial aid, the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1986 state that a student must maintain "satisfactory progress in the course of study the student is pursuing, according to the standards and practices of the institution at which the student is in attendance." Federal regulations of May 1982 state that each institution shall establish, publish, and apply "reasonable standards" for assuring that every student receiving need-based financial aid should maintain "satisfactory progress in his/her course of study." Final Federal regulations, published October 6, 1983, state that "in order to receive student financial aid under the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act, a student must be maintaining satisfactory progress in the course of study he or she is pursuing according to the standards and practices of the institution in which he or she is enrolled."
Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements for Financial Aid
The following requirements for satisfactory academic progress for receipt of financial aid apply to all applicants for any financial aid awards administered by the UCI Financial Aid Office. These requirements are separate and distinct from UCI's policy regarding satisfactory academic progress.
1. Grade Point Average (GPA). All financial aid recipients must be in compliance with the following minimum cumulative GPA requirements at the conclusion of the spring quarter of each academic year: Undergraduates: first year, 1.85; second year, 1.90; third year, 1.95; fourth year, 1.975; fifth year, 2.00; graduate students: 3.0; medical students: academic performance requirements to pass course.*
* Prior to June 1996, third- and fourth-year students must meet the minimum 2.0 GPA requirement. Effective June 1997, all students must meet the academic performance requirement necessary to pass courses.
2. Units (Undergraduate and Graduate) and Clock Hours (Medical Students). All financial aid applicants must comply with the following minimum cumulative unit or clock-hour requirements.
Graduate Students: Completion of at least 8 units per quarter.
Part-time Students: Completion of at least 6 units per quarter.
Medical Students--Regular Curriculum Clock-Hours:
Medical Students--Extended Curriculum Clock-Hours:
* These requirements are separate from enrollment requirements for specific financial aid programs. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.
NOTE: Undergraduate and graduate students who enroll in more than the minimum number of units required per quarter in the first and second years will have the additional units carried forward for the cumulative total.
3. Quarter Limits for Eligibility. All financial aid applicants exceeding the following quarter limits will be ineligible for financial aid consideration. Students will not be granted additional quarters of eligibility solely by reason of changing their field of study or pursuing more than one major.
1. Entering freshmen are eligible for all types of financial aid for a total of 15 quarters of academic year attendance.
2. Advanced standing transfer students will have transcripts from previous postsecondary institutions evaluated to determine the number of remaining quarters of financial aid eligibility at UCI.
3. Students acquiring a second bachelor's degree will have up to six quarters of additional financial aid eligibility for a maximum of 21 quarters of undergraduate attendance.
1. California educational credential students: four quarters of academic year attendance.
2. Master's degree designed for completion in:
a. three quarters: five quarters of academic year attendance.
b. six quarters: eight quarters of academic year attendance.
c. nine quarters: eleven quarters of academic year attendance.
3. Ph.D. students may be eligible for financial aid for up to 21 quarters of academic-year attendance following the completion of their baccalaureate degree (whether or not they received financial aid during the 21 quarters).
1. Incoming students in their first year of attendance will be eligible for financial assistance for a total of four years.
2. College of Medicine students who have been approved for Extended Curriculum will be eligible for financial assistance for a total of five years.
1. Remedial courses. Required remedial courses will count toward the undergraduate, graduate, and medical student minimum unit/clock-hour requirement of the satisfactory academic progress policy for financial aid.
2. Grade evaluation. As defined below, units for the following grades will not be counted toward meeting the minimum unit/clock-hour requirement.
Undergraduate and graduate students: F (Failure), I (Incomplete), NP (Not Pass), U (Unsatisfactory), W (Withdraw), NR (No grade reported), Repeat courses (Repeat of a D grade or higher; repeat of an advanced standing or high school course). Medical students: F (Failure), NR (No grade reported), Repeat courses (Repeat of a D grade or higher).
3. Incomplete courses--medical students. Clock-hours for a grade of Incomplete (I) will be counted toward satisfactory academic progress for the quarter/quintile during which the student took the course. If the student fails to meet the requirements for removing the I and the I becomes a grade of F, the clock-hours for that course will be deleted retroactively from the student's satisfactory academic progress record.
4. Courses in progress--medical students. Clock-hours for courses In Progress (IP) will be counted toward satisfactory academic progress during the first quarter/quintile of a course requiring more than two quarters/quintiles for completion. Should the student fail to receive a passing grade, after the course has been completed the clock-hours for that course will be deleted retroactively from the student's satisfactory academic progress record.
Deficiencies in Satisfactory Academic Progress and Their Effect on Receiving Financial Aid
The requirements for undergraduate and graduate student satisfactory academic progress stated above are monitored each quarter and at the end of each academic year. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress will have their financial aid eligibility affected in the following manner.
1. Quarterly totals--unit and GPA
a. Cumulative GPA below the minimum required total:
Students are placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress probation for the remainder of the academic year. They are able to receive financial aid funds for that academic year but the GPA deficiency must be cleared by the end of spring quarter of that academic year or the end of summer session. Eligibility for the following academic year will be dependent upon clearing the GPA deficiency. Note: GPA deficiencies must be cleared at a University of California campus.
b. Unit deficiencies:
i. Enrolled in less than the minimum units required but at least six per quarter. Students are placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress probation for the remainder of the academic year. They are able to receive financial aid funds for that academic year but the unit deficiency must be cleared by the end of spring quarter of that academic year or the end of summer session. Eligibility for the following academic year will be dependent upon clearing the unit deficiency.
ii. Enrolled in less than six units per quarter. Students are placed on Satisfactory Academic Progress probation for the remainder of the academic year. They are able to receive campus-based financial aid funds for that academic year but the unit deficiency must be cleared by the end of spring quarter or the end of summer session. Eligibility for the following academic year will be dependent upon clearing the unit deficiency.
2. Academic year totals--units and GPA. The Financial Aid Office will verify the cumulative totals for units and GPA after the conclusion of spring quarter. Students who have unit and/or GPA deficiencies will be required to make up the deficiency prior to receiving any future financial aid funds, including funds that would be used for payment of fees.
3. Quarter limits of eligibility. At the end of each quarter students will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if they are nearing the quarter limit of eligibility for financial aid. The notice will indicate how many quarters of eligibility remain. Students also will be notified when they have completed the maximum number of quarters of eligibility for financial aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals
After failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, a student will be considered for financial aid only when one of the following conditions has been met: (a) sufficient units/clock-hours have been completed and/or the minimum cumulative GPA requirement has been satisfied, or (b) it is established through the financial aid appeals process that the student encountered some type of extenuating circumstances during the quarter(s) in question which hindered academic performance (i.e., prolonged hospitalization, death in the family).
Students wishing to appeal must submit the UCI Financial Aid Appeal Request Form (available from the Financial Aid Office); a letter to the Financial Aid Office stating their reasons for failing to meet the unit, clock-hour, or GPA progress requirements, and whether or not they have solved their difficulties; and any other requested documents. Undergraduate and graduate students may seek the assistance of the University Ombudsman in the preparation of appeals. Medical students may seek the assistance of the Associate Dean of Student and Resident Affairs in the preparation of appeals. They may also be required to submit a degree check, course plan, or letter from their dean.
Undergraduate Students--All relevant material will be presented to the Financial Aid Appeals Board (the Board is composed of Financial Aid professional staff). Once material has been reviewed, the Board will decide whether eligibility for aid will be reinstated. In the event the Board decides not to accept an appeal, the student will be given the right to a personal interview with the Board. If the student decides to exercise this right, a final recommendation based upon the interview and written material will be made by the Board and forwarded to the Director of Financial Aid for a final decision.
Graduate Students--Appeals are reviewed by (1) the Graduate Advisor of the student's advanced degree program and (2) the Dean of Graduate Studies, who will make the final recommendations to the Director of Financial Aid for a final decision.
Medical Students--All relevant materials will be presented to the Committee on Promotions and Honors. If the Committee, after consideration of the appeal, determines that the appeal should be approved, its decision will be forwarded to the Director of Financial Aid and aid will be reinstated. In the event the appeal is denied by the Committee, the student will be given the right to a personal interview with the Committee. The Committee will forward the final decision to the Director of Financial Aid for implementation.
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic ability, achievement, and promise. They do not require repayment. Although a few honorary scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence alone, many also require that an applicant demonstrate financial need. UCI offers students with proven high academic achievement and leadership potential seven top honors awards: Regents', University, Chancellor's Club, Alumni Association, Scholar's Circle, UC Irvine Scholar, and UCI Foundation Scholarships. The scholarships have stipends which range from $250 to full in-state fees; or, in the case of Regents' Scholarships, may provide full demonstrated need.
Entering Freshman and Transfer Students
Students who are entering UCI in the fall must complete the scholarship section of the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships and submit the application by November 30. The Financial Aid Office automatically collects information about applicants' scholarship qualifications. Applications that meet the requirements are reviewed by the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships, Honors, and Financial Aid. Information about the Alumni Scholarship is available in the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships.
Restrictive Endowment Scholarships
Eligibility requirements for Restrictive Endowment Scholarships vary greatly and are restricted in terms of such student characteristics as geographic location, family background, academic major, and career goals. For the most part, these scholarship awards are based on the student's established financial need. All UCI students will be considered for Restrictive Endowment Scholarships based upon information from the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships and their current academic records.
Regents' scholarships, among the highest honors conferred upon UC students, are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and exceptional promise. Undergraduate students are eligible upon graduation from high school or transfer from community college. Medical students are eligible during any year of their study in medical school. The scholarship is awarded both as an honorarium and a stipend. It may be renewed for an additional one or three years depending on the year of appointment, provided the student completes an average of 12 units per quarter and maintains a grade point average of at least 3.25. The honorarium is based upon year of appointment as a Regents' Scholar and is awarded without reference to financial need. The amount of the stipend will vary depending on the student's established financial need.
University scholarships are offered to students entering their freshman year who show evidence of high scholastic attainment. Students who demonstrate financial need may receive stipends funded by The Regents of the University of California. These stipends may be renewed by completing the application process and demonstrating financial need.
National Merit Scholarships
UCI is a sponsor of the National Merit Scholarship. Recipients are selected from a list of finalists who selected UCI as their first college choice on the National Merit Scholarship Application. Annual awards for attendance at UCI are up to full in-state fees.
ROTC Scholarships: See the Supplementary Educational Programs section.
Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need. There is no repayment requirement. A student's financial aid award includes grant funds whenever regulations, UCI policies, and funding levels permit.
Federal Pell Grant is the largest federally funded grant program and provided up to a maximum of $2,700 for the 1997-98 academic year. To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, be enrolled as undergraduates, have not previously received a bachelor's degree, and demonstrate financial need. Students must use the FAFSA to apply for this grant.
Cal Grant A is a State-funded scholarship program which currently provides awards to be applied to the payment of University fees. In 1997-98 Cal Grant A awards paid up to $3,799. To be eligible, applicants must be California residents and demonstrate financial need. Students must use the FAFSA and GPA Verification Form to apply for Cal Grant A. The filing deadline for new applicants is March 2 for the following year.
Cal Grant B is a State-funded grant program which provided, in 1997-98, awards up to a maximum of $1,410 during the student's first year and $1,410 plus $3,799 toward fees during subsequent years. To be eligible, applicants must be California residents, demonstrate financial need, and be entering college or not have completed more than one quarter of college work. Students must use the FAFSA and GPA Verification Form to apply for Cal Grant B. The filing deadline for new applicants is March 2 for the following year. NOTE: Students may not receive both Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B. If offered both, the Financial Aid Office recommends taking Cal Grant B over Cal Grant A.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) provides grant aid for U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens who are undergraduate students and have demonstrated financial need. These federal grants range from $100 to $4,000 per year, depending upon financial need.
UC Grant-In-Aid (GIA) is funded by The Regents of the University of California and by the State of California and provides grant aid for full-time students who demonstrate financial need. The amount awarded depends upon financial need and funding levels.
Loans are often part of a financial aid award. They provide recipients with an opportunity to defer the cost of their education by borrowing when needed and paying later. However, loan recipients must pay interest on the amount borrowed. The deferment and cancellation provisions for the loans listed below are contained on the promissory note each recipient must sign and also may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.
A student's loan responsibility, prior to acceptance of the loan, is to understand the terms of the loan. After accepting the loan, the recipient must repay the loan in accordance with the repayment schedule, advise the Financial Aid Office upon leaving UCI; participate in an exit interview; and provide the Financial Services Office with a current address after leaving UCI. In case of death or total disability, outstanding loan obligations may be canceled upon presentation of official confirming documents.
Federal Perkins Loan (formerly National Direct Student Loan) provides long-term federal loans for U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens. The amounts awarded vary, depending on financial need, but cannot exceed $3,000 annually for undergraduates and $5,000 annually for graduate students. Cumulative totals for the full term of college attendance may not exceed $15,000 as an undergraduate and $30,000 as a graduate student. The $30,000 cumulative total includes loans received as an undergraduate student and Federal Perkins Loan funds received at all colleges or universities attended. No interest is charged nor is repayment required while the borrower is enrolled in at least one half of the normal academic load. Interest of five percent a year begins nine months* after the borrower ceases to be enrolled or is enrolled less than half-time, and repayment must be completed within a 10-year period.
* For loans made prior to July 1, 1987, interest charges and repayment begin six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled or is enrolled less than half-time.
University Loan, funded by The Regents of the University of California, provides long-term loans to full-time students who demonstrate financial need. The maximum amount for an academic year is $3,000. Interest of five percent a year begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time, and repayment must be completed within ten years. Two cosigners are required.
William D. Ford Direct Loan Program
Subsidized William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (formerly Guaranteed Student Loan), processed through the U.S. Department of Education and UCI, is available to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens, and who demonstrate financial need. During an academic year, the maximum a student may borrow is: $2,625, freshmen; $3,500, sophomores; $5,500, juniors and seniors; $8,500, graduate and medical students. Both a guarantee and origination fee will be deducted from the amount of the loan prior to issuing the check.
Interest rates: The federal government pays interest during the deferment period for Subsidized Direct Loans. Interest rates are variable for loans to new borrowers with first disbursements on or after October 1, 1992, based on 91-day Treasury Bill plus 3.10 percent, capped at 8.25 percent. Borrowers will be charged a 3 percent origination fee and an insurance premium of 1 percent.
Interest rates: 1991-92 borrowers, 8 percent*. Repeat borrowers: loans after September 1983, 8 percent; loans from January 1980-September 1983, 9 percent; loans before January 1980, 7 percent. (*First-time loans made after July 1, 1988, have an 8 percent rate for the first four years of repayment. Beginning with the fifth year, interest is 10 percent on the remaining balance.)
Cumulative maximums: Dependent, undergraduate, $23,000; independent, undergraduate, $46,000; graduate and medical students, $65,500 (includes undergraduate loans). Deferment period before repayment: Six months after ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time. Full repayment: Up to 10 years.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans have the same terms and conditions as the Federal Direct Loan, including the aggregate loans limits, interest rate, and repayment. During an academic year the maximum a dependent student may borrow is $2,625, freshman; $3,500, sophomore; $5,500, juniors and seniors. Independent students may borrow an annual maximum of: $6,625, freshmen; $7,500, sophomores; $10,500, juniors and seniors; $18,500, graduate and medical students. These maximum amounts include any amount borrowed under the Subsidized William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program. However, the loan is not based on need. Students may borrow an amount equal to the cost of attendance less any estimated financial assistance up to the annual loan limits in effect at the time the loan is disbursed. Students must first apply for the Federal Direct Loan prior to consideration for the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan. There is no interest subsidy for this loan; students pay the interest charged while enrolled at UCI. Students may receive both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct loans but the total may not exceed the loan limits. Borrowers with both types of loans may have a single repayment schedule.
Interest rates: Variable, adjusted annually, for loans to new borrowers with first disbursements on or after October 1, 1992, based on 91-day Treasury Bill plus 3.10 percent, capped at 8.25 percent. Borrowers will be charged a 3 percent origination fee and an insurance premium of 1 percent.
Cumulative maximum: Dependent, undergraduate, $23,000; independent, undergraduate, $46,000; graduate and medical students, $73,000 (includes undergraduate loans). Deferment period before repayment: Interest accrues immediately and may be paid monthly or quarterly. Students also may request that the lender add the interest to the principal balance. Repayment of principal begins six months after ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time. Full repayment: Up to 10 years. Minimum payment: $50 per month.
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (FPLUS) are designed to assist parents of dependent undergraduate students who are unable to demonstrate financial need for campus-based funds. Parents are eligible to borrow up to the cost of education for the academic year less any estimated financial aid each academic year on a student's behalf. The loan is limited to parents who do not have adverse credit histories as defined by regulation.
Interest rate: Variable, adjusted annually, based on a 52-week Treasury Bill plus 3.1 percent not to exceed 9 percent. Borrowers will be charged a 3 percent origination fee and an insurance premium of 1 percent.
Cumulative maximum: None. Deferment period before repayment: 60 days from day of final check disbursement for loan period. Full repayment: Up to 10 years.
Loans for Disadvantaged Students, Health Professional Student Loans (HPSL), and Primary Care Loans are available to medical students. Contact the College of Medicine Financial Aid Office for information.
Emergency loans are made from an emergency student loan fund made possible through various philanthropic individuals and organizations. Undergraduate and graduate students who have experienced unanticipated financial problems of a temporary nature may borrow up to $100 without interest or service charge. Medical students may borrow up to $300. Emergency loans must be repaid within 30 days after disbursement or by the end of the academic quarter, whichever occurs first. Applications are available in the Financial Aid Office or at the College of Medicine Financial Aid Office. This loan is not based on demonstrated financial need.
The Federal College Work-Study Program offers eligible students who demonstrate need an opportunity to pay for their living and educational expenses as they occur. By participating in the Federal College Work-Study Program, students can reduce the amount of the loan to be repaid after leaving school. Medical students must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean of Student and Resident Affairs prior to obtaining work-study employment. Students awarded work-study have the choice of obtaining a work-study job either on campus or off campus at an approved nonprofit agency. A variety of work opportunities are available, and such part-time work experience can be a valuable asset when seeking employment after graduation. Information about the terms and conditions of work-study employment is provided in the UCI Financial Aid Award notification sent to all UCI students receiving financial aid who are eligible for work-study.
Veterans Work-Study Program is available only to U.S. military veterans and their eligible dependents. Positions are limited. Separate applications and detailed information are available from the UCI Veterans Student Services Office, 201 Student Services I; telephone (949) 824-6477.
Additional Aid for Graduate and Medical Students
Most graduate fellowship programs are administered by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. Graduate students should contact the Office, 145 Administration Building; telephone (949) 824-6761. Medical students should contact the College of Medicine Financial Aid Office, 206 Medical Education Building, telephone (949) 824-6476; see the College of Medicine section for additional information.
Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and have experienced an unanticipated change in their financial situation, may be eligible for assistance from a very limited number of University programs. The financial change must be fully documented. In order to be considered for financial aid, students must have completed at least three years of study at UCI as undergraduates or four years of study as graduate students. Financial aid is limited to the expenses for books and fees; tuition will not be considered. International students may contact the Financial Aid Office or the International Center for further information.
All forms of student financial aid are available to eligible students with disabilities. Interested students should follow the regular financial aid application procedures and should notify the Financial Aid Office of any additional expenses they may incur because of a disability. Supporting documentation must be provided.
The UCI Career Center, located in the Student Services I building, assists UCI students in obtaining part- or full-time employment during the academic year and summer vacation. Financial aid recipients who have been awarded work-study also may obtain on-campus or off-campus job referrals in the Center. Students may easily access all job listings using their student I.D. number via the Career Center's Web site at http://www.uci.edu/~career. This site may be accessed through terminals located in the Center, from the many other on-campus terminals available to students, or via home Internet access.