Emergency Relief Grant

*** Notice: Due to the Thomas Fire and Montecito Mudslides, there has been a high demand for this grant and our funds are currently extremely, extremely low. Be aware that this severely limits the number of grants we can approve and requires us to make sure applicants have pursued all other options. With questions or for advice feel free to reach out to Ryan Sims (Graduate Division Academic Counselor) at Ryan.Sims@GradDiv.ucsb.edu. ***


The GSA Emergency Relief Grant was approved by the UCSB graduate student body in 2011 and is designed to help graduate students who are experiencing sudden financial distress due to unforeseen circumstances.  Examples of this type of hardship may include, but are not limited to, the loss of an immediate family member, medical emergency, or an unexpected loss of employment.  The amount of an award ranges between $100 and $1000 depending upon individual circumstances. The amount to be awarded is decided by the GSA Emergency Grant Advisory Board. The eight member Advisory Board consists of campus administrators, staff, and members of the GSA executive council.

Note: if your emergency is for unpaid medical expenses, it is recommended you apply first to SMERF and then apply to the EGrant for any expenses SMERF doesn't cover. Additionally, reaching out to the financial crisis response team before applying can help you ensure you are optimally leveraging all campus resources.


The entire process is now done confidentially through OrgSync, you can find the application here. Just fill out the application and submit. For further instructions, below is a quick overview of funding instructions.

To be eligible, you must:

1) Be currently enrolled as a Graduate Student at UCSB.
2) Have received this grant a maximum of one time previously (each student can receive this grant a maximum of two times).

The Emergency Grant application packet consists of the following items:

  1. Basic Information and Disclosures
  2. Personal statement of need
  3. Needs Assessment Questionnaire
  4. Copies of supporting documents

When are applications due?

Applications are accepted at anytime. The grant fund is limited though, so applicants have a better chance of receiving a grant if they apply earlier in the quarter. Graduate students may also apply during the summer.

Are there any situations the grant won’t cover?

The Emergency Grant will not be awarded to applicants that have unused personal savings or financial aid resources available.  Awards will also not be given to students if hardship is determined to be the result of personal financial mismanagement (e.g., gambling) or family financial stress that does not directly impact a student’s ability to remain enrolled at UCSB.  This grant is not intended to offset hardship caused by a lack of TA or GSR employment, although students in this situation should nevertheless speak with the President who may be able to recommend additional campus and community resources.

How long does the application process take?

The application process can take anywhere from three to five weeks to complete once the application packet is received by the Advisory Board. Once approved, your check will be available for pickup at the AS ticket office within 2-4 days.

Questions or Comments?

Questions about the award may be directed to the VP of Budget & Finances.