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.


Applicants must be registered graduate students and be willing to provide proof of need, as requested.

How to Apply

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, here is a quick overview of the process.

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 as she 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, grants are available for pickup within 72 hours.

Questions or Comments?

Questions about payment of the award may be directed to the VP of Budget & Finances, Caitlin Rathe. All other questions or comments about the GSA Emergency Grant should be directed to the GSA President, Mario Galicia.