Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid for your education is available from a variety of sources, such as federal loans, alternative loans, scholarship programs, private sources, student employment opportunities and sometimes even employer assistance programs. We encourage you to research and get familiar with all of the financing options available and determine what works best for your individual needs.


There are many ways to get funding for your education; one of the most widely used resources is a federal or private loan.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is the most common type of federal student financial aid loan, and it requires the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). UC offers three disbursements per year to align with their fall, spring, and summer semesters. The following loan is available to graduate and professional degree students:

  • Unsubsidized—The Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on need and allows some students to borrow additional money. Students are responsible for the interest on an unsubsidized loan. No payments are required on any Stafford Loan until 6 months after you leave school or fall below 6 credits. If possible, you may want to pay accrued interest on an unsubsidized loan while you are enrolled.

For more information on Federal Direct Stafford Loans, click here. For information regarding Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professions Degree students, click here.

Alternative Student Loans

Some students may need additional loan funds after maximizing their federal loan options or may not be eligible for federal loans and still need to borrow towards their education. Many lenders offer private alternative loans to help students meet the gap between financial aid and college costs.

Students must either meet the credit criteria of the loan for which they are applying or have a credit-eligible co-borrower. Many of these loans also require enrollment in six or more degree credits per semester, but there are options for students studying in non-degree classes or enrolled in less than half-time status. Reminder: Borrow only what you need. Always remember that you will have to pay back what you borrow.

Click here for alternative loan options.


There are many different types of public and private scholarships available to a diverse range of students. Scholarship programs can be university related or come from an outside source. They usually require applicants to meet specific academic, social, or economic requirements that are unique to each scholarship program.

Make sure to thoroughly explore all scholarship materials for detailed requirements and disbursement information.

Click here for UC’s current Scholarship Information Chart.

For information about UC’s Financial Aid Refund Policy please Click Here.

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