New graduate student programs: FAQ

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Chancellor Cynthia Larive

Chancellor announces two new programs to support graduate students

In a message to the campus community, Chancellor Cynthia Larive said the programs are designed to ensure UC Santa Cruz can attract the best qualified and most innovative graduate students by increasing support for doctoral and MFA students. 

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Additional information

NEW: 5-year/50% program

Beginning in fall 2020, UC Santa Cruz will be offering new and continuing doctoral and MFA students support packages of 5 years (2 for MFA) with a minimum level of support equivalent to a 50% teaching assistantship. In total, this program will bring all doctoral and MFA student support—stipend, fees, tuition, GSHIP, etc. up to a minimum of $43,000 annually.

Who is eligible?

New and continuing doctoral student beginning in fall 2020. M.F.A. students will have a comparable guarantee for 2 years. Students must be in residence and in good standing with less than 15 quarters of enrollment (6 quarters for M.F.A. students).

Is this a full-year program?

All admission offers to doctoral students in the 2020-21 will guarantee 5 years of support for 3 academic quarters per year (F,W,S) at at least the financial level of a 49.99% time Teaching Assistantship (for the 19-20 academic year, this is ~$2434/month).

Will all eligible students become TAs?

The support will comprise some combination of Teaching Assistantship, Fellowship, or Graduate Student Researchership, depending on programmatic and institutional funding sources.

NEW: Housing supplement

Also in fall 2020, the campus will begin offering an annual housing supplement of $2,500 for doctoral and MFA students until additional campus graduate student housing is available. (Feb. 24 update: Doctoral and MFA students who resume their TA/GSI appointment obligations will receive the $2,500 housing supplement retroactive to Sept. 1, 2019, for the 2019-20 academic year. Doctoral and MFA students supported through GSR/Fellowship appointments will be included in the retroactive receipt of the housing supplement available at the end of the academic year.)

Will these initiatives fundamentally solve the problem of lack of housing?

These initiatives do not result in the construction of any new housing, so in a narrow sense no. However, these initiatives achieve two goals—first, they provide financial certainty and predictability for graduate students about the income they will receive through a standard completion time. Second, through a partnership between the Financial Aid Office and the Graduate Division, they provide additional support for those graduate students who may still struggle with housing affordability.

UC Santa Cruz houses more than half of its undergraduates and is committed to providing even more student housing. Student Housing West—held up in litigation—will create 3,000 new beds on campus for current undergraduate and graduate students.

 

When will applications be available?

Students will need to file a FASFA or Dream App, if eligible. These forms are available year-round. Students will need to submit a program application by July 1. The program application will be available by May 1.

When will you begin to administer the funds?

Fall 2020. (Feb. 24 update: Doctoral and MFA students who resume their TA/GSI appointment obligations will receive the $2,500 housing supplement retroactive to Sept. 1, 2019, for the 2019-20 academic year. Doctoral and MFA students supported through GSR/Fellowship appointments will be included in the retroactive receipt of the housing supplement available at the end of the academic year.)

What if I need help now?

Slug Support is offering two temporary housing assistance programs to graduate students. These include a program to support gaps in rent (or other housing related costs) for this academic year or summer, and a security deposit assistance program. For both of these programs, students can receive up to $1,000 in financial support. These temporary programs will be offered until May 31st, 2020.

These programs are in addition to Slug Support’s existing year-round emergency housing fund that graduate students have access to for these needs as well. These funds are available to any graduate student who may be in need of this support following an assessment with a Slug Support case manager to determine eligibility and availability. To schedule an appointment with a Slug Support case manager, email deanofstudents@ucsc.edu.

Additional information can be found on the Graduate Division website and on the Slug Support website