General Information on Funding Resources

Students on non-immigrant visas (F-1 or J-1) are expected to be able to cover their own educational and living expenses while studying in the United States. Sufficient funding is required as part of the US student visa application process. While International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) recognizes that students’ funding support can change during enrollment, our ability to supplement or assist students financially is limited.


UC San Diego, as a state institution, does not have funds available to help international students. Private funds do exist but typically only cover small personal expenses. A brief overview of general funding sources is listed below with links to potential UC San Diego options

External (Non-UCSD) Private Loans

A loan is a type of debt. Funds are borrowed for use over a period of time. The money must be repaid according to the terms agreed upon by both borrower and lender, including the interest rate, payment amount and the time frame over which the loan is to be repaid. Loans must be repaid with interest and are usually only granted if the borrower has a reliable method of repayment.

Most commercial loan programs, but not all, require a student borrower to have a co-signer – a person with a steady income who will become responsible for repaying the loan if the student is not able to do so. These loans regularly come with higher interest rates


A scholarship is an award of financial aid given to a student with the intent of furthering their education. They are awarded on criteria specific to the donor of the award and generally reflect the donor’s values and purposes. They do not require repayment.

Grants and Fellowships

Grants and Fellowships are funds that are given to individuals based on merit and/or need. They do not require repayment.

Graduate Student Funding Opportunities

Funding sources available to graduate students at UC San Diego; listed by department.

Emergency Funding

By definition this is money to help with emergencies that may arise. This money must be repaid. Unfortunately for international students at UC San Diego available funding is extremely limited and does not cover tuition.

Bank Information

General Finance Tips & Additional Resources