Campus creating new, enhanced graduate student support programs

Collaborating with graduate students

UC Santa Cruz leaders held a series of listening sessions with graduate students to understand ways that the campus could provide additional support to promote graduate student success. The ideas and input helped inform the enhanced graduate student support programs.

In order to provide additional support to graduate students, UC Santa Cruz is working to create new programs focused on housing, cost reduction, student success, and family support.

The programs, some approved and others in development, are designed to be responsive to the concerns graduate students have raised about the challenges they face.

This list of enhancements to existing programs addresses some of the material support concerns. It is a reflection and response to some of the challenges that have been expressed, and represents a beginning to open dialogue, collaboration and shared problem-solving.

Learn more about the new and enhanced programs below.

Housing Support Programs

Funding to support returning to in-person activities

Pandemic-related; one time
Effective fall 2021; available fall, winter or spring.
Up to $1,500 available to support continuing, independent students* enrolled in spring 2020 as they return to Santa Cruz. Application will be through Slug Support, with domestic and DACA student grants processed through the Financial Aid Office. Available after the beginning of the fall term or relevant term for students enrolled at least part-time. International students also apply through Slug Support, but payment mechanisms may differ.

Program status: approved; in development
Program available: after the start of the fall quarter, to enrolled independent students.

*As defined by state and federal financial aid regulations

Funding to support transitioning to Santa Cruz

New PhD/MFA graduate students; ongoing
Effective fall 2021
Up to $1,500 available for new, incoming PhD/MFA graduate students. Application will be through the Graduate Division. Payment process to be determined.

Program status: approved; in development
Program available: start date no later than fall quarter, to newly enrolled PhD/MFA students.

Holding Family Student Housing rates

All FSH residents; one-time
UC Santa Cruz will keep Family Student Housing rates at the 2019–2020 level for the 2021–22 academic year.

Program status: approved; implemented
Program available: Housing rates will not increase in 21/22 with the normal cycle.

House hunter program at University Town Center

Graduate Students; ongoing
Rooms available for discounted rates at UTC for graduate students seeking housing in Santa Cruz. Up to a 5-day stay is available.

Program status: in place
Program available: summer 2021. Continuing program, available in summer only.

Legal consultation for off-campus housing issues

All students, carve out for graduate students; ongoing
Free legal consultation is available through the Dean of Students Office. Sessions specifically for graduate students will be made available and advertised.

Program status: in place
Program available: now

Housing support program

All students, carve out for Graduate Students; as needed
Available fall 2021
Housing deposit, rent, utilities assistance and other basic needs available through Slug Support. Grants up to $1,000 to support student housing needs. Program marketing will ensure graduate students are aware of the availability of the program.

Program status: in place
Program available: fall 2021

Cost Reduction Programs

Reduced parking rates for A, B, C and R permits
Available to Quarterly, Academic, Annual or Multi-Year permits; ongoing
Reduce parking rates for A, B, C and R permit holders by centrally supporting the remaining debt on the west parking structure. Rate reductions will be made automatically to permit holder rates. Reduction is estimated at 12%–15% of 2020 rates. Reduction does not affect daily, half-day, or other short-term permits.

Program status: approved
Program available: before fall 2021

Deferred late fees on campus, housing fees

Graduate students; ongoing
Late fees on campus fees and housing fees will be waived for approximately two billing cycles each quarter.

Program status: approved
Program available: each quarter beginning fall 2021

Remove the E-Payment convenience fee

All users; ongoing
Remove the 95-cent transaction fee for payments processed using the e-payment system for all users of the system.

Program status: approved
Program available: begins fall 2021 (possibly sooner)

Supporting Graduate Student Success

Enhanced funding to departments for ASE benefit packages

Tuition and fee coverage for all departments that hire graduate student TA, GSI or other ASEs using state funds or tuition funds
Some blocks of funding for graduate TA and GSI positions do not include funding for benefit packages (tuition, fees and GSHIP). This program funds all state funded TA, GSI, and ASE positions of 25% or more, freeing departmental funding to better support graduate students.

Program status: approved
Program available: begins fall 2021

Funding for department-sponsored TA instructional professional development trainings

Available to departments; ongoing
To ensure the ongoing success of professional development for TAs, this program provides funding to departments for their professional development offerings for graduate student teachers, removing the financial barriers to this professional development program, and allowing department funds to be used in other ways to support their programs.

Program status: approved
Program available: begins fall 2021

Bridging the Summer Gap Pilot Program

Graduate students interested in pedagogy; available summer 2021
This pilot program employed 24 graduate students (8 in summer session I, and 16 in summer session II) as instructional fellows with CITL and Online Education to support campus educators with effective and equitable course planning.

Program status: approved, active
Program available: slots for summer 2021 filled; ongoing support to be determined in fall 2021.

Slug Support for graduate students

Available to all graduate students; Fall 2021
Enhancements to the Slug Support programs to address graduate student needs. A full-time case manager will be dedicated to developing programs and providing services that support graduate student needs. After the first year start up, the plan is to expand support to include all student families.

Program status: approved, active
Program availability: fall 2021; ongoing

Family support programs

Family Student Housing internet upgrades

Available to all FSH residents
Upgrades to the internet infrastructure at FSH were made using new technologies that allowed for a lower cost and faster installation of the necessary technical infrastructure. Project was fully completed June 2021.

Program status: approved, complete
Program availability: ongoing