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Graduate Peers' Schedules

Spring 2015
Peer Advisor Availability

Professional Development Peer, Shawn Warner-Garcia
Monday: 10 a.m. to noon
Wednesday: 10 a.m. to noon
Friday: 10 a.m. to noon

Funding Peer, Kyle Crocco
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Writing Peer, Ryan Dippre
Monday: 1:30 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 to 11 a.m., 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Communications Peer, Melissa Rapp
Monday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 2 to 4 p.m.

The peers sometimes hold events or attend meetings during their regular office hours. To assure you connect with your Graduate Peer Advisor, we encourage you to contact them by email and make an appointment.


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UC MEXUS Upcoming Summer Grant Deadlines

Is your research related to Mexico-Related Studies, Latino Studies, United States-Mexican Relations, Critical U.S.-Mexico Issues, Latino and Mexican Topics in the Arts, or Collaborative Research Projects with Investigators at Mexican Institutions? Then you could apply for a UC MEXUS Small Grant.

The University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS) is calling for proposals for small grants to support UC students and postdoctoral activities.

Proposals are encouraged for small, short-term (one week to six months) non-dissertation projects.

UC MEXUS Small Grants

Deadlines:  June 8, July 6, August 3.

Eligibility: UC graduate students enrolled in a masters or doctoral level program and in good academic standing. Cannot be use as a dissertation grant.

Amount: $1,500.

Information: For more information on the grant and how to apply, see the call for proposals.

MEXUS logo


Not Eligible for Loan Deferment? Try Loan Forbearance

Money bagCredit: openclipart.comIf you are not eligible for loan deferment, you might want to apply for a loan forbearance.

What is loan forbearance?

Loan forbearance is when you can stop making payments, or reduce your monthly payment on your student loans for up to 12 months. However, interest will still accrue on your loans. 

There are two types of forbearance: discretionary and mandatory.

What type of loans are eligible?

Federal student loans are eligible for loan forbearance. (For private student loans, contact your lender).

Discretionary forbearance

You can request a discretionary forbearance if you have a financial hardship or illness. Contact your lender and they will review your circumstances and decide if you qualify.

Mandatory forbearance

There are a few instances when you can receive a mandatory forbearance. For example:

  • If you are in a medical or dental internship or residency
  • The total amount you owe each month for all the student loans you received is 20 percent or more of your total monthly gross income (Yikes!)
  • And other situations

How to forbear?

Contact your loan servicer (the company that handles billing for your federal student loan).

What if you don’t qualify for forbearance or deferment?

Always contact your service lender first. Don't just stop paying your loans. If you are having trouble making student loan payments, you may be able to change your repayment plan.

Need more information?

Read the Federal Student Aid page on loan forbearance.


Can't Pay Your Student Loans? Consider Loan Deferment

Man with big billCredit: openclipart.comIf you are having trouble paying your student loans, you may be eligible for a loan deferment.

What is loan deferment?

Deferment is a period of time when you are not responsible for paying your student loans. However, during this time, interest on your loan still may still accrue.

What loans are eligible?

Federal student loans are eligible for loan deferment. (For private loans, contact your lender).

When are you eligible to defer a loan?

These are the three main times:

  • When you are in college more than half time or part of a graduate program.
  • When you are unemployed or partially employed.
  • When you are in active military service during a war or national emergency.

How to defer?

If you are currently in school, contact your financial aid office.

If you are out of school, contact your loan servicer (the company that handles billing for your federal student loan).

What if you don’t qualify for deferment?

You may be able to get loan forbearance (see loan forbearance article).

Need more information?

For more information, on loan deferment see the Federal Student Aid page on loan deferment.


Should You Consolidate or Refinance Your Student Loans?

Money CrisisGraduation is approaching and that means payback time. In six months or less, the first loan payments will arrive at our electronic doorstep and as much as we'd like to pretend we don't hear them knocking, we still have to let them in.

Fortunately, there is some good news for borrowers: loan consolidation and loan refinancing. They can make your payments easier, cheaper, or both.

Loan Consolidation

Consolidating your loans makes your life easier with one monthly payment. You can consolidate private loans, federal loans, and sometimes both.

For federal student loans this process is called a Direct Consolidation Loan; it's easy to do and you end up with one interest rate and one monthly payment. However, your forego any special bargains associated with your specific loans, such as loan forgiveness or cancellation.

For private student loans, you also end up with one interest rate and one payment. Contact your bank lender to find out details.

But what if you have both federal and private loans? No worries. There are a number of private banks that will combine the two into one. The federal government, however, will not.

Loan Refinancing

Refinancing can make your monthly loan payments cheaper by having a lower interest rate. Apparently, you can refinance your student loans, just like you can refinance that house you can't buy because you are paying off your student loans.

For federal student loans, forget about asking the government. Your interest rate is your interest rate and you have to live with it. However, private banks are willing to do the deed (see refinancers below).

For private student loans, on the other hand, contact your private lender to see if they will make a deal.

There are also a number of refinancers, or private banks, who are willing to refinance your federal or private student loans or both and offer you a competitive variable or fixed interest rate. Just like regular loans, you will get better rates with a better credit score.

Leave Loans Unchanged

Sometimes doing nothing is the best cure for your financial woes. Your interest rate may be higher but the federal or private student loan might have better benefits for repayment or cancellation that might not be available if you consolidated or refinanced. Consider the terms of your loan before changing to a new type of loan.

Quick Links for more info

6 Best Banks to Refinance and Consolidate Student Loans in 2015

Direct Consolidate Loan

Finally More Ways to Refinance Student Loans

Private Student Loan Financing Carries Risks, Rewards


Chicano Studies Dissertation Grant Deadline May 13

CSI LogoThe Chicano Studies Institute is offering grants of support for dissertation research activities. All graduate students, regardless of academic field, who are engaged in research that addresses topics related to the Latino population in the U.S. are welcome to apply.

Dissertation Research Funding

Deadline: Wednesday, May 13, by 4 p.m.

Amount: Up to $2,500

Eligibility: All graduate students with research topics related to the Latino population in the U.S.

More Info: Read the call for proposals.
Questions: Contact Raphaëlla Nau at

Call for proposal flier


Estimate Your Student Loan Payments

Math GirlCalculate your student loan repayment. Credit openclipart.comGraduation is coming and that means one thing: repaying your student loans. For most of us, there is a six month grace period until we have to make that first payment.

But how much will that first payment be?

Fortunately, the Federal Student Aid office has created a Repayment Estimator to help us estimate our future financial pain.

You can log in to today to view repayment estimates based on your actual loan information from Federal Loans (not private loans), or you can enter your loan information manually.

You will need to enter in the following information to calculate your results:

  • Loan balance(s)
  • Loan interest rate(s)
  • Tax filing status
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
  • Family Size
  • State of Residence

It will then estimate your monthly payment, total interest paid, and total amount of loan paid based on the various repayment plans: standard, graduated, income based repayment (IBR), pay as you earn, and income contingent repayment (ICR).


Student Assistant Jobs for Summer 2015

Summer crab imagePhoto Credit openclipart.comThe Division of Undergraduate Education is initiating a project to track undergraduate alumni and are looking to hire eight self-motivated graduate students to assist.

This is a great opportunity for graduate students who are interested in working on a large, campus-wide effort and learning techniques for effective tracking of outcomes. Long-term tracking is becoming increasingly important in securing funding related to education, outreach, training, or professional development projects. There may also be the opportunity to develop or sharpen skills with MS Excel and MS Access, including database design and management.

The positions are all 50%, as a Student Assistant IV, paid at $20/hr. Graduate students are free to set their schedule as long as the schedule meets the conditions specified below and their direct supervisor on the project approves.

All applicants will be expected to:

  • Work an average of 20 hours/week from July 6 to September 11, 2015 (10 weeks, 200 hours total).
  • Work shifts during normal business hours.
  • Work sitting at a desk, on a computer, primarily on the internet, and on campus at Elings Hall for the duration of the project.
  • Search the internet (LinkedIn, university websites, business websites, etc.) to obtain information on post-graduation academic and career choices of UCSB undergraduate alumni, and accurately record this information.
  • Work as part of a team to complete the tracking on time.

Required qualities/skills:

  • Highly responsible, self-motivated, hard-working.
  • Excellent time management skills and attention to detail.
  • Find “detective work” interesting (i.e., trying to find information based on available clues).

To apply:

Please send your CV to and a one-page statement of interest to by NOON on Monday, May 11. The statement of interest should be no more than one page, single spaced (please be sure it includes your name at the top), and should discuss:

  • Why you are interested in this position.
  • Any prior work/experience that you feel is relevant and highlights your qualifications/skills.
  • Other summer obligations/plans you have (travel, qualifying exams, summer school, teaching, other employment, etc.) and whether you expect any conflicts.
  • Your availability Monday, May 18 to Friday, May 22 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to be interviewed (please provide all your availability, interviews will be 30 minutes).

One letter of recommendation from a faculty or employer who has supervised you in the last 2 years. Have your recommender send the letter to by Friday, May 22, and please ask them to discuss in their letter:

  • When and in what capacity they have supervised you, and for how long
  • Your responsibilities and your success at completing tasks
  • Your strengths or weaknesses regarding:
    • Sense of responsibility
    • Self-motivation
    • Ability to stay on task/focus
    • Time management
    • Attention to detail
    • Ability to work well with others

You will be notified if you are selected for an interview on Wednesday, May 13, and at that point you will receive a date, time, and location for the interview. You must confirm you will attend the interview by NOON on Friday, May 15.


Deadline Extended to May 15 for Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy

Capps Center LogoThe Steve and Barbara Mendell Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy supports one or more fellowship stipends each year for outstanding graduate students in the College of Letters and Science at UCSB (Humanities and Fine Arts, Social Sci­ences, Science) whose research or programs of study advance the goals of broad-based cultural literacy and high ethical standards in our participative democracy.

All research topics must relate to some aspect of contemporary values and ethics in the “public sphere,” such as the importance of civility and tolerance, appreciation for pluralism and human rights, understanding better how public issues are framed, ways in which social conflict is resolved, improving and extending democratic practice, and the role of public humanities generally in society.

Support may be provided for dissertation fellowships, supplemental fellowships, summer stipends, or for special research projects.

The Steve and Barbara Mendell Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy was established in 2006 by a generous gift from Steven and Barbara Mendell and is promoted by the The Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life.

The Steve and Barbara Mendell Graduate Fellowship in Cultural Literacy

Deadline: Friday, May 15

Stipend: $2,500-$5,000 (Does not include tuition or health insurance).

Eligibility: Graduate students in the College of Letters and Science at UCSB

More Details: Read the call for applications.

Questions: Please contact Dr. Leonard Wallock Associate Director or the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at (805) 893-2317 or


Funding Deadlines for June

You Have FundingIt's the end of the academic year and the funding finds are few. There are some interesting grants left, but your best bet is to start looking toward the fall offerings in your field.

All information comes through the UCLA GRAPES database. Click on the individual links for more details.


Open To All (no citizenship or residency requirements):

June 1: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, SERC Internship Program In Environmental Sciences (All fields involved in environmental research)

June 1: Women's Research and Education Institute, Congressional Fellowships on Women and Public Policy (All fields: students who have commitment to equity for women)

June 2: Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards Competition for Theater, Film, and Television (All UC Grads)

June 5: Hosei International Fund (HIF), Foreign Scholars Fellowship (For research in in Hosei, Japan; see restrictions)

June 12: UCSB Center for Nanotechnology In Society, Graduate Research Fellowships In Social Science & Humanities (Fields dealing with societal issues concerning nanotechnologies)

June 15: Collegiate Inventors Competition (All fields with an original idea that could be patented)

U.S. Citizens and Residents Only:

June 10: Monbusho Scholarship (Japanese Government) Graduate Research Scholarship (All fields: musts be willing to study Japanese and receive instruction in it)


Final Funding Workshop of Spring Quarter on Thursday, April 30

Find FundingCredit: Funding PeerNeed funding? Want to learn when to look for it, where to find it, and what's available on campus? Then RSVP now for the final Finding Funding workshop of the spring quarter on Thursday, April 30.

The Finding Funding workshop covers all the graduate funding basics:

  • UCSB resources (fellowships, TAships, and more)
  • External resources (government, foundations, and more)
  • Funding databases (Pivot, Grapes, and more)

Attendees should bring their laptop computers to practice navigating funding databases.

When: Thursday, April 30, from noon-1 p.m.

Where: Student Resource Building in Room 2154

Food: Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP: Kyle Crocco at