UCSF Sees 300% Rise in Federal Financial Aid Funds

Joe Castro

More funding will be available this year to support UCSF students from socio- or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, as a result of a 300 percent increase in federal funding for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program for the upcoming school year.

The additional funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services brings to $1.5 million the total funding UCSF has received for the SDS program in 2010-11, including extra funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to Joseph Castro, PhD, UCSF vice provost for student academic affairs. Under the new allocations, the SDS program assists professional students in medicine, dentistry or pharmacy. The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) also received an increased allotment, which forgives up to 85 percent of a student’s NFLP loan if the recipient pursues a career in teaching.

Castro said these much more robust allocations are a result of the increased support of health professions’ education by the Obama Administration and will provide much-needed relief to UCSF students and their families in light of significant fee increases for 2010-11. 

He said the recent change to a systemwide Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) will reduce UCSF students’ health insurance premiums by about 20 percent from what they would have paid, saving a total of $1.3 million for UCSF students overall in 2010-11.  In addition, the new GSHIP also provides a quality and affordable dependent care option for the first time. This positive change for students is the first step of an effort to create a systemwide pool for all UC students in graduate and undergraduate programs, which Castro will co-chair.