Graduate Student FAQ

Am I rent burdened? What does it mean to be rent burdened?

Do you pay more than 30 percent of your monthly income to housing costs (inclusive of rent and utilities)? If so, you’re rent burdened according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. If you pay more than 50 percent a month on rent, you are considered extremely rent burdened. You can find directions for calculating your rent burden here.

How can I get involved?

  • Connect with COLA organizers at our events and general assemblies.
  • Come to the picket line!
  • Fill out this one-minute form if you’d like to be added to our maling list to receive ongoing updates about the COLA movement at UC Santa Barbara, including notifications about upcoming meetings and actions. (We ask for a non-UC email because we have seen UC Santa Cruz communications through UC email be censored by administration and do not want to risk that here at UC Santa Barbara.)
  • Even if you cannot attend every meeting or action, participate in any capacity you can! We are looking for people who would like to plan actions and events events, draft written statements, contribute to our websites and social media, reach out to campus organizations, and serve as department contacts, among other things.
  • Take our cost of living survey.
  • Follow us on social media (@ucsb4cola on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), share our content, and invite your friends to follow us.
  • Send letters of support from your departments or campus organizations for us to share on our website and social media channels. Contact us here.
  • Talk with your faculty, undergraduate students, and fellow graduate students about the COLA movement and encourage them to get involved.
  • Attend the monthly UC Santa Barbara UAW membership meeting and express your support for the COLA campaign.
  • Submit an anonymous testimonial about your experience with cost-of-living issues for us to share on our website and social media channels (see examples from UC Santa Cruz here).
  • Provide feedback for the movement.