Use of Accounts

The UCSB Access Card enables students to access two separate accounts: Gaucho Bucks and Meal Plan dollars. Each account must be funded prior to use and has unique rules for acceptance and the rollover of funds (see the summary chart below).

Gaucho Bucks

Gaucho Bucks is a prepaid spending account offering a safe and convenient way to make purchases both on campus and off campus. It is designed to eliminate the need to carry cash. You or your parents must make a deposit to Gaucho Bucks prior to using it for purchases. Value in Gaucho Bucks rolls over every quarter and year for as long as you are a member of the U.C. Santa Barbara Community.

Meal Plan

Residential students have a choice of four meal plans, varying from 10 swipes a week to unlimited swipes per week. Off campus students and summer students also have options for meal plans. Swipes can be used at any of the Dining Commons locations on campus including the three commons on the main campus: Ortega, Carrillo, and De La Guerra; and one on the Storke Campus: Portola. Your Meal Plan can be easily supplemented with Gaucho Bucks which is accepted for payment at all on campus dining locations and at popular off campus locations as well. Click here for a complete list of accepting locations.

For students living in the UCSB Residence Halls, the cost of your meal plan is included with your room and board. Room and Board fees are calculated using a combination of your selected Meal Plan and your room type. Please refer to the Room & Board Rates for details. Students living in the residence halls sign up for meal plans when they register for housing.

How Do I know which plan gets used where? You will need to have a meal plan to have access to the Dining Commons. The card terminal at the register of Dining Commons will automatically look to see if you have a meal plan swipe available. If you ran out of meals, you can use Gaucho Bucks to pay for the additional meal.

Meal Plans cannot be used off campus. Off Campus location card terminals will only look for Gaucho Bucks to pay for your purchases.

Only Gaucho Bucks can be used for ALL services ON and OFF campus.

To learn more about Student Dining, click here.

Locations How it Works Roll Over
Gaucho Bucks On and Off Campus Accepting Locations Amount of purchase price deducted. Rolls over from quarter- to-quarter and year- to-year.
Meal Plan Dining Commons Locations Each time you enter Dining Commons one swipe will be debited from your selected weekly plan. If you want to enter the Dining Commons after you have used all of your allotted weekly swipes, your Gaucho Bucks account can be debited at the guest meal rate for each excessive entry (currently $12/meal) by letting the staff in front know that this is what you would like to do. Meal entries are re-set Monday morning and unused entries do not roll forward.