Navigating Financial Aid | Video Walkthroughs | Resources
Congratulations! Your journey to a world-class education at Berkeley may be just beginning or continuing! The goal of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office is to support you with comprehensive financial aid and include you in the nearly two-thirds of students receiving over $750 million in aid every year. We work closely with all students to make a Berkeley education an affordable reality. Our staff will guide you and your support network through the financial aid process from start to finish. Our financial wellness program, Bears for Financial Success, will help you navigate your personal finances and help you create a personal spending plan. You are Berkeley, and we are so happy to support you and welcome you to your future!
Navigating Your Financial Journey
Begin your journey by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application by March 2.
MANAGE YOUR AWARDS IN CALCENTRAL
Use CalCentral (via your MAP@Berkeley application portal or CalNet ID) to access and update your financial aid information.
Key features to make your life easy:
Accept Your Financial Aid
Gift aid is automatically accepted for you, but remember:
Receive Your Financial Aid
Aid begins disbursing around ten days before the start of a term. Funds will first pay your bill directly on CalCentral. If your aid covers less than your bill, you will be responsible for paying the remaining balance. If your aid covers more than your bill (and your term balance is paid in full), you will receive a refund.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AWARD OFFER
Gift aid is awarded according to need (based on the information you provided in your financial aid application) and/or merit. No repayment is required.
Scholarships | Awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need. Will vary in amount, duration, and requirements.
Grants | Awarded from federal, state, and university funds according to your financial need.
Loans and Work-Study
Eligible students may also receive financial support in the form of loans and workstudy
Loans | Funds that you borrow and repay over a period of time with interest, usually after you graduate. Low-interest student loans and flexible payment options are available.
It is important to understand the terms and conditions of loans and your responsibilities as a borrower (financialaid.berkeley.edu/loans).
Work-study | Awarded on the basis of need and allows you to earn money by working a part-time job. Like any job, you will need to apply and be hired for a workstudy position (workstudy.berkeley.edu).
Jumpstart with Video Walkthroughs
Follow along with our office to ensure you are covering all your bases when searching, applying, and accepting aid.
Financial Aid Applications
Scholarships & Outside Awards
Understanding Awards & Costs
Expected Family Contribution
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START INVESTING IN YOUR FUTURE!
Below are some helpful links designed to support you in building a solid understanding of the options you have with financial aid. Not shown is the immense value your experience at Berkeley offers in return. You will have access to the combination of high quality education and robust financial aid that continually places Berkeley among the top universities for upward mobility.
- Get familiar with your Cost of Attendance at Berkeley and what direct costs you may accrue.
- Hone your budgeting skills with our peer financial advisors via Bears for Financial Success.
- Ask questions from our support staff at Cal Student Central if you ever get stuck.
You have so many resources and options at your fingertips. We encourage you to be relentless in both your academics and in identifying when you need support. We’re here for you.
Your golden future awaits!
Starting a New Year
Resources for the beginning of the school year.
- Award Notification
- Financial Aid checklist
- Maintaining Your Eligibility
- Share Information with Parents and Others
- Sign Up for Direct Deposit
- Understanding Your Commitment
Owning Your Finances
Resources for financial management.
- Bears for Financial Success
- Build a Budget
- Creating a Spending Plan
- Financial Aid Payments and Refunds
- iGrad personal finance tool
- Managing Debt
- Repaying Your Loan
- Saving Money
- Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) FAQ
Aid for Special Programs
Other Berkeley Resources
More resources that are helpful to know.
- Academic Calendar
- Academic Guide
- Dining at Cal
- Housing Rates
- Student Clubs and Organizations
- Berkeley Life student blog
- University Health Services
Other Campus Opportunities for Students
Berkeley opportunities you don’t want to miss out on.
- ASUC Student Union
- First Year Pathways
- Global Edge
- Research opportunities
- Berkeley Study Abroad
- Summer Bridge
- Theme programs
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