Academic Advising: Academic Services offers advising about course planning, college and major requirements, important deadlines, career options, and college transitional issues. UC Berkeley offers both professional college advisors and Peer Advisors who are available for individual appointments and drop-in advising.
Academic Probation: All colleges require students to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in school. Any student not making satisfactory progress toward his/her educational objectives will be placed on probation for a semester.
College of Letters & Science: http://ls-probation.berkeley.edu/
Academic Suspension: A student on Academic Probation may be placed on Academic Suspension for failure to meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement of his/her college. A student placed on suspension will be dismissed from the college for a specified time period, usually one semester. Specific requirements may be placed for the student’s re-entry into college.
Academic Standing: Students maintain good academic standing by: making adequate progress toward the completion of degree requirements; avoiding excessive incomplete grades; and meeting the GPA requirements of their college.
Advisers: Advisers are academic counselors, staff members, or faculty members who are responsible for helping students plan their academic program. Advisers provide valuable career information, help students select a schedule of classes, discuss transfer options to other colleges, help students set educational goals, monitor graduation requirements, and connect students with other resources.
To make an appointment: http://ls-advise.berkeley.edu/advising/services.html
Alternative Loan: Alternative loans are loans offered by private financial institutions. Some students choose to or need to apply for private loans. Interest rates and other policies vary by lender. It is best to maximize all other resources first, including federal loans, which have lower interest rates and better loan terms. http://financialaid.berkeley.edu/private-alternative-loan
Alumni: All graduates of UC Berkeley are considered alumni.
American College Test (ACT): Applicants who wish to be admitted to UC Berkeley as freshmen must take either the ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test by the December of their senior year in high school.
Application/Acceptance/Admission: Application is the process by which a prospective student submits the required forms and credentials to his/her chosen institution. Application criteria may include one or more of the following: previous academic records, test scores, interviews, recommendations, and other information provided by the applicant. Depending on the application requirements of a particular school, the student can gain Acceptance to the institution if the decision to accept the application is positive. Admission is the status granted to an applicant who meets the prescribed entrance requirements of the institution. It must be noted that there is a wide variation nationwide in the Application/Acceptance/Admission policies of higher education institutions. Check the college catalog for specific requirements of the schools you are considering.
Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC): As UC Berkeley’s officially recognized student government, the ASUC manages funding for student groups and organizes most on-campus student events.
For details: http://www.asuc.org/
bCourses: bCourses is a web-based learning management system. Faculty can post resources, assignments, and course syllabi for students to access. Students can use bSpace to check their grades on exams and assignments at the discretion of the course professor. bCourses is a replacement for bSpace.
To access: https://bcourses.berkeley.edu/ For help: http://ets.berkeley.edu/bcourses/
bSpace: bSpace is the former learning management system used by UC Berkeley. All students, faculty, and staff are currently undergoing a transition to bCourses. https://bspace.berkeley.edu/portal
Bachelor's Degree: This is the undergraduate degree offered by four-year colleges and universities. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires that a significant portion of studies be dedicated to the arts — literature, language, music, etc. The Bachelor of Science degree requires that a significant portion of studies be in the sciences — chemistry, biology, engineering, etc.
Budget Appeal: The budget appeal is a process through which a student can ask for adjustments to his/her financial aid awards due to an increase in expenses. For example, if a student is paying more for rent and utilities than the average posted for the standard cost of attendance, they can submit an appeal. In most instances, students will be offered additional loans or federal work study funds. The Budget Appeal form is listed on the forms page of the Graduates or Undergraduates section.
For more information: http://financialaid.berkeley.edu/budget-appeal
Calapalooza: Calapalooza is UC Berkeley’s annual student activity fair. All new freshman, students in the Fall Program for Freshman (FPF), transfer students, and current students are invited to learn more about the many organizations on campus. This event is usually the first Thursday of the semester, and it takes place on Upper Sproul, the Dwinelle Plaza and Wheeler Plaza. Student organizations have tables with representative from their organizations, and student groups perform on Savio Steps in front of Sproul Hall.
Learn more: http://lead.berkeley.edu/orgs/calapalooza
CalCentral: CalCentral simplifies UC Berkeley’s online campus experience. This website combines multiple campus systems into one easy-to-use mobile friendly place. Check campus email, calendar, academic progress, financial aid, bCourses, and more.
Caltopia: Caltopia is largest experiential college lifestyle festival in the nation. Created and hosted by Cal Recreational Sports, Caltopia has over 30,000 UC Berkeley students and campus supporters who have the opportunity to experience the latest products, services, and programs from over 100 local and national sponsors. Caltopia is a free two-day event at the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF).
More information: http://caltopia.berkeley.edu/
Cal Grant Program: The Cal Grant Program is a state-funded educational opportunity grant program that provides financial assistance to college students. http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=568
California Dream Act: The California Dream Act is an extension of the state financial aid programs that allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain requirements to be exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition. This act also provides other forms of financial aid opportunities, such as grants and scholarships, to those qualified.
California Student Aid Commission (CSAC): CSAC is the California state agency responsible for administering the Cal Grant program to students attending public and private universities, colleges, and vocational schools in California.
Cal Student Central (CSC): The department that helps students manage Financial Aid, Registration, and Billing issues.
Campus Accounts Receivable System (CARS): CARS is a financial software system that is used by the University to create bills and show payments made by the student or a campus department (like the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office). A student's CARS account status can be viewed in Bear Facts. Note: Both CARS and Bear Facts will be retired in April 2016. For all information regarding billing and payments, please visit CalCentral.
Cancellation: Students who do not wish to attend the University for a semester must formally request a cancellation of their registration prior to the beginning of instruction. Any classes the student is enrolled in will be dropped, and the student will not be able to attend any future semester until readmission (see Readmission). For summer 2016 or Berkeley Extension classes, students may cancel registration via Tele-BEARS. All other students should use CalCentral. Graduate students may cancel electronically through their major department. Undergraduates may contact their college or the school dean’s office. Students may also cancel by notifying the Office of Registrar prior to the first day of instruction by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org using a berkeley.edu address or by mailing notification to Office of Registrar, 120 Sproul Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-5404.
Capped (Impacted) Majors: Due to high demand, special restrictions apply for declaring a capped major. Restrictions generally include applying to the major prior to exceeding a certain number of units of post-high school coursework (generally 80 units) and/or a GPA cap. Transfer students are required to apply to capped majors during their first semester at UC Berkeley. (Some examples of capped majors are Economics, Operations Research and Management (ORMS), and Psychology)
Core Courses: Each academic program's curriculum requires Core Courses, which provide students with the knowledge and skills to achieve the Core Curriculum Competencies required for graduation. Students should check the College Catalog and/or the course sequence sheet for the specific courses required for graduation from each academic program.
Cost of Attendance (COA): The cost of attendance, or student budget, is the total amount it should cost a student to go to school. This includes tuition and fees, room and board, allowances for books and supplies, transportation, and personal and incidental expenses. Loan fees, if applicable, may also be included in the COA. Childcare and expenses for disabilities may be included at the discretion of the financial aid administrator.
Cumulative Grade Point Average: The cumulative grade point average (cumulative GPA) is calculated by dividing the grade points earned by the total number of credit hours, and multiplying by 4.0. It does not include courses that have been taken on a Pass/No Pass basis. http://academicservices.berkeley.edu/advising/gpa/
DeCal: Democratic Education at Cal (DeCal) are courses created and facilitated by students. These are legitimate university classes run by students. A faculty member sponsors a student’s course as a 98/198 section. Topics range from Taiwanese to the Simpsons to Philosophy. Grades are only offered as Pass/No Pass, and the academic credit for each class typically ranges from 0.5 to 2 units. http://www.decal.org/
DeCal Expo: This event is held at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters, and showcases many of the DeCals offered that semester. At the DeCal Expo, students are able to meet facilitators, ask questions about specific DeCals, and see sample materials and past projects from courses. Students can also meet the members of the DeCal Board and learn more about the DeCal system. http://www.decal.org/expo/
Degree Check: This examination of a student’s course record determines missing graduation requirements, if any.
Degree Requirements: The requirements prescribed by institutions for completion of a program of study are generally termed degree requirements. Requirements may include a minimum number of hours, required GPA, prerequisite and elective courses within the specified major, and/or minor areas of study.
Dependent Student: A dependent is a student who is claimed as such on their parents’ tax forms. Dependent students must provide information about their parents' income and assets on the FAFSA. Generally speaking, this is a student who is under 24, an undergraduate, is unmarried and has no dependents. See the definition of Independent Student below.
Double Major: A double major program consists of two majors from within the same College. Double majors result in one Bachelor degree with two majors. One diploma is issued.
Drop: Dropping a class during the refund/schedule adjustment period means the student is no longer enrolled in the class, and will not receive credit or a grade. *Be aware, this is different than a withdraw.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): This is a safe and quick way to have your financial aid deposited directly into your savings or checking account. After your financial aid is applied to your balance in CARS, if there is money remaining, you receive it as a "refund." If you sign up for EFT, you'll have access to your refund quickly. If you choose not to sign up for EFT and you are eligible for a refund, you will be issued a check that you must pick up from the Billing and Payment Services Office in University Hall. They do not mail checks.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The EFC is the amount of money a family is expected to be able to contribute to a student's education, as determined by the Federal Methodology Need Analysis formula approved by Congress. The EFC includes the parent contribution and the student contribution, and depends on the student's dependency status, family size, number of family members in school, taxable and nontaxable income and assets.
Financial Aid Estimator: The Financial Aid Estimator provides an estimated Financial Aid award for prospective students, including any Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP) award for which you may be eligible. The estimated values produced by this tool are not the actual amounts that will be offered in your final Financial Aid award. https://saservices.berkeley.edu/calculator/
Federal Direct Student Loan Program: The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. The Direct Loan Program is offered by the Department of Education, and it provides students with a simple, inexpensive way to borrow money to pay for education after high school. You apply by completing the FAFSA. It could be offered as a "subsidized" or "unsubsidized" loan. Refer to our page on Federal Direct Loans for more information.
FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was enacted by Congress in 1974 [20 U.S.C. 1232g] and gives parents of minor students, and students who are over 18, the right to inspect, correct, amend, and control the disclosure of information in education records. It obliges educational institutions to inform parents and students of their rights, and to establish policies and procedures through which their rights can be exercised. FERPA gives students of any age enrolled in a university or college the right to give or withhold consent for the educational institution to use or disclose personal information about them. There are many exceptions to this general right. The main one is that institutions may use student information for legitimate business purposes. Requests to use or disclose UC Berkeley student information are approved by the Registrar who is the authorized data steward for all student information. http://registrar.berkeley.edu/ferpa.html
Financial Need: The formula for determining the amount of financial need that a student is eligible for is: the Cost of Attendance minus the Expected Family Contribution. If the difference is a negative number then the student is not eligible for need-based financial aid.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): The SEOG program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a SEOG. The SEOG does not have to be repaid. At Berkeley, the maximum SEOG is $400 per academic year.
Federal Methodology (FM): This is the need analysis formula used to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Federal Methodology takes family size, the number of family members in college, and taxable and nontaxable income and assets into account. FM does not consider the net value of the family residence in the formula.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The form that all students must complete to be considered for financial aid. At UC Berkeley, you must complete it by March 2nd prior to the fall semester that you will be enrolled to be considered for on-time financial aid. FAFSA is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your Expected Family Contribution by conducting a “need analysis” based on financial information, such as income, assets and other household information, which you will be asked to provide. http://admissions.berkeley.edu/applyfinancialaid
Fall Program for Freshman (FPF): As a partnership between UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley Extension, FPF allows students to start undergraduate studies in the fall and transition seamlessly to UC Berkeley in the spring. http://fpf.berkeley.edu/
Gift Aid: Financial aid, such as grants and scholarships, that does not need to be repaid.
Grade Point Average (GPA): To find out how to compute your GPA at Berkeley, review this site: http://registrar.berkeley.edu/Records/gradeskey.html
GPA Cap: A minimum grade-point average that is required to be guaranteed admission in a major. Normally, this minimum grade-point average refers only to the prerequisite courses for a major rather than the cumulative GPA. (Example: Psychology requires a 3.2 grade-point average in all seven prerequisites.)
Grants: Grants, like loans, can come from both federal funds and private institutions but, unlike loans, you do not have to repay them.
Health Professions Student Loan: A Health Professions Student Loan is a fixed-rate, low interest, need-based federal loan administered by the UC Berkeley Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and offered only to Optometry Students.
Independent Student: An independent student is defined as being 24 or older, being married, having dependents, being a veteran, being a graduate student, being an orphan, or having been a Ward of the Court. An independent student does not need to provide information for their parents. If the independent student is married, she/he must provide financial information for the spouse.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS): International applicants from non-English-speaking countries are required to take either the IELTS or the TOEFL. Applicants who take the IELTS must score a 7 or higher on the academic module.
Living with Relatives Budget: A budget assigned to a student who is living with a relative, usually a parent.
Major: A major is a student’s chosen field of study. It requires the successful completion of a specified number of units and courses. Students must declare at least one major. This is the field in which the student will receive a Bachelor’s degree.
Master Promissory Note (MPN): A promissory note is the legal agreement a student signs with a lender accepting student loan funds. The MPN states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy and cancellations.
Minor: A minor is a specific number of credit hours in a secondary field of study. Minors often complement a student’s major(s). Students may not solely minor in a field. They must declare at least one major.
Need-Based Financial Aid: The amount of "need-based" financial aid that you might be eligible for is the difference when you subtract the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the cost of attendance.
Non-Need-Based Financial Aid: Any type of financial aid that does not require financial need. For example, you may be offered a Parent PLUS Loan that happens to be equal to your Expected Family Contribution. This would be considered non-need-based financial aid. Some scholarship donors do not require financial need to be a factor in the awarding of a scholarship.
Off-Campus Budget: Any apartment, shared house, University Co-op, Fraternity, or Sorority. Apartments owned by the University are considered off-campus. Living with relatives is not considered off-campus.
On-Campus Budget: A University Residence Hall room. Students must be enrolled in a residence hall meal plan.
Outside Resource: Any type of financial assistance received from a donor outside of the University. Outside scholarships, prepaid tuition plans, and veterans educational benefits are examples of outside resources.
Parent Contribution (PC): The amount of money that the federal government expects the parents to contribute toward the students' education. The amount is based on a number of factors including income, assets, family size, and number of family members in college (not including the parents).
Parent PLUS Loan: The Parent PLUS Loan is an unsubsidized loan that is part of the Federal Direct Loan program. The Parent PLUS is offered to parents of undergraduate students. It usually is offered to cover the amount of the Expected Family Contribution.
Perkins Loan: A subsidized federal loan with a fixed interest rate of 5% during repayment. At UC Berkeley, undergraduate freshman, sophomores, and graduate students with financial need may be offered this loan.
PLUS Loan for Graduate Students: The PLUS Loan for Graduate Students is an unsubsidized loan offered to graduate students to help cover college expenses not already covered by the Federal Direct loans and other outside resources.
Prerequisite Courses: A prerequisite course is a course taken in preparation for another course. Prerequisites may also be courses required to declare a major.
Readmission: Students who formally withdrew from the University, were absent for one or more semesters, or are returning to Berkeley as a limited status student must apply for readmission. Undergraduate Readmission
Registrar: A registrar is an official in an academic institution who handles student records.
Residency: Classification of students into either residents or nonresidents. Those who are considered nonresidents must pay an additional Nonresident Supplemental Tuition fee. Nonresidents may establish California residency after fulfilling the residency requirements. New and readmitted students must submit a Statement of Legal Residence to determine their residency classification. http://registrar.berkeley.edu/residency.html
SAT Reasoning Test: Applicants who wish to be admitted to UC Berkeley as a freshman are required to take the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT Plus Writing by December of their senior year. SAT Subject Tests are not required, but certain programs recommend them.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): To remain eligible for financial aid, students must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements. This includes being eligible for a specified number of semesters, earning a minimum number of units each year, and being in good academic standing with the University.
Scholarships: Scholarships are money awarded to qualified students and do not have to be repaid.
Self-Help: Loans and work-study are considered self-help and are usually a part of all financial aid offers at Berkeley.
Simultaneous Degrees: Students with simultaneous degrees have completed one major program from one School or College and one major program from another School or College. Simultaneous degrees are posted on one transcript as two degrees. Two diplomas are issued.
Standard Budget: A standard budget is the estimated average and reasonable cost of completing an academic year at UC Berkeley. Your budget determines your financial need as well as the amount of qualified aid that can be offered to you. Cost-of-attendance figures are established through student surveys and other research.
Student Aid Report (SAR): The SAR summarizes the information included in the FAFSA and is provided electronically to all students who complete a FAFSA. The SAR will also indicate the amount of Pell Grant eligibility, if any, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You should be able to review your SAR four to six weeks after you file your FAFSA. Review your SAR and correct any errors on part 2 of the SAR.
Student Contribution (SC): The amount that the student can contribute towards their own education, as calculated by the federal government. This is based on income and asset information provided on the FAFSA.
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): A comprehensive medical insurance plan providing medical, counseling, and prescription through Aetna Student Health, vision through VSP, and dental services through MetLife. Students are automatically enrolled in SHIP unless they submit the waiver by the deadline. All students can use the Tang Center regardless of whether or not they have SHIP. http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/students/insurance/
Student Learning Center (SLC): The Student Learning Center offers study groups, drop-in tutoring, individual tutoring, and space for students to study.
Subsidized Student Loan: A loan that is subsidized means that the federal government is paying the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half-time. When the loan goes into repayment the student will be charged interest.
Syllabus: An outline of the important information about a course. Written by the professor or Graduate Student Instructor, it usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to that course.
Tele-BEARS: A web-based system that students use to enroll in classes either in summer 2016 or for Berkeley Extension. All other students should use CalCentral.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The TOEFL is a standardized test measuring English language proficiency. It evaluates listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. International applicants from non-English-speaking countries are required to score 80 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or 550 or higher on the paper-based exam. Students may choose to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) instead of the TOEFL.
Transfer of Credit: Students who have completed coursework outside of UC Berkeley may be able to obtain credit for these courses.
Transcripts: A transcript is an official academic record of all courses for which a student has registered. A copy of this record may be obtained from the Registrar's Office, 120 Sproul Hall.
Title IV Programs: Authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, these federal student aid programs include federal grants, loans, and work-study programs for undergraduate students, as well as federal loans and the federal work-study program for graduate students.
Tuition and Fee Payment Plan (FPP): Previously known as the Deferred Payment Plan, this allows you to pay fall or spring semester tuition and fees in five monthly installments. You can choose FPP within the My Finances section of your CalCentral account.
Units: A unit is the amount of credit earned for a class based upon the number of clock hours of instruction provided for a course per week. A unit is defined as one class hour per week for 16 weeks. A class that carries three units typically meets for three hours per week. Courses and their corresponding units can be found in CalCentral.
Unmet Need: The amount of a student's budget that is not covered by any type of financial aid.
Unsubsidized Student Loan: Students or parents who have unsubsidized loans are charged interest on the loan as soon as the loan is disbursed. Although students do not have to make payments while they are enrolled at least half-time in college, interest is being charged on the loan. Parents who are taking out the PLUS loan are required to begin making payments on the principle and the interest of the loan after the last disbursement for the academic year. All PLUS loans are unsubsidized.
Verification of Income and Assets: Some students are selected for a process where we review federal tax returns and other income and asset information. The federal government requires all colleges to conduct such a review.
Withdrawal: Occasionally students decide to discontinue their studies at Berkeley for a period of time after beginning a semester. This is called a withdrawal. Students withdraw for many reasons: to work, recover from an illness, attend to personal business, or find their true academic direction. Because a withdrawal affects your student status, as well as various student services, make sure that you are following official withdrawal procedures and gathering information about your eventual return to campus via readmission.
Work-Study: The Federal Work-Study program provides undergraduate and graduate students with part-time employment during the school year. The federal government pays a portion of the student's salary, making it cheaper for departments and businesses to hire the student. For this reason, work-study students often find it easier to get a part-time job. Eligibility for Federal Work-Study is based on need. Money earned from a Federal Work-Study job is not counted as income for the subsequent year's financial aid application.