Aid Application (including FAFSA and CA Dream Act)
Below is an overview of common financial aid applications and where to find them.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
US citizens and permanent resident students are strongly encouraged to complete the FAFSA in order to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work study.
Graduate students are encouraged to file, even if their fellowship is not need-based. Some private endowment and state funds that the Graduate Division administers have a need component, and the funds can be used for merit-based fellowships if students have financial need. Since the Graduate Division uses the FAFSA information to determine need eligibility, it is important for all students to complete the FAFSA.
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 Dream Act Application
The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office can assist you with the California Dream Act application.
Parent PLUS Loan
To apply for a Parent PLUS Loan, your parent needs to complete the PLUS Loan Application. The loan will be ready to disburse in CalCentral when it is approve and we have a signed promissory note. Please review the Parent PLUS FAQ for additional information and monitor your tasks in CalCentral.
Financial Aid Forms
To access forms to complete tasks such as Verification, Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal, Expected Family Contribution Appeal, and more, visit the Berkeley Financial Aid Forms page.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Financial aid regulations require that students meet specific Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Your academic record will be evaluated after each academic year to determine if you are meeting the SAP requirements to maintain financial aid eligibility for the next academic year. The UC Berkeley SAP requirements for undergraduate students are as follows:
- Maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) at or above 2.0.
- Maintain a satisfactory pace of progress toward your degree by completing at least 67% of all units attempted cumulatively
- Completing your degree within a maximum number of attempted units not to exceed 150% of the published length of your program.
If you are not meeting one or more of these requirements, you have the option of appealing for a reinstatement of your financial aid or an extension of your financial aid by completing the SAP Appeal form.
UC Berkeley’s Basic Needs Center is fully dedicated to leading the transformation of UC Berkeley into a basic needs secure institution of higher education. The Basic Needs Center website has more information about resources for food security, housing security, and financial security and crisis.
The Housing Security Deposit Award is available to help students obtain safe, secure, and stable housing. If you are finding yourself unable to cover your security deposit, the HSD Award is a grant for UC Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students to help cover your housing security deposit. COVID-19 has forced many people to relocate. We encourage those who need the financial support to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Bears for Financial Success (BFFS) provides essential financial literacy information to help you manage your money and build for the future. BFFS advisers can also guide you in creating a budget that works for you. For further support, you may also refer to Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence.
Financial Aid Verification
Verification is a process required by the Department of Education and the California Student Aid Commission that is intended to improve the accuracy of the information provided on your financial aid application. We cannot disburse federal or state aid until verification is completed.
If you are selected for verification, you will be notified through CalCentral.
Appeals & Circumstance Changes
Your financial circumstances may change, and those changes may affect your ability to contribute to your education.
- If you do not have enough financial aid to meet your expenses (including a change in your family’s financial circumstances), and you have exhausted all possible borrowing that is in your financial aid package, you can consider two specific options:
- A Cost of Attendance Adjustment to increase your budget to reflect your actual expenses; and/or
- An Expected Family Contribution Appeal, also known as Parent and Student Contribution Appeals if your financial circumstances have changed since you initially filed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Change in Housing and Financial Aid
Your financial aid package is based on your financial need, determined by a formula [standard cost of attendance (i.e. budget) minus the family contribution]. Please note that a change in housing, for example moving out of the residence halls into off-campus housing, may affect your standard cost of attendance and therefore the amount of financial aid you receive.