Welcome to the Financial Aid Division!

The SAO’s Financial Aid Division handles issues including, but not limited to, financial aid disbursal, student employees, emergency housing, tuition, and California residency. 

Below you’ll find a drop-down of FAQs and helpful guides related to the above issues. Our Division contact information is available at the bottom of the page.

The Financial Aid Division provides advice and support for students experiencing financial challenges with the university.  Our services include confidential advice and assistance filing for and appealing decisions related to financial aid, the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), residency for tuition purposes, and billing and payment services.  Our casework services include:

  • Explaining campus policies
  • Reviewing communication statements with administrators
  • Assisting with the preparation of statements and documentation for appeals
  • Attending meetings with you or on your behalf
  • Referrals to external resources, such as Tang counseling and the Basic Needs Center

We assist students who would like additional support engaging with the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office, including both formal processes and informal disputes.  These include:

We are a readily available resource to students experiencing housing and food insecurity. We’re here to help ensure that students’ basic needs are met!

The Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is a comprehensive major medical insurance plan. Visit our Berkeley SHIP page for more information.

We assist students with the following processes:

In order to qualify for in-state tuition, students must prove their residence in the state of California.  *Note: The Residency Affairs Unit in the Office of the Registrar is the only office permitted by the University of California Office of the President to give official advice on residency matters. Please contact their office for official advice by emailing orres@berkeley.edu.

We support students in the process of proving and documenting their California residency.  This includes:

Want to know more about financial aid?  See the resources below:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the California Dream Act by the March 2nd, 2021 deadline, in order to qualify for financial aid.
  • If you have an unanticipated expense directly related to the cost of education, you may qualify for a Short-term Emergency Loan.
  • Apply for emergency financial support through the Basic Needs Emergency Fund.
  • If you are food insecure, the UC Berkeley Food Pantry is available to all students. 
  • CalFresh, also known as SNAP/EBT, is a long term food assistance program that awards eligible students up to $281 per month for groceries, pre-loaded on an EBT card. The EBT card can be used at most major chain grocery stores and Costco, as well as the Berkeley Student Food Collective and Bear Market, located in Unit 3.
  • Visit the UC Berkeley Financial Aid website for official policies and programs.
  • Visit the Basic Needs website to learn more about food, housing, and financial resources available to Berkeley students.
  • Visit Centers for Educational Equity and Excellence website to learn about counseling programs and supplemental aid available to former foster youth, veterans, student parents, undocumented students, first-generation students, formerly incarcerated individuals, and transfer students.

For more resources, visit our Resource page.

The above information is meant to be a brief guide to some of UC Berkeley’s undergraduate financial aid processes. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more in-depth support or for cases that relate to academics beyond the processes listed here.

Contact the Financial Aid Division