We in the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office and Cal Student Central (CSC) are coordinating our efforts to support you and your ability to access services while also offering some strategies you may find useful during ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments.
What We Are Doing
Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we want to express our continued commitment to your well-being and our dedication to your success while attending Berkeley. We will be working daily to ensure there is readily available support for all students, especially those in need.
CSC is providing online and phone advising for financial aid, registration and billing inquiries. Please call visit our Services & Areas of Support page for all available service options.
Bookmark this page for access to service updates as they become available.
What You Can Do
Activate Direct Deposit to receive refund and emergency funding in your bank account electronically.
Paper refund checks will be processed once a week and mailed to students, not held at CSC. If you expect to receive a refund check, please review and update both your local and permanent addresses in your “Profile” on CalCentral to reflect your current mailing address to avoid mailing delays.
Apply for Emergency Broadband Benefits to receive substantially subsidized broadband service. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that its Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will start on May 12, 2021. The program will provide students from eligible households (including those with a Pell Grant recipient or that have experienced significant income loss since February 2020) to receive subsidized broadband service and devices. Learn more about the registration process and enroll and work through the FCC verification process once the program goes live on May 12.
Submit a Financial Aid Application to be considered for all available sources of funding. Both undergraduate and graduate students must have a financial aid application (FAFSA or CADAA) on file to be considered for federal emergency relief or Dream Act funding related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While filing an aid application alone won’t guarantee funding, it is the only way to ensure you will be considered for all available sources of funding–including emergency relief. Apply now!
COVID-19 Relief Funding
CARES Act: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF I) – On March 27, 2020 the federal government signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law, and established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF I) which provided emergency funding to higher education institutions. Half of the HEERF dollars must go directly to students in the form of emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. The campus received $15.2M for direct student support. These emergency financial aid grants were distributed to students starting in Spring 2020 and throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
CRRSAA: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II) – On December, 27 2020, the federal government signed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) which authorized the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II (HEERF II). Similar to the CARES Act, CRRSAA authorized that half of the funding sent to institutions of higher education must go directly to students in the form of emergency grants. In addition, CRRSAA requires that institutions prioritize providing funding to students with exceptional need. The campus received $15.2M for direct student support. These funds were distributed to students in Spring 2021.
ARP: Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III)– On March, 11 2021, the federal government signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) which authorized the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III). Guidance for the administration of this round of funding was released on May 11, 2021. We are carefully reviewing the guidance in preparation to start awarding grants to students in the coming months.
Your Financial Aid and Scholarships Office team collaborated with campus partners, including the Division of Equity and Inclusion, the Graduate Division, student government leaders, and the Student Advocate’s Office, on the awarding and distribution of these funds. We also committed to providing students eligible for financial aid under the California Dream Act with equivalent funding from the Student Emergency Fund.
Awards are emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis and to assist with any unexpected costs that have arisen due to coronavirus.
Equity – Recognize that while all students have been impacted by COVID-19, the pandemic has resulted in disparate outcomes for those who have historically been most marginalized and/or underserved. Also Recognize that some students may have already received relief from campus programs (e.g., Basic Needs, Student Emergency Funding, Housing Refunds, Departmental Emergency Funding).
Efficiency and effectiveness – Distribute as much funding into the hands of students, as soon as possible.
Administrative simplicity – Minimize the burden on students in order to receive this aid as well as the amount of processing that would be needed to award grant aid.
Award Allocation – $11.2 Undergraduate, $4M Graduate.
Which students are eligible to receive funds?
We are using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial need and eligibility for funding from HEERF I and HEERF II.
Students who are AB540 eligible and do not meet federal aid requirements, are encouraged to review the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) eligibility criteria and application filing instructions for more information.
International students can request support directly from the Berkeley International Office.
For additional support around your basic needs including food, housing and financial needs, please visit the UC Berkeley Basic Needs Center website. The Basic Needs Center acts as a central hub to support students in their journey to access essential services that impact health, belonging, and overall well-being.
Undergraduate Eligibility and Award Amounts
HEERF I: Actively enrolled Title IV-eligible FAFSA filers as of May 1, 2020 with financial need (based on 2019–20 FAFSA) greater than $500 who had not already received emergency funding or a cash housing refund greater than $1,000. Grant amounts are based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as reflected on the 2019–20 FAFSA at the time of awarding.
HEERF II: Actively enrolled U.S. citizen and eligible non-citizen FAFSA filers as of April 19, 2021 with financial need (based on 2020-21 FAFSA) greater than $1,000. Grant amounts are based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as reflected on the 2020-21 FAFSA at the time of awarding.
Students eligible for financial aid under the California Dream Act are evaluated using the same eligibility criteria (based on CADAA) and receive equivalent funding from the Student Emergency Fund.
|Expected Family Contribution||HEERF I Grant Amount||HEERF II Grant Amount|
|$1 – $2,500||$1,200||$1,200|
|$2,501 – $5,000||$1,100||$1,100|
|$5,001 – $7,500||$950||$950|
|$7,501 – $10,000||$750||$750|
Graduate Eligibility and Award Amounts
HEERF I: Actively enrolled Title IV-eligible FAFSA filers as of May 15, 2020 with financial need (based on 2019–20 or 2020–21 FAFSA) greater than $1,000 who had not already received emergency funding greater than $1,000.
HEERF II: Actively enrolled U.S. citizen and eligible non-citizen FAFSA filers as of April 19, 2021 with financial need (based on 2020-21 FAFSA) greater than $1,000. Grant amounts are based on whether the student received a Pell Grant as an undergraduate.
Students eligible for financial aid under the California Dream Act will be evaluated using the same eligibility criteria (based on CADAA) and receive equivalent funding from the Student Emergency Fund.
|HEERF I Grant Amount||HEERF II Grant Amount|
|Received a Pell Grant as an Undergraduate Student||$1,000||$1,400|
|No prior Pell Grant Receipt||$1,000||$1,000|
Additional funding: May be awarded on a case-by-case basis to undergraduate and graduate students.
Expected Family Contribution Appeal
If you or your family has experienced a loss of income as a result of COVID-19, we are here to support you so that a change in your family’s financial circumstances does not become a roadblock to your ability to pay for school. You can submit an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) appeal beginning May 1, 2021 via the Berkeley Financial Aid Forms website if the Expected Family Contribution from your aid application does not accurately reflect your current situation. Before submitting an appeal, please review our Expected Family Contribution flyer to see if this is the right step for you.
Apply for a short-term, interest-free emergency loan via CalCentral if you are experiencing hardship and select the EFT (direct deposit) option. The Summer 2021 Emergency Loan application closes on Friday, August 13, 2021. The Fall 2021 Emergency Loan application opens on August 18, 2021. Visit the Short Term Emergency Loan page for more information about Emergency Loans.