⚠   Notice – The latest updates on the evolving COVID-19 policies and resources for the campus community
COVID 19 - Related Financial Aid Updates

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Covid-19 Support Updates

Support Updates | Funding Notification | Emergency Grants


We in the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (FASO) 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 and the campus shift to a temporary alternative instruction format.

As long as you remain enrolled in a class through the end of the spring semester, your financial aid will not be affected by your decision to leave or remain on-campus.


What We Are Doing

CSC is providing online and phone advising for financial aid, registration and billing inquiries. Please call us at 510-664-9181 weekdays between 9 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 4 pm or create a case with your inquiry. We are responding to all inquiries within 1-3 business days.

For those in need of financial assistance as a result of COVID-19, please visit the UC Berkeley COVID-19 Relief Funds website.

​Given the 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.

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 your local address in your “Profile” on CalCentral to avoid mailing delays.


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, 2020 through February 5, 2021 via the Berkeley Financial Aid Forms website if the Parent Contribution or Student 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.


Emergency Loans

Apply for a short-term, interest-free emergency loan via CalCentral if you are experiencing hardship and select the EFT (direct deposit) option. The last day to apply for a Spring 2020 emergency loan is Friday, May 15.



Funding Updates


COVID-19 Relief Funding Available

On March 27, the federal government signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law, and established the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) which provides 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.

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.

Awarding Framework

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?

The U.S. Department of Education has limited funding from HEERF to students eligible for Title IV financial aid authorized under the Higher Education Act. We are using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine Title IV eligibility.

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.

Resources are available for students who do not meet the FAFSA or CADAA eligibility requirements. Students who are ineligible to apply for aid and have housing, food, medical/health and technology needs related to COVID-19 can apply for COVID-19 Student Relief funding. International students -- graduates and undergraduates -- can request support directly from the Berkeley International Office.

Awarding amounts

Undergraduates: Actively enrolled Title IV-eligible FAFSA filers as of May 1, 2020 with financial need (based on current 2019-20 FAFSA) greater than $500 who have not already received emergency funding or a cash housing refund greater than $1,000. Grant amounts are based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as currently reflected on 2019-20 FAFSA. Students eligible for financial aid under the California Dream Act will be evaluated using the same eligibility criteria (based on current 2019-20 CADAA) and receive equivalent funding from the Student Emergency Fund.

EFC Grant Amount
$0 $1,300
$1 - $2,500 $1,200
$2,501 - $5,000 $1,100
$5,001 - $7,500 $950
$7,501 - $10,000 $750
> $10,000 $500

Graduates: Student must be eligible for Title IV funding (federal financial aid) to be considered for HEERF funding. If you meet the Title IV requirements established by the Department of Education, and if you have not already applied for aid using the 2019-20 FAFSA, we encourage you to complete the 2020-21 FAFSA by May 15 to be considered for funding. Additional documentation may be required to confirm your Title IV eligibility. Financial need, as determined by the federal methodology based on the information submitted on your FAFSA, will be a consideration for awarding. Students who are eligible for financial aid under the California Dream Act must file a 2020-21 California Dream Act Application (CADAA) if they did not fill out a CADAA for 2019-20. The campus is committed to providing students eligible for financial aid under the California Dream Act with equivalent funding from the Student Emergency Fund. The HEERF and Student Emergency funding will be disbursed to graduate students starting the last week of May in the form of emergency grants, not loans, for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis.




Satisfactory Academic Progress

For spring 2020, units dropped on or after March 4th (the date when Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency for California as a result of COVID-19), and units with incomplete grades (“I” grades) will be exempted from the quantitative component of SAP.

What does this mean?

To maintain in good SAP standing, students must:
* Pass 67% of the units they’ve attempted (referred to as PACE); and
* Not exceed 150% of the published length of their program, measured in units for undergraduates and terms for graduate students based on the program length, (referred to as maximum timeframe).
​* Maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA, set at 2.0 for Undergraduate students and 3.0 for Graduate students

What has changed for SAP?

Units dropped on or after March 4th and “I” grades will not count as attempted or completed in the Financial Aid SAP calculation for the pace and maximum time frame calculation.

What has not changed for SAP?

The relief does not apply to classes where the student earns a NP, DNP, or an F grade. Students that earn a NP, DNP, or an F grade will continue to account as attempted but not completed for the Spring 2020 term. Please visit our updated SAP policy on our website for more information.