Your financial aid eligibility is based on a standard cost of attendance, or student budget.
We Understand Expenses Change
We may be able to increase your budget—and your financial aid eligibility—if you incur expenses during the academic year that are higher than your standard financial aid budget. This is called a Cost of Attendance (COA) Adjustment. Please note that there is no COA Adjustment process for the summer term.
Expenses often considered for COA Adjustment include:
- The cost of your rent and utilities or the cost of your university residence hall.
- The cost of purchasing a computer; you can only request this once every three years.
- The cost of uninsured medical, dental, or optical expenses.
- The cost of transportation.
- The cost of childcare expenses.
- The cost of special books and supplies.
- The cost of relocating expenses (entering student living off-campus only).
Note: There are maximum amounts allowed for each expense. Establishing maximums ensures students understand that the Cost of Attendance is finite and prevents over borrowing. Maximums can be found below:
|Budget Item||2020–2021 Maximum Budget|
$1,710/mo for Undergraduate Students
$2,456/mo for Graduate students and students with dependents
|On-Campus Apartment/Residence Hall Fee||Actual costs according to the contract/lease agreement.|
|Transportation||Maximum add-on is budget item plus $1,500 for Undergraduate students or $3,240 for Graduate students.|
|Necessary Medical/Dental Expenses||$5,000 per Academic Year|
|Childcare Expenses||Up to $2,145 a month|
|Special books and Supplies above what is allowed in the standard budget||Actual Cost|
|Relocating Expenses (first year students, off-campus only)||Up to $3,000|
|Research, fieldwork, or thesis expenses||Up to $5,000|
The Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form includes information about which expenses can be claimed and the proper documentation required. Please ensure that you have properly documented your expenses, as any expenses that are not properly documented will not be considered. You can fill out the COAAR form in our Berkeley Financial Aid Forms portal. The deadline to request a cost of attendance adjustment for the 2020-2021 year is April 9th, 2021.
Please Note: Any changes to your financial aid awards will be contingent on the type of funds available, eligibility policies, and regulations. Adjustments typically result in increases to loan or work-study eligibility.
To find out more about the COA Adjustment process, please visit Cal Student Central, 120 Sproul Hall.