As a parent of a UC Berkeley student you will already have invested significant time and resources in preparing your son or daughter for college life.
The following sections are designed to answer basic questions you may have while preparing your student for college and beyond. Check out Types of Aid to start your search for resources and information.
This guide is meant to help inform parents of UC Berkeley students. However, some UC Berkeley students are also parents. Visit our Parent Grant page to learn about a special grant offered to parents attending UC Berkeley. Student parents can also find help and resources at the Student Parent Center.
- Financing an EducationPlanning and Estimating If your student is preparing to go to college now, the Smart Student Guide has tips for you. Learn how to estimate college costs, save for your student's future educational needs, and maximize eligibility for financial aid. For an estimate of how much aid your student might receive at Berkeley, visit our Estimate Your Financial Aid page. Visit our Scholarship Connection page to help your student apply for outside scholarships. Application deadlines for outside scholarships are often much earlier than school deadlines for applying for financial aid, so be sure to start your search as soon as you apply to colleges. Visit Compare Costs for information on how to help your student choose a college wisely. Family Contribution Calculating the Contribution – Completing a financial aid application is the first step in assessing your family's ability to pay for college. Parent and student income and assets are used to determine the amount of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward college cost. The EFC consists of a Parent Contribution and a Student Contribution toward cost of attendance. For the 2020–2021 academic year, your family's expected contribution is based on income from the 2018 calendar year income and assets reported at the time you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Dream Act Application. Appealing the Contribution – UC Berkeley does not negotiate financial aid awards in response to offers from other schools. However, we will consider a change to the family contribution. If your circumstances have changed since you completed the FAFSA or the Dream Act application, let us know about any changes by submitting a Parent Contribution Appeal form. Visit Appeals and Special Circumstances for more information. Middle-Class Contribution – If your total income is in the mid-range with typical assets and you are concerned that you will not qualify for any assistance, complete a financial aid application anyway. California residents may qualify for the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS). See "California Residents" below. Students Who Are Not Residents of California Students who are not residents of California may face challenges in finding enough financial resources to attend UC Berkeley. To find out about the residency rules, visit the Registrar's residency web page. Be sure to develop a financial plan to meet your student's educational expenses until the time your student graduates from UC Berkeley. Financial tools, such as private loans, outside scholarships, and college savings plans can help.
- Applying for Financial AidIf your student is a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, they apply for financial aid every year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is March 2 every year, but if you miss the deadline, complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. You can help your student keep track of this filing deadline by marking your calendar each year and working with them to start this process during the mid-year school break. Visit our Apply for Aid page for more information. California Residents Visit the California Student Aid Commission website for information on applying for Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship funds. If your student attended high school in California and is not eligible to submit a FAFSA, they may be eligible for California Dream Act aid. See Undocumented and Dreamer Student information on the California Student Aid Commission website for details and to access the California Dream Act Application. Also visit our Berkeley Undergraduate Dream Act Aid page for more information about California Dream Act Aid at Berkeley. The deadline to apply for Cal Grant or California Dream Act funds is March 2 each year.
- Gaining Financial LiteracyThere are many tools to help students and families estimate costs, budget, keep track of aid and bills due, and maximize their funds. Below are some links to help you get started: