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Berkeley Scholarship Cycle Explained

The Berkeley Scholarship Cycle

Some students wonder why they are receiving a request to thank donors several months after receiving the scholarship notification. This page explains the scholarship cycle and the critical role you play in ensuring that UC Berkeley is able to continue to provide deserving students like you with financial support in the form of scholarships.

1. Donors create named scholarships (year-round):

Donors create scholarships for Berkeley students and specify a purpose for the scholarship, such as for a specific major. These donor-named scholarships are pooled together into general scholarship funds, such as the Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship, Fiat Lux, or the Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship.

2. Berkeley offers students financial aid packages (spring):

In the spring, Berkeley makes admissions decisions and offers students a financial aid package. These packages are based on what is available in the total scholarship funding pool. At this time, specific, donor-named scholarships are not yet matched to each student. Students receive their financial aid disbursement just before the fall semester begins.

3. FASO matches students with donor-created scholarships (early fall):

In the fall, once students are enrolled and registered for classes, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO) matches each student receiving a scholarship with specific donor-named scholarships. This match is done to ensure that donor funds are matched with students who meet the requirements of the scholarships.

4. Scholar information shared with UDAR (fall):

The office of University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) works with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO) once students are matched with named scholarships. UDAR is the central fundraising unit on campus, and the connection point between scholars and the UC Berkeley donor community. FASO shares scholarship recipient information with UDAR, and UDAR reaches out to scholars to request a scholarship profile.

5. Students create scholarship profiles (fall):

In October–December, the UC Berkeley department responsible for thanking donors, UDAR, contacts scholarship recipients through email to fill out a short online scholarship profile. Each scholarship recipient writes the scholarship profile, to express appreciation for the donors’ generosity and to help the donors feel connected to the students they are supporting.

6. UDAR sends profiles to donors (winter and spring):

UDAR lightly edits scholarship profiles for grammar, spelling, and sensitive information. UDAR sends donors the scholarship profile(s) of the student(s) they are supporting. Your profile and experiences matter to donors, and they appreciate seeing that their money is being well spent in support of your education.

UC Berkeley thanks you for your important role in thanking donors and congratulates you on your achievements. Thank you.

For more information, see also the Giving Thanks to Our Donors and Frequently Asked Questions.