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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):
From October through December, UDAR contacts scholarship recipients through email to fill out a short online scholarship profile. Each scholarship recipient writes a 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. Student profile and experiences matter to donors, and they appreciate seeing that their money is being well spent in support of students’ education.

7. UDAR invites students to record a video update (late spring):
UDAR reaches out using a video email platform, ThankView, to invite students to record a quick video update for their donors. UDAR provides a toolkit and the opportunity to record videos at scheduled recording sessions. This short video is an opportunity for students to share their passions and student experience with donors and Berkeley alumni, and can lead to lifelong connections. 

8. UDAR sends ThankView videos to donors (early summer):
In May, UDAR edits the videos to improve the overall video quality and sends them to donors via email. Any donor responses to videos are routed to scholars by UDAR so that they may continue the conversation.

UC Berkeley thanks its scholars for the important role they play in thanking donors and congratulates them on their achievements.

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