Did you know that UC Berkeley students receive more than $10 million per year in outside scholarship aid?
Outside Scholarship Resources
The websites below may help you with your scholarship search.
Be wary of scholarship scams on the Internet. Beware of sites or services that charge a hefty fee to locate scholarships or that guarantee grants that seem too good to be true.
- BestColleges.com offers a college scholarship database that includes nearly 20,000 scholarships for a wide range of fields of study.
- The Cal Alumni Association offers scholarships for entering and continuing UC Berkeley undergraduate students. Alumni Scholarship applications are due by May 2 for incoming students and by June 1 for continuing students.
- The College Board Scholarship Search will help you find potential opportunities from their database of more than 2,300 sources of college funding.
- College Grant Resource Guide is a helpful directory of grants and scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students, including government grants, career-related grants, and grants targeted to specific student populations, such as disabled students and black women.
- College Scholarships.org lists a broad array of college funding opportunities. The organization also offers its own scholarships, including the $10,000 Blogging Scholarship, for students who maintain a weblog and attend college.
- FinAid has helpful information on how to look for scholarships, how to increase your chances for winning a scholarship, and how to avoid scholarship scams.
- Financial Aid Opportunities for Minority Students on the BestColleges.com website includes a directory of minority student scholarships and aid programs offered by public and private organizations.
- Finding and Applying for Scholarships is a section of the Federal Student Aid website and contains helpful links and information.
- The Gates Millennium Scholars Program promotes academic excellence and provides an opportunity for outstanding students with significant financial need to reach their full potential.
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund is a scholarship for students of Hispanic Heritage. If selected, scholars have access to a full range of support services, including career services, mentorship, leadership development, knowledge building, and wellness training.
- Scholarship Directory for Undocumented Students is a database of undergraduate scholarships that do not require proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency.
- Scholar Match is a website and service created by 826 National to connect college-bound students with donors.
- Scholarship Connection is a clearinghouse for information on externally funded scholarships for continuing Berkeley students only.
Please note that federal financial aid regulations require that the financial aid awards you receive cannot exceed your student budget. It is possible, therefore, that outside scholarships could reduce a component of your package of financial aid awards. We may need to reduce your financial aid awards by the amount of the outside resources received to ensure that your total awards do not exceed your student budget. In these cases, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office attempts first to reduce loan or work aid; fellowships, grants, or scholarships are only reduced as a last resort.
Managing Your Outside Scholarship Awards
Congratulations on winning an outside scholarship! Reference the following resources for guidance on how to report or submit outside scholarships and to find answers to frequently asked questions.
- Where to Mail Outside Scholarship Awards
If you have received a scholarship from an outside donor, please use the following address:
Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
16 Sproul Hall #1960
Berkeley, CA 94720-1960
- Please request that outside scholarship checks are made payable to UC Regents.
- Be sure to give your donor your student identification number (SID) and ask them to note it on the check.
- Donor needs to specify the academic year or semester the funds are intended. Funds are disbursed 1/2 fall and 1/2 spring unless a specific semester is noted.
- How to Report Outside Scholarship Awards
Outside scholarship awards are coordinated with your financial aid offer per federal law. You are responsible to report expected or received funds in the Award Details section of CalCentral.
- Where to Look for More Scholarship Resources
Scholarship Connection is Berkeley's clearinghouse for information on scholarships that are funded by sources outside the University. The Scholarship Connection website is maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Scholarships (OUR). They receive hundreds of scholarship notices each year. Competition for these awards may be local, national, or international in scope, and scholarship deadlines and requirements vary.
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need to report my scholarships from private donors?
Yes, all outside scholarships should be reported to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office on CalCentral including those that are paid to you directly.
2. How will I know my check has arrived?
Once the check is processed you will get an email explaining the conditions that need to be met for payment. You can track the status of the payment on CalCentral.
3. My donor said the check was sent but I haven't received funds. What do I do now?
If a check was mailed from the donor three weeks ago, we likely did not receive it until this week. Once received, processing times can vary from two business days to three weeks depending on the time of year. You should wait another week before checking on the progress of payment.
4. My donor said they sent a check to UC Berkeley. Do I need to come in and sign it?
Checks sent to the University are usually co-payable to the University and the student. In those cases, the student does not need to sign the check. If there is something that needs to be signed, our check processing team will contact you directly.
5. How will an outside award impact my financial aid package?
The total of your financial aid awards, including your outside awards, cannot exceed your Cost of Attendance. If you have a financial aid package and receive an outside award, your financial aid awards will be adjusted based upon the conditions of the award.
Generally, need-based loans and work-study awards are reduced first to "make room" for an outside award. To ensure an outside award helps you as much as possible, it is our policy to replace your need based loan and work-study awards first. If the amount of your outside awards exceeds the amount of need-based loans and work-study in your package, then other gift aid is reduced.
Outside awards are split evenly between semesters unless donor instructions state otherwise.
6. How do I make more room in my financial aid budget for my outside awards?
You can try to expand your Cost of Attendance by submitting a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form. Review the instruction page of the form for a list of allowable expenses.
7. Which donors provide outside scholarships to Berkeley students?
Our donor database contains thousands of donors and below is a small representation of the generous foundations and private entities which have provided scholarship funding to our talented students:
National Merit Scholarship Program