Entering Student Registration & Financial Aid Info

The information on this page applies to the 2014-2015 academic year and is intended for entering 1st Year and Transfer JD students. It is crucial that you have read and understand at least the starred (*) items in order for your registration to go smoothly.



Bear Facts and MyFinAid

The BearFacts system is designed to provide you with information regarding your residency status, registration, grades, your Campus Accounts Receivables System (CARS) billing account, payment, refund, EFT status, class schedule, and to allow you to update your contact information. BearFacts also serves as a portal to the online financial aid system, MyFinAid. The Admissions Office provides you with information on how to create a CalNet ID and Passphrase which you will use to log into BearFacts and MyFinAid as well as most campus online systems.

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Becoming a Registered Student

In order to become a registered student, you must pay at least 20% of your fall semester fees by the August 15th deadline. If you are using financial aid to pay your fees, you must have:

In order to be a registered student as of the first day of classes, you will need to pay 20% of fees by August 15.

If you do not pay your fees and become a registered student by August 15, you will still be able to enroll in classes. However, you will be charged a late registration fee if you miss the August 15 and September 15 fee payment deadlines. You will also be charged a late CARS fee at that time unless you have enrolled in the Deferred Payment Plan.

It is important that you be registered as soon as possible in August so as to avoid late penalties and registration blocks.


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Using Financial Aid to Pay Fees

The following activities and deadlines must be met in order for your student loans and/or other financial aid to pay in time for the first fee payment deadline of August 15:

  • Accept any loans you wish to borrow through your online Offer Letter in MyFinAid by August 1. Please note that you cannot accept fellowships, scholarships, grants, or private educational loans as only the Financial Aid office can accept them.
  • Direct Loan (including Grad PLUS) borrowers should complete their Master Promissory Notes and Entrance Loan Counseling on-line at https://studentloans.gov by August 1+.
  • If your financial aid award includes a Perkins Loan, the instructions for completing the Promissory Note and Entrance Loan Counseling will be e-mailed to you by the campus after you accept a portion of the loan.

If you have met all of the financial aid requirements, the fall portion of your financial aid awards, including any Grad PLUS or private educational loans, will be applied to your CARS billing account. Once your fees and other outstanding charges are paid, the balance of any remaining fall semester funds will be disbursed directly to you. The earliest that the refunds can be available is the week before the first day of instruction.

Self-paying students should pay at least 20% of their fall semester fees by August 15.  To make payments electronically, you will use the e-Bill section of BearFacts. Credit cards are not accepted. Visit UC Berkeley’s Billing & Payment Services website for more information. You have the option of enrolling in the Deferred Payment Plan at the time you make your first payment. Under the Deferred Payment Plan, you are billed 20% of your fees for each of the five months in the fall semester. There is a $40 charge per semester to use the Deferred Payment Plan. 

A step-by-step guide to paying your bill using the BearFacts “e-Bill” system is located at http://studentbilling.berkeley.edu.

Until you or your financial aid pays at least 20% of your fall semester fees, you will not be a registered student nor will you receive a confirmed class schedule. If this becomes the case, you should contact Berkeley Law's Financial Aid office immediately to determine the best course of action.

Note to Special Status students: If you intend to use financial aid, it must be administered by your home law school. Please request that your home law school financial aid office contact the Berkeley Law Financial Aid office to make arrangements.

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Fee & Tuition Information

Berkeley Law's Fees and Cost of Attendance are located at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/6943.htm
UC Berkeley campus fee information is located at http://registrar.berkeley.edu/Registration/feesched.html

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Receiving a Financial Aid Refund

If your fall semester financial aid, including loans, is greater than your fees and any other outstanding charges in your CARS account, you will receive a financial aid refund. Use BearFacts to check your Refund Summary through the CARS tab. Financial aid refunds are scheduled to be deposited in bank accounts at the end of the first week of classes.

The campus requires students to authorize EFT so their refunds can be deposited directly into their bank accounts. If you have not already done so, you should submit your EFT authorization immediately. It takes up to seven business days to process. If you do not authorize direct deposit via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), you will need to pick up your refund check at the Cal Student Central in 120 Sproul Hall. Pick-up hours and contact information are available at http://studentbilling.berkeley.edu/carsRefunds.htm.

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Residence Status

Until the Residency Office determines that you are a California resident for tuition purposes, the University will charge and expect you to pay non-resident tuition.  You should submit your Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) online based on the instructions given to you by the Admissions Office. You may check your residency status through the Registration/Personal Profile section of BearFacts.  If you have questions about your residency status, only the campus Office of the Registrar is authorized to answer them.  The office is located in 120 Sproul Hall and their office hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00am - 4:00pm.  You may also reach them by phone at (510) 664-9181. 

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Private Educational Loans

If you are a private educational loan borrower, your loan funds will be applied to your CARS account.  The lender will send two electronic payments during the academic year -- one for the fall and one for the spring semester.  As with our other educational loans, once your CARS account is paid in full, the remaining funds will be given to you as a refund.  We estimate that you will need to complete the private educational loan process by July 15 to receive these funds as part of your financial aid refund in late August.

If you are applying for a private educational loan, you must let us know by July 15 so that we may begin processing your application in time.

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Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Waivers

You may request a SHIP waiver if you have other comparable coverage. The deadline to submit the waiver is July 15 preceding each academic year.  For entering students, the late fee of $50 is not assessed until August 31.  SHIP waivers must be requested each year.  Go to http://uhs.berkeley.edu or call 642-5700 for more information.

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Budget Appeals

As an entering student, you may want to have your student budget increased to maximize your federal Stafford loans or increase your federal Direct Graduate PLUS or private educational loan eligibility.  The most common budget items for which entering students request an increase are relocation expenses ($3,000 maximum) and the purchase of a computer ($3,000 maximum).  You may contact Berkeley Law's Financial Aid Office for the budget appeal form after instruction begins.  You should submit the completed form along with photocopies of supporting documents to the same office.  If your budget appeal is for additional private loan eligibility, you should not apply for the additional loan funds until we notify you about the approval of your budget appeal.  At the beginning of the fall semester, it may take a few weeks to process a budget appeal.

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Students Chosen For FAFSA Verification

UC Berkeley's campus Financial Aid office chooses some students for verification of FAFSA information. These students will receive a letter notifying them that they have been selected for the verification process. If you are selected for verification, complete and return the form along with a signed copy of your previous year's federal tax return and W-2(s). The verification process can take up to several weeks. You will not receive a financial aid offer until the process is completed. If you submit your documents to Berkeley Law's Financial Aid Office, we will request that your verification process be expedited as much as possible.

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Student Loan Deferments

If you are not in repayment on previous student loans, with few exceptions, your lender should receive your fall semester enrollment information in a timely manner through UC Berkeley's use of the National Student Loan Clearinghouse.  This is done automatically for entering students. If you are in repayment and need to send a deferment form to your lender as soon as possible, you should obtain the form from your loan servicer and take it to Cal Student Central, 120 Sproul Hall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  They can complete the form so that you may mail to the servicer.

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Financial Literacy Education

In order to help you learn how to manage your finances while attending Berkeley Law and afterward, we suggest the following website with helpful tool:

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Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)

Under the LRAP, Berkeley Law provides public service-oriented graduates with assistance for law school loan payments made for up to 10 years for student loans borrowed while attending the law school. Visit Berkeley Law's LRAP page for information regarding policies, eligibility, calculators, loan repayment, and more. If you intend to pursue a career in public interest after graduation, we encourage you to meet with our Assistant Director for LRAP, Leah Sime, early in the fall semester of your first year at Berkeley Law. E-mail lrap@law.berkeley.edu to make an appointment.

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Staying Informed

Please remember to check the blog regularly (or subscribe to receive email updates) or follow us on twitter for up-to-date information.  The blog is our primary means of keeping you informed about scholarship opportunities, information sessions, deadlines, and important financial aid issues. We also regularly update the information in the Financial Aid section of Berkeley Law's website. We will occasionally e-mail you for important announcements and events.

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Office Hours and Contact Information

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Jamal Collins, Jong Cho, Leah Sime (for LRAP) or Dennis Tominaga at financial-aid@law.berkeley.edu or (510) 642-1563. Our office location is 396 Simon Hall, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-7220.  If you wish to visit us, please make an appointment.

During the first two weeks of the semester, we hold extended office hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm. Afterward, we are open from Monday-Thursday, 9:00am-12:00pm & 1:00pm-4:00pm.  Please note that we are closed on Fridays after the initial two-week period.

Before meeting with us, we ask that you familiarize yourself with the information on the Admitted Student and Financial Aid websites. In order to get more out of your advising session, we also recommend that you check your BearFacts/MyFinAid account beforehand to get an idea of your current financial aid status.

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