Financial Aid Checklist for LL.M./J.S.D. Students

This information applies to entering LL.M. and J.S.D. students only. Entering J.D. students should refer to the Financial Aid Checklist for Entering Students.

Upon Applying

  • Read about costs and financial aid options available to LL.M and J.S.D students
  • If in need of educational loans, research options including federal student loans and private educational loans
    • Federal student loans are loans made by the U.S. federal government. To apply, you must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen of the United States and complete a FAFSA. See eligibility criteria for more information. Become familiar with the terms and repayment options for federal student loans. All U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens who apply are typically offered loans up to the Cost of Attendance. Half-time enrollment is required.
    • Private educational loans (also known as alternative loans) are loans made by a private bank or lending agency for educational purposes. International students may qualify if the loan is co-signed by a creditworthy US citizen or permanent resident. The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) maintains a Preferred Lender List. Click on the link, choose UC Berkeley and then search “International” on the left-hand Program Type menu. This should populate a list of lenders that will loan to international students. In many cases a US co-signer and SSN will be required.
    • Other lenders such as Prodigy Finance and MPOWER Financing offer loans to international students without the need for a co-signer. These lenders will have varying qualifications, loan terms and loan maximums. Students are encouraged to carefully explore all loan options available to them.

The Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office does not receive, and will not accept, inducements from lenders in exchange for inclusion on the International Loans information page, nor does the Berkeley School of Law share in the profits from student loans.

 

After Being Admitted

  • Federal student loan borrowers:
    • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
      • Be certain to list “UC Berkeley” and include our school code: #001312
      • Professional LL.M. students: Submit two FAFSA applications; one for each aid year the PLLM program spans. For example, if attending for summer 2016 and summer 2017, submit both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 FAFSA upon admission.
      • Traditional LL.M. and J.S.D. students: Submit one FAFSA application for the academic year. For example, if you will attending for fall 2016 and spring 2017, submit the 2016-17 FAFSA.
    • Notify the Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office after you have completed the FAFSA by emailing financial-aid-law@berkeley.edu.
  • Private educational loan borrowers:
    • Notify the Berkeley Law financial aid office that you have applied, or will be applying, for a private loan by emailing financial-aid-law@berkeley.edu.
    • Most lenders require the school to certify the loan prior to sending funds to the school, so please allow 5-8 weeks for processing.
    • Private loans cannot be certified for an amount greater than the estimated Cost of Attendance for the term minus other gift aid/scholarships.

 

Prior to Attending

  • Federal student loan borrowers:
    • Check your CalCentral account 1-2 weeks after submitting the FAFSA
      • You may be asked to provide proof of eligibility for federal student aid, including but not limited to, proof of US citizenship or permanent residency.
      • Submit requested information as soon as possible and allow 2-3 weeks for processing.
    • Accept any loans you wish to borrow 
      • On CalCentral, you will be able to indicate how much you want to accept. Be sure to consider the origination fees (processing fee) for federal loans in your calculations. For example, if you want $10,000 applied to your balance, you will want to accept over $10,000 because the origination fee is deducted from the loan before it’s applied to your account. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
      • You can accept less than the offered amount, which is your maximum current eligibility. If you accept less than the maximum amount offered to you, you have until the end of the term to accept an additional amount. For Traditional LL.M and J.S.D students, loans accepted are split evenly between fall and spring semester.
      • Not sure how much loans you need? Visit our FAQ page for guidance.
      • Federal student loans are paid out on a term basis directly to your fees bill, typically a week prior to the start of the term. If you do not have a remaining balance, you may be eligible for a refund (see below)
      • Processing of the Graduate PLUS Loan, including the credit check, typically occurs a few weeks prior to the start of the term. If not approved for the Graduate PLUS loan due to adverse credit history, you have the option of seeking an endorser.
      • Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note(s) if borrowing the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford or Graduate PLUS Loans
        • Must be completed online at studentloans.gov before the loans can disburse and pay towards your bill or be refunded to you.
        • Entrance counseling only needs to be completed once for both the Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS Loans. On the other hand, Master Promissory Notes must be completed for each loan type.
        • Allow 1-2 weeks for processing
  • Private educational loan borrowers:
    • Check your CalCentral account 1-2 weeks after your lender sends Berkeley the loan certification request
      • Certified loans should appear on CalCentral, under finances. Contact the Berkeley Law financial aid office if you have any concerns.
      • Allow 2-4 weeks for funds to reach the Berkeley financial aid office after the loan has been certified.
      • Loans are paid out on a term basis directly to your fees bill, typically a week prior to the start of the term. If you do not have a remaining balance, you may be eligible for a refund (see below)
  • Sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer to get your refund 
    • After financial aid applies to your tuition, fees, and university charges, if there are funds leftover, you may receive a refund to use for indirect expenses like books, rent, and travel.
    • The earliest financial aid refunds are available is the first week of classes of each semester.
    • Avoid waiting in long lines and delays in getting your refund at the beginning of the term.
  • Check your bill and refund status on CalCentral
    • Official billing statements will be available online through CalCentral, about a month before classes begin if you are enrolled at that time.
    • Make sure you’ve completed all of your tasks on CalCentral and don’t have any holds.
    • After you’re enrolled in classes, accepted financial aid for that term will disburse directly to your fees bill around the first week of classes.

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ page or Contact Us!