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
  • Read about financial aid options available to LL.M and J.S.D students. 
  • Student loan borrowers, please see the information below:
    • Educational Loans: 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 citizens or eligible non-citizens of the United States.
      • Private educational loans, also known as alternative loans, are loans made by a private bank or lending agency for educational purposes. International students will need a US co-signer in most, but not all, cases.
  • Payment options for those who are not borrowing student loans:
    • Third Party Sponsorship – If you are being sponsored by a third party, please see more information here
    • Foreign Currency/Western Union Wire Transfer – See more information here on foreign payment and utilizing wire transfer through Western Union (a.k.a International Funds Transfer)
    • Other payment options – If you are not utilizing student loans, a third party sponsor, or foreign funds, you can pay your tuition directly in three ways: credit card, electronic check, or check. It is strongly encouraged to pay only the due amount, and not any amount over the due amount. Paying more than the due amount will cause over funding, and those funds will be subject to a 2-3 week hold before they can be returned to the student.


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
      • LL.M. professional track students: Submit two FAFSA applications; one for each aid year the professional track program spans. For example, if attending for summer 2020 and summer 2021, submit both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 FAFSA upon admission.
      • LL.M. traditional track, LL.M. thesis track, and J.S.D. students: Submit one FAFSA application for the academic year. For example, if you will attending fall 2020 and spring 2021, submit the 2020-21 FAFSA.
      • LL.M. hybrid track: Submit one FAFSA application. For example, if you will attending for spring 2020 and summer 2020, submit the 2019-20 FAFSA. *PLEASE NOTE: You must be enrolled at least half-time (defined by Berkeley as 6 credit units) to qualify for federal student loans. Therefore, please plan accordingly for the fall semester, as you will not qualify for federal student loans in this semester.
    • Notify the Berkeley Law Financial Aid Office after you have completed the FAFSA by emailing
  • 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
    • 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.
  • I94: For more information on your I94, please reach out to BIO (Berkeley International Office). Their contact information can be found here.
  • Work Opportunities: If you’re interested in working while in the U.S. during or after your program, please reach out to BIO and find more information here. Federal work-study is not available to International students, unless you are eligible to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – meaning you are a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.


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 LL.M traditional track 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). If you are in the hybrid track, the loans are paid out over the course of two terms only (spring and summer). Therefore, you will receive funds for the fall within your spring and summer disbursements, and it will be your responsibility to ensure a plan for the fall bill.
      • 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 will be notified via email and have the option of seeking an endorser/appealing.
      • Complete Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note(s) if borrowing the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford or Graduate PLUS Loans
        • Must be completed online at 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 After finishing your academic year, please complete the Exit Counseling at
        • . You will receive an email reminder for this. If you are a summer/PLLM student, you will need to complete this twice (after your first summer and after your second summer).
      • Loan repayment: See information on when repayment begins here for the Direct PLUS Loan and here for the Unsubsidized Loan. Generally, repayment begins six months after you leave school, withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment. *Hybrid LL.M students, keep in mind that your fall semester will fall below half-time enrollment, therefore, your six month grace period begins after the summer semester finishes. For the most up to date information, you can contact us or your your student loan lender (which you can find at 
  • 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)


All Students

  • 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.
    • If you do not sign up for Direct Deposit, you will be emailed by the billing department once your refund check is ready to pick up at 120 Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley.
    • Direct Deposit is recommended to avoid waiting in long lines and delays in getting your refund at the beginning of the term.
  • Refunds for international students
  • 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.
    • Detailed billing information can be found on CalCentral under the My Finances Tab. Click on “View Transactions” next to Billing Summary and change the filter to “Show All”. This is where you can view your charges and credits like grants, scholarships, loans, tuition waivers, veterans benefits payments, third party billing payments, etc.
    • Need help viewing your bill? See detailed instructions on our FAQ page.
    • 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!