Financial Aid Checklist For Entering Students

This information applies to incoming 1L J.D. students for the 2017-18 academic year only

Continuing JD students should use the Continuing Student Checklist. LL.M and J.S.D students should refer to the Checklist for LL.M./J.S.D. Students 

 

Upon Applying for Admission

 

November – February

  • You are considered for merit-based scholarships along with your application for admission to Berkeley Law. Some merit scholarships also require financial need, so it’s important to submit the applications below early. Click here for more information.
  • Submit the 2017-18 FAFSA
    • Students who submit the FAFSA and are eligible for federal students loans are typically offered student loans up to the Cost of Attendance.
    • Be sure to include “UC Berkeley” school code #001312 on your application.
    • Student loan offers will become available on your CalCentral portal in March/April.
  • Submit the CSS/Financial Aid Profile application
    • In addition to the FAFSA, submit the CSS Profile to be considered for any need-based financial aid including the Berkeley Law Grant. This application can even be submitted prior to being admitted.
    • Assuming you’ve completed the FAFSA and CSS/Financial Aid Profile applications, your eligibility for need-based gift aid will be determined after you are recommended for admission to Berkeley Law. Funding is not unlimited so you are encouraged to apply early. You can expect to receive award notifications anywhere between mid-February and April.
    • Select “UC Berkeley School of Law” (CSS School Code Number: 4141) on the application to have your CSS Profile sent to Berkeley Law
    • Watch the interactive presentation on how to complete the CSS/Financial Aid Profile: http://css.collegeboard.org/ and register for an account. Registration must be completed accurately and in one sitting
    • Parental information and noncustodial parental information (if applicable) must be reported on the CSS Profile. Click here for information on exceptions.
    • If you do not have a U.S. SSN or are undocumented, please email us as soon as possible after submitting your CSS Profile application.
    • CSS Profile customer support (student or parent): Toll Free 844-202-0524. International customer service number: 212-299-0096
    • Cost to submit the PROFILE is $25 for the first school applied to and $16 for each school thereafter (fee waiver does not apply to graduate professional students.) Noncustodial PROFILE cost is flat fee of $25.
    • If eligible for need-based aid, be prepared to submit documentation to verify eligibility such as tax returns; you will be notified via email in this case.

 

April/May

  • Check your  financial aid offer, including federal student loan offers, through CalCentral
    • You may be notified of grants and scholarships offers separately before or after this date; if so you will receive notification via email.
    • If Berkeley has received your FAFSA you should be able to view this on CalCentral 1-2 weeks  after receiving a confirmation email from Federal Student Aid.
    • You must accept Terms and Conditions on CalCentral before being able to view the status of your FAFSA application and any tasks (to-do’s), in addition to being able to view your financial aid award.
  • Complete your Statement of Legal Residence after being admitted

    • Submit through CalCentral. This will show as a ‘task’ in CalCentral. It is important that this be done early as processing may take up to several weeks. You will be held responsible for paying non-resident fees until processing is complete.
  • Create a financial budget
    • Determine if you need to borrow loans to cover your educational expenses. Not sure how much you need? Visit our FAQ page.
      • If using financial aid to cover indirect expenses like books, rent, and travel, remember that the earliest financial aid refunds will be available is the first week of classes for the fall semester, and the first week of classes for the spring semester. We are not able to release financial aid refunds earlier than these time frames, so budget accordingly for your travel/book expenses prior to the term, as well as winter break expenses.

 

June/July

  • Accept any loans you wish to borrow on CalCentral
    • You will be able to indicate how much you want to accept. Note that federal student loans are divided evenly between the fall and spring semesters and paid out on a semester basis.
    • Be sure to consider the origination fees (processing fees) for federal loans in your calculations. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
    • Processing of the Graduate PLUS Loan, including the credit check, typically occurs in early August. If not approved for this loan due to adverse credit history, you will be notified and have the option of seeking an endorser.
    • We encourage you to accept the smallest amount of loans needed for the year. 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 additional amounts of the loan. Visit our FAQ page for more information on accepting loans.
    • 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 2-3 weeks for processing
  • Make sure you’ve created a financial budget (see above), and have accounted for winter break and summer expenses.
    • Financial aid is paid out on a term basis directly to your fees bill, typically a week prior to the start of the term. After financial aid applies to your tuition, fees, and university charges, if there are funds leftover, you may receive funds to use for indirect expenses like books, rent, and travel. This is called a refund.
    • The earliest financial aid refunds will be available is the first week of classes of each semester.

  • Notify the Law financial aid office if you will be using a private educational loan to cover your expenses. Most lenders require us certify your loan. Allow 4-6 weeks for processing.
  • Make sure to complete all financial aid tasks on CalCentral. Not sure where to find your task list? Visit our FAQ page.
  • Sign up for EFT (i.e. direct deposit) to get your refund as early as possible and avoid delays in getting your refund. Without EFT you may need to wait it long lines to pick up any refund checks.
  • Determine if you will be waiving SHIP and submit waiver by August 31st (August 31st deadline is for entering graduate students only). This fee will otherwise be automatically assessed and be part of your semester fees bill.
  • Apply for outside agency scholarships
  • If a student parent, consider applying for the UC Parent Grant administered by the Berkeley Graduate Division.

 

August

  • Report private outside agency scholarships on CalCentral (to become available in late summer 2016)
    • It’s important to do this early because your financial aid, typically the Graduate PLUS Loan, may be reduced to ensure that the amount of your financial aid resources doesn’t exceed your Cost of Attendance. More information about how and where to mail scholarship checks can be found here.
    • If unable to report private scholarships on CalCentral, email us to notify us of your award and to discuss impacts to your financial aid
  • Check your bill and refund status on CalCentral
    • Official billing statements will be available online through CalCentral at the beginning of August. Don’t worry when you don’t see financial aid on this bill. However, 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 will disburse directly to your fees bill in mid-August (official date TDB for fall 2017)
    • Make sure your tuition and fees are paid by the fall semester deadline in mid-August (official date TBD for fall 2017)
    • Remember, financial aid refunds are only available as early as the first week of instruction. Be sure to sign up for EFT to get your refund as early as possible.
  • If you have not completed your financial aid requirements or will be paying out of pocket, consider enrolling in the Tuition and Fee Payment Plan (FPP) to avoid late fees and impacts on enrollment.

     

    Questions? Visit our FAQ page or Contact Us!