Financial Aid Checklist for Incoming Transfer Students

This information applies to incoming Transfer J.D. students for the 2021-22 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


  • Submit the 2021-22 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.
    • Federal student loan offers will become available on your CalCentral portal in July, approximately 1-2 weeks after completing the FAFSA.
    • The FAFSA is not typically used to determine need-based Berkeley Law gift aid (grants, scholarships etc.)  Rather, you will be invited to complete a Supplemental Gift Aid (SGA) application by June 21, 2021, which is our application for, primarily, need-based financial aid from Berkeley Law.
  • Determine if you will be waiving SHIP and submit waiver by the deadline

    • This fee will otherwise be automatically assessed and be part of your semester fees bill
  • Apply for outside agency scholarships
  • Check tasks in CalCentral 
  • Complete your Statement of Legal Residence after being admitted.
    • Submit your Statemet 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.
  • 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, and use our Financial Aid Planning Calculator on our Fees and Cost of Attendance webpage.
    • 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 to seek an endorser or prove extenuating circumstances to the U.S. Department of Education.
    • 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 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
  • Sign up for Direct Deposit to get your refund as early as possible and avoid delays in getting your refund. Without Direct Deposit 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 the deadline. This fee will otherwise be automatically assessed and be part of your semester fees bill.
  • If a student parent, consider applying for the UC Parent Grant administered by the Berkeley Graduate Division.



  • Report private outside agency scholarships on CalCentral
    • 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.
    • Detailed billing information can be found on CalCentral under the My Finances Tab. Click on “Details” next to Billing Summary and change the filter to “All Transactions.” This is where you can view your charges and credits like grants, scholarships, loans, tuition waivers, veterans benefits payments, third party billing payments, etc. 
    • Remember, financial aid refunds are only available as early as the first week of instruction. Be sure to sign up for Direct Deposit to get your refund as early as possible. (CalCentral –> My Finances –> Direct Deposit)
    • After you’re enrolled in classes, accepted financial aid will disburse directly to your fees bill the the first week of classes, prior to your bill due date so long as no outstanding tasks/documents are incomplete.
    • Make sure your tuition and fees are paid by the fall semester deadline in mid-August
    • Official bill due dates are available on CalCentral (click “My Finances” after logging in), and they become available to view typically a few weeks prior to the start of each semester.
  • 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.