PDST-Increase Offset Awards (PIOAs)


“Tuition” at Berkeley Law is actually the combination of a number of campus and program fees, published annually. The Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST) represents the largest portion of total fees students pay to attend UC law schools. It is important to note that CA residents pay higher PDST than non-residents. However, non-residents also pay Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition (NRST), therefore non-resident total fees and cost of attendance are higher than that of residents.

While PDST rates for Berkeley Law have been approved by the University of California’s governing body, the UC Regents (“the Regents”) through 2023-24, other campus and system-wide fees, such as the Student Services Fee, Berkeley Campus Fee, Class Pass Transit fee, etc., are subject to change and could be affected by increases or reductions in state funding or other developments. 

In early 2020 the Regents approved a plan for annual increases in the PDST at four UC law schools (UC Berkeley, Davis, Irvine and Los Angeles). At Berkeley Law, between the academic years of 2019-20 and 2023-24, this will result in a PDST increase of just under $10k for California residents and about $18k for non-residents.

More specifically, a 7.5% PDST increase will go into effect fall 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year, 5% resident and 15% non-resident PDST increase will go into effect in fall 2021, and an additional 5% resident and 15% non-resident PDST increase will go into effect in fall 2022. 

The increases above are specific to Law J.D. PDST; any other Berkeley Law, campus, or systemwide tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. In general, it is advised to assume a 2-3% increase in other fees each year.


PDST-Increase Offset Awards (PIOAs)

To provide transparency and predictability for recently admitted and current students, Berkeley Law is making the commitment that the PDST that eligible students are responsible for in 2020-21 will remain constant for the duration or remainder of their J.D. studies, so long as they complete their J.D. within (5) years. So while PDST rates will increase, Berkeley Law will offset these increases with new or increased gift aid awards, referred to as PDST-increase offset awards (PIOAs).  In net effect, newly admitted students and rising 2Ls for 2020-21 will not be responsible for the increases to PDST that occur beyond those in the 2020-21 academic year. 

Berkeley Law’s goal is to be transparent about expected increases to J.D. PDST and to mitigate the impact of those increases as much as possible while ensuring the School’s continued excellence. 


  • A 5% resident and 15% non-resident PDST increase will go into effect in fall 2021. The first PIOAs will first be made in fall 2021, matching the 5%/15% PDST increases.
  • An additional 5% resident and 15% non-resident PDST increase will go into effect in fall 2022. Additional PIOAs will be made in fall 2022, matching that year’s 5%/15% PDST increases.

Visual examples for  the class of 2023 (entering fall 2020):

PIOA Flyer for Residents
PIOA Flyer for Non-Residents

  • Eligibility for PIOAs, and the amount of the awards, will be calculated based on the year that a student starts the J.D. degree at Berkeley Law. That means that if admission is deferred past fall 2020, an individual will pay the PDST for the year they actually begin the J.D., and will not be eligible for a PIOA in the first year of attendance. For the second and third years the appropriate PIOA will be applied.
  • If a student starts the J.D. and takes a leave of absence for any reason, the effective PDST will be that of the year the J.D. was started, not the year the individual returns/continues. The corresponding PIOA will be applied, so long as it is within the 5 year limit. In effect, if a student matriculates in fall 2020, then both the one-year and three-year total effective PDST will be less than if that student matriculates any subsequent year.
  • PIOAs are a form of financial aid, and in accordance with State law we can only provide financial aid to students who are able to verify either citizenship, permanent residency, or otherwise lawful presence in the United States, except under certain other exceptional circumstances. Students who may be impacted are encouraged to speak with an advisor about those exceptions.
  • Changes in residency will affect both the amount of PDST assessed, and therefore, the corresponding PIOA awarded. 
  • Eligible students must complete the J.D. degree within 5 years or risk losing eligibility for PIOA moving forward from that point.
  • The continuation of eligibility for PIOAs will be made for each new entering class. It is possible that PIOAs will not be available for future entering classes beyond 2020-21. Students requesting a deferment should take this into consideration.
  • No other department, school, or campus program is obligated to provide their own version of a PIOA, and their PDST (or other fees) could increase without notice.
  • There may be other case-by-case determinations about eligibility that need to be made based on unusual or unanticipated situations, and the law school will make those determinations as needed based on applicable policy and law.

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