Financial Aid for Undocumented J.D. Students


Financial Aid for J.D. Undocumented Students

At Berkeley Law, we are proud to welcome and support undocumented students. We understand undocumented students may only qualify for state aid. Currently the state aid for undocumented students through Berkeley is restricted to undergraduates only. Financial aid at Berkeley Law is mainly comprised of federal aid and institutional aid. Although undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid, they may be eligible for institutional aid under certain criteria. We are dedicated to providing you the resources and options available to pursue your education in law. Please see more information below:


 Which sources of financial aid am I eligible for?

A good starting point is to review the Eligibility Chart for Grad Students showing types of financial aid eligibility by documentation and residency status.


Where can I find scholarships?

UC Berkeley maintains a scholarships database. You may be able to find scholarships for which you qualify using the provided filtering options.


Can I make installment payments on my tuition?

Yes. Please see more information on our Fee Payment Plan webpage.


Can I qualify for in-state tuition?

Yes under certain conditions, please see chart below.


Can I apply for gift aid?

To apply for gift aid (merit and need-based) you must be an eligible non-citizen (ex. permanent resident, etc.) or be eligible for AB540.


Can I apply for private scholarships?

Yes. Many organizations may not have particular citizenship requirements. Please see our list of outside agency scholarships as well as the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship.


Can I apply for federal student loans?

Unfortunately, students who are not U.S. Citizens or eligible non-citizens, are not eligible for any federal aid such as federal educational loans.


Can I apply for private student loans?

Private student loans may be the next best option if you are not eligible for federal student loans. Most private lenders will require the applicant to be a u.s. citizen/eligible non-citizen to be considered, however, many lenders now offer loans to students with DACA so long as they have an eligible U.S. based cosigner. Inquire with lenders directly. There are other lenders such as MPOWER Financing & Prodigy Finance who do not require citizenship or a U.S. based co-signer and maintain their own means of determining credit-worthiness. Students are encouraged to carefully explore all private loan options available to them by searching online. Private lenders will have varying qualifications, loan terms and loan maximums.


Can I apply for Federal Work Study?

To apply for federal work-study, you must be an eligible non-citizen (ex. permanent resident, etc.)


Additional Resources:

Undocumented Student Program University of California *Please note, most of this information may pertain to undergraduates unless otherwise stated. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Immigration Policy Updates & FAQ

Scholarship Connection

Other Financial Aid Resources





Undocumented Student Eligibility Chart


(click on image to view)



¹Students who, for various reasons, are classified as nonresidents of California, as well as undocumented students, may be eligible for AB540 status. 
²Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provides certain undocumented young people with work authorization for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
³Domestic: Citizen, Permanent Resident or an individual not in possession of nonimmigrant visa.
⁴California Dream Act provides provisions that allow students who meet AB540 criteria to be eligible for UC and California aid programs.
⁵Independent DACA students who cannot qualify for AB540 status should be encouraged to seek state residency, since as state residents they will no longer be subject to paying Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition. DACA students who qualify for AB540 status should not seek to be classified as state residents, as they will lose their eligibility for institutional grants and fellowships by doing so because state residents cannot qualify for AB540 status.