Shih Loan Program

Long-term loans that are interest-free while students are in school.

About the Shih Loan 

  • The Shih Loan provides funding to students attending the University of California at Berkeley and is made possible by the generous donation of Mrs. Constance and Mr. Jeff Shih.  
  • Students may borrow one semester of non-resident tuition and fees per academic year. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and must be submitted in-person to Berkeley International Office.  
  • The Shih Loan is interest-free while the borrower is continuing education as a registered student. Repayment begins six months after completing studies at UC Berkeley.  
  • The Shih Loan is a revolving fund; repayment of the loan allows Shih Loans to be granted to future students.  


A Shih Loan borrower...

  • must meet with a BIO adviser to discuss interest in the Shih Loan and to obtain an application.
  • must have a Social Security Number (SSN). 
  • must be a full-time student at UC Berkeley or on Filing Fee for the semester in which he or she is requesting aid.
  • must have completed two semesters in current visa status and current program and degree level at UC Berkeley prior to the semester in which he or she is requesting aid, or must have experienced a sudden change in financial situation.  (Summer does not count toward the two-semester requirement.)
  • may not have blocks against registration or must use the Shih Loan to resolve financial blocks. All other blocks must be resolved with Cal Student Central before loan can be applied.
  • may be subject to a co-signer. The co-signer must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident living in the U.S. and employed in a full-time position for at least the past year. The co-signer may not be anyone associated with the university (i.e. faculty, staff, or fellow students)

Priority is given to students from China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, and Singapore, but any qualified student who demonstrates need can be considered.

How to Apply

Students must meet with a BIO adviser to discuss their interest in the Shih Loan and to obtain an application. See our Contact page for drop-in advising hours. 

Loan Details

  • Students may borrow up to one semester of non-resident tuition & fees per academic year.  Loans may be applied to living expenses if there is no tuition balance.  The total amount of debt may not exceed the equivalent of one year’s tuition and fees.
  • No interest is charged on the loan while the borrower remains a full-time student pursuing a degree at UC Berkeley.  During the final semester, the student will be contacted for an online exit interview regarding loan repayment.
  • The interest rate on the Shih Loan is fixed at 5%.  Interest does not accrue until the loan goes into repayment.
  • Repayment of the loan starts no later than six months following a student's last registered semester at UC Berkeley.  The maximum repayment period is five years.  There is no penalty for early repayment, or for payments larger than the required minimum