Graduate Student Financial Aid

Graduate Student Financial Aid

BIO need-based financial aid is intended only for international students in the most financial need who have experienced a significant and unexpected change in their financial situation. Awards are not intended to provide ongoing support and will not cover full tuition and fees.

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The Basics

Application Period

Applications open for about a month at the beginning of each semester, and results are announced about eight weeks later. BIO sends an email to students to announce when an application opens.   

Awards are not guaranteed to each applicant, and they are not disbursed until mid-semester, so it’s important that you make alternative arrangements to stay current on your tuition and fees payments. We encourage you to enroll in the Fee Payment Plan or to apply for a short-term emergency loan if you need assistance in making your first payment for registration.  


In order to be eligible to apply for these awards, you must:

  1. Demonstrate financial need.
  2. Have completed two semesters in current visa status and current program at UC Berkeley prior to the semester in which you are requesting aid.* (Summer does not count toward the two-semester requirement.)
  3. Be a full-time, degree-seeking student at UC Berkeley.
  4. Have at least one child living with you in the US. (Parent Grant only)

Please note: Students on filing fee and those in self-supporting programs (e.g. MFE, LLM, Evening-Weekend MBA, Executive MBA, MRED+D, MAS, MIDS, MPA, M.Eng) are not eligible.

*Two-semester requirement does not apply for the Emergency Aid Fund.

Types of Awards

By submitting a single application, you will be able to apply for the following types of awards:

Graduate Tuition & Fee Grant (Fall & Spring)

Students can apply for this need-based grant once per semester. It is applied directly to the required tuition and fees balance in the semester that you apply. Grants do not need to be repaid. This grant may not be applied to Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition (PDST). Students on filing fee and those in self-supporting programs (e.g. MFE, LLM, Evening-Weekend MBA, Executive MBA, MRED+D, MPA), are not eligible. See this link for a full list of self-supporting programs.

This grant can only be used to pay eligible tuition and fees charges. These include the following: tuition; non-residential supplemental tuition; student service fee; Berkeley campus fee; Class Pass fee - transit; Health insurance fee. It cannot be applied towards other fees such as UHS service fees, UC Village rent, or late payment fees.  

To see if you have any eligible unpaid tuition and fees, please log into Cal Central.  Click My Finances > View Transactions > Unpaid Balance.  Filter by the current semester. Scroll through the list of unpaid items and refer to the list of tuition and fees charges above that a BIO tuition and fees grant can pay.  

International Grad Student Parent Grant (Fall & Spring)

Grad students who have a child living with them in the US can apply for this need-based grant. It is awarded to students based on their financial need and their changing financial situation. It can be applied directly to tuition and fees or disbursed to the student as a stipend. It does not need to be repaid. Only one parent per family may apply in a given semester. Students on filing fee or in absentia status, as well as those in in self-supporting programs (e.g. MFE, LLM, Evening-Weekend MBA, Executive MBA, MRED+D, MPA), are not eligible. See this link for a full list of self-supporting programs.

Emergency Aid Fund (Fall only)

The Emergency Aid Fund is intended for students experiencing financial difficulty in covering living expenses (food, housing, technology) due to one or more of the following extenuating and extreme circumstances:

  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Global political events (war, conflict)
  • Natural disaster
  • Other extenuating circumstances (This does not include standard pregnancy or birth.)

Apply Below!  

Links to the online applications will be available only during the application period.  

Apply for Graduate Awards

The application is currently closed. Spring 2023 application is expected to be available in mid-January.