Undergraduate Financial Aid

Undergraduate Financial Aid

BIO need-based financial aid is intended only for international students who have the most financial need and 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 your 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.

In addition: 

Undergraduate students are limited to two semesters of Tuition and Fees Grants, but they may still complete the application every fall in order to be considered for the Need and Merit-based Scholarship.  

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

Types of Awards

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees Grant (Fall & Spring)

Students can apply for this need-based grant once per semester. It is paid directly toward the tuition and fees balance in the semester that you apply. Grants do not need to be repaid. Undergraduate students may only receive this grant twice.  

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 toward other fees such as UHS service fees, 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.

Need & Merit-Based Scholarships (Fall only)

This scholarship takes into account both financial need and academic achievement. It is awarded in the fall only but is disbursed in two portions: once in fall and once in spring. Scholarships do not need to be repaid. There is no limit to the number of times a student may receive this scholarship. In the fall, when you fill out an Undergraduate Tuition and Fees Grant application, you will automatically be considered for this scholarship as well.  

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 for Undergraduate Awards

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