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Financial FAQ

Fees, Fellowships and Financial Aid: Frequently Asked Questions

Budget and Cost of Attendance

How much does it cost to attend Berkeley for graduate study?

For the most current fee information please see the Registrar's Fee Schedule

Social Welfare MSW students are assessed Graduate Professional Fees. Social Welfare PhD students are assessed Graduate Academic Fees.

Do I have to pay required health insurance fees if I already have medical coverage?

No. You have the option to waive the University's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and not pay the insurance fee if you can show comparable proof of insurance. To see if you might be eligible to apply for a SHIP waiver, please see Waiving SHIP.



Can I work while going to graduate school?

Berkeley Social Welfare's graduate programs are intensive, full-time programs involving a full academic course load and, for MSW students, 2-3 days a week in field placement. We recommend students work as little as possible. For those student who do need to seek employment, we recommend no more than 10 hours per week. It is generally not possible to complete the degree while maintaining full-time employment. Work-study placements both on- and off-campus are an option for students receiving financial aid who are seeking employment.

Can I do my MSW field placements in the agency where I am employed?

Field education is designed to offer you new learning opportunities in new practice settings. Some agencies may be large enough to provide such opportunities for current employees; however, in order for a placement in your current place of employment to be approved it must be a new task assignment for you, with an approved field instructor who is not your current supervisor. Your agency must agree to keep your field experience distinct from your regular/previous assignments, and not to change your field tasks without advance approval.

We allow students to do only ONE of their two years of placement in their place of employment. If you are interested in proposing a placement in your place of employment, you should discuss the possibility with your field consultant as early as you can.


Fee Billing and Payment

How much do I owe? How do I make a payment?

Your tuition and fees are billed through CalCentral, and billing statements are produced monthly online. For the most current information about your student account including charges, adjustments, aid disbursements and payments, log in to your CalCentral student account and click on the My Finances tab. You can also make a payment through CalCentral by e-check or credit card. For more information about payment options, please visit Student Billing Services.

Do I have to pay my full balance due all at once?

No. You can sign up for the Fee Payment Plan to pay your fall and spring semester tuition and fees in five monthly installments. You enroll in the Fee Payment Plan through the link on the My Finances tab in your CalCentral account.

How do I sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer?

You can activate Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT; also known as "direct deposit") directly through your CalCentral student account. Look for the "Electronic Funds Transfer/EFT" link under the "Financial Resources" card in your My Finances tab.


Fellowship and Stipend Awards

How do I apply for a departmental fellowship or stipend training award?

Continuing students:
Annual applications for departmental fellowships are distributed to all continuing students when they become available, usually in the spring semester of each year, for awards given in the following academic year.

All applicants to graduate study at Berkeley Social Welfare are automatically considered for all available awards during the admissions review process. Fellowship offers are generally made to successful applicants at the time of admission notification; an additional fellowship application is not required for newly admitted incoming students. To ensure consideration for all possible awards, all applicants to graduate study should complete the "Economic Background" section of the online Graduate and Professional Application for Admission.

I'm expecting a fellowship or stipend award. When and how will I know that it's been disbursed?

When your fellowship or stipend award has been posted, you can view it in your CalCentral student account in the My Finances tab. Be sure you have selected the current Aid Year in the drop-down menu on your Financial Aid and Scholarships card.

When your award is disbursed to you, that will show in your My Finances Awards card for the current year. Be sure you are signed up for Electronic Funds Transfer/EFT to receive your funds quickly once disbursed. You may activate EFT using the link on the Financial Resources card (far-right column).

In order for the award to be disbursed, you must be officially registered for the current semester. To be considered a registered student, you must 1) be enrolled in units for Fall 2017; and 2) you must pay at least 20% of your due tuition and fees. You are responsible for paying your tuition and fees in order to become fully registered. You may sign up for the Tuition and Fees Payment Plan using the “Activate Plan” link on the Financial Resources card in your My Finances tab on CalCentral.

I am receiving a fellowship/scholarship from an outside agency. How does it get posted to my student account?

External fellowship checks should be made payable to “UC Regents” and mailed to the Financial Aid Office at the following address:

UC Berkeley
Financial Aid & Scholarships Office
18 Sproul Hall #1960
Berkeley, CA 94720-1960

Be sure to give your donor your student identification number (SID) and ask them to include it with your award. It's also helpful if the donor includes a letter explaining the award terms when they send the award check to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office.


Admissions | Financing Your Graduate Education | Student Funding