Ranked the number one public university and number three global university, it’s not hard to see why UC Berkeley is highly competitive for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
Whether you’re already accepted, just applying, or halfway through your program, it’s important to understand how to pay for your degree from Berkeley. California residents are lucky to have access to reduced tuition costs, but regardless of where you hail from, be sure to fully account for the costs and financing options available at Berkeley.
How much does it cost to attend Berkeley?
Given that UC Berkeley is a state school, there are stark differences in tuition costs between California residents and nonresidents, particularly for undergraduates. Undergraduate in-state tuition in 2015-2016 was
Undergraduate in-state tuition in 2015-2016 was $13,432, as opposed to $38,140 for out-of-state students. With all expenses included, that amounts to $32,646 and $57,354 for resident and nonresident students, respectively. If you’re an out-of-state student, make sure going to Berkeley is really worth it and look into state schools in your home state if you’re looking to reduce costs.
These differences aren’t as significant for graduate students. In-state Haas MBA students paid $40,476 in tuition for the 2015-2016 school year, while nonresidents paid $42,537. This put total estimated costs for the year in the low $80,000’s for both populations. For this same year, Berkeley law students paid $48,654.50 for in-state tuition and $52,575.50 for out-of-state. Similarly, total costs for both were estimated to be around $80,000.
Berkeley does not have a medical school but offers a number of graduate degrees across a wide range of subjects. Check with your program to see what costs will be once you start at Berkeley.
What kind of financial aid does Berkeley offer?
Berkeley has many programs to help undergraduates afford their education. The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, available to residents of California whose family income is less than $80,000 per year, covers tuition and fees. The Middle Class Action Plan, available to students with a family income between $80,000 and $150,000, caps parent contribution towards their child’s education at 15 percent of income and both resident and nonresident students are eligible (although these funds may not be used to pay for nonresident fees or tuition). The Parent Grant is intended to help undergraduate student parents finance their education; UC Berkeley Grants are need-based and awarded to California residents based on their financial aid application.
Berkeley also offers a number of undergraduate scholarships. The Berkeley Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to more than 2,500 California resident students per year based on merit. The Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship and includes not only financial assistance, but also faculty mentorship, priority enrollment in classes, and other benefits. Students who attended a partner high school in the San Francisco Bay Area will be considered for a
Students who attended a partner high school in the San Francisco Bay Area will be considered for a Cal Opportunity Scholarship. Beyond scholarships, look into state and federal grants, work-study, federal and private student loans, and prizes and honors for Berkeley students.
Haas students have dozens of scholarships available to them but many require unique essay prompts to apply. The business school awarded approximately $5.8 million to students in 2014-2015, so it’s definitely worth looking into and applying for relevant scholarships. You can apply for various awards as both an entering and continuing student, so don’t lose hope if you don’t get an award right away.
Law students likewise aren’t at a loss for options. The Berkeley Law Opportunity Scholarship provides assistance to some students who are the first in their family to pursue a professional degree. UC Scholarships are generally awarded based on financial need; Entering Student Scholarships are awarded based on merit, and the type of awards vary by year.
What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at Berkeley?
If you’re planning to bring a car to Berkeley, keep in mind that parking could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars over the course of your time there, and that’s not mentioning car payments, insurance, maintenance, and (here’s hoping you avoid this one!) tickets.
If you go without a car, biking is a popular option to get around campus, and the Bear Transit system also serves the campus and surrounding areas. Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, is also available for longer trips to San Francisco or other areas in the East Bay.
Greek life is popular and highly rated at Berkeley, so if you see yourself at a fraternity or sorority, be sure to budget for the associated costs. Also remember that you’ll be close to San Francisco, which offers countless dining, shopping, and nightlife options, so it’s worth budgeting for this sort of discretionary expenses.