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Financial Information
 
Quick Reference: Student Life

Billing

Charges for student expenses are billed through the Campus Accounts Receivables System (CARS), administered by Billing and Payment Services. The CARS bill includes charges for registration/tuition fees, university housing and dining, campus health services, student registration for CalSO, and other campus expenses, from emergency loans to recreation fees. Financial aid is also credited on the bill for students receiving it.

Billing statements are produced each month for accounts with outstanding balances and those with activity during the billing cycle. Bills are presented online by the end of the month. Students receive a courtesy e-mail when a new billing statement is generated. However, students are responsible for keeping their billing accounts current, whether or not they receive the e-mail notifications.

To begin using the online system, students log on to Bear Facts (bearfacts.berkeley.edu). There they select “Bear Facts for Students/Student Resources,” then “Students.” From there, students are asked to enter their CalNet IDs and passphrases; they then select "CARS" and "e-Bill." (From their e-Bill profile, students may authorize a third-party — a parent, for example — to see their statements by "inviting an other payer.") Online e-Check payments, deducted from a bank account, can be submitted from the site; credit cards are not accepted.

If your student signs you up to access CARS bills online, you will receive an e-mail invitation to sign up. Follow the same prompts as above, but instead of selecting "Students," select "e-Bill/e-Check Access for Parents and Others (Non-Students)." From that web page you can create your own login rofile to see CARS e-Bill statements or to submit online payments.

The online CARS e-Bill display is refreshed once each month. Payments and updated account balances will be reflected on the next monthly statement.

For more information about CARS and e-Bill/e-Check, including online presentations about the billing process and how to activate e-Bill go to studentbilling.berkeley.edu/index.htm.

Financial Aid

Students each have different financial circumstances and resources for attending college. Some must secure financial aid to meet their financial obligations. The many kinds of aid for which Berkeley students may apply are listed on the financial aid website. These funds include grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans.

A student's financial need is the difference between the cost of attending school for the academic year and the Expected Family Contribution that is calculated based on income, assets, and information that families provide about other circumstances on the Fre Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To receive most kinds of financial aid a student must have financial need; exceptions are fellowships, honorary scholarships, teaching and research appointments, prizes, and unsubsidized loans.

Scholarship Connection is Berkeley's clearinghouse for information on scholarships funded by sources outside the university. Enrolled Berkeley students can search for awards in the Scholarship Connection online database.

Prizes are awarded on the bases of competition or a student's outstanding ability in some area of creative or scholarly endeavor.

Electronic Funds Transfers

Payments from the university to students (i.e., financial aid disbursements, CARS account refunds, etc.) are issued via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or paper check. Students are strongly encouraged to pre-authorize EFT at eftstudent.berkeley.edu. For more information, see studentbilling.berkeley.edu/carsRefunds.htm.

Emergency Loans & Assistance

Interest-free emergency loans are available to all registered students who qualify through the Emergency Loans Office. The maximum loan amount is $775, due and payable approximately 60 days after the start of the loan period. A $20 administrative fee is charged each time a student applies for an emergency loan. The terms and procedures for these loans are subject to change; for details call 510/642.0470 or go to students.berkeley.edu/finaid/undergraduates/eloans.htm.

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO) understands that many families may be struggling financially to meet the costs of a Berkeley education. The office will work with families who have experienced a significant change in income or resources to help them address their concerns.

The financial aid offer for the 2011-12 academic year is based on 2010 income and asset information that students provided on the FAFSA. If a family's current income is substantially less than what was reported on the FAFSA, parents should consider completing a parent contribution appeal. FASO will review the appeal and make adjustments as appropriate to the family's current financial situation. The following circumstances can be considered in an appeal:

  • Loss of employment
  • Reduction in earnings
  • Medical costs not covered by insurance
  • Death of parent
  • Legal separation or divorce

For detailed information, download the Parent Contribution Appeal Form at students.berkeley.edu/finaid/undergraduates/forms.htm. If you have questions about this process, contact FASO.

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