6% of doctoral students and 50% of master’s (including professional students) take out student loans *

Graduate students apply for need-based loans and work-study through the Financial Aid Office. The programs are based on demonstrated financial need and require completion of a separate Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Student Loans & Other Federal Student Aid

To get started, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, available on the FAFSA website. The UC Berkeley FAFSA school code is 001312.

Things to Keep In Mind

  • Graduate and professional students are considered independent, so parent information should not be included on your FAFSA.
  • Optometry students should refer to the description of the Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL) for an exception to this.
  • Submit your FAFSA by the priority deadline to ensure timely processing and the best financial aid package.
  • File the FAFSA even if you are not sure you will need or want any aid from the FAO. You can decide later whether to accept aid for which you are eligible.
  • If you miss the priority deadline, submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. You will still be entitled to your full federal Direct Loan eligibility, but other campus-based funds (Work-Study, Perkins, and Parent Grant) may be depleted.
  • Only U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents may apply for funds administered by the Financial Aid Office.

In late April or May, the FAO will notify you about your award. The FAO will include information about the acceptance and disbursement of awards, how to make changes or appeals, and other options. In some cases, you may be asked to submit additional documents to verify information on your application.

Consult the Graduate Award Guide on the Financial Aid website for more information, or submit your inquiry online.

Related Resources


* Based on graduate student enrollment and awards from all sources (except for student loans) made during 2012-13. Excludes self-supporting degree programs.