The form to request a fee waiver is included in the payment section of the online application.  To be considered, applicants need to select the waiver payment option and upload any required supporting documents before submitting the online application.


You must be a U.S. citizen or current permanent resident to be eligible for the graduate admissions application fee waiver.

AB540 students may apply for the fee waiver if they meet the eligibility criteria. Please contact the Graduate Admissions Office for instructions.


There are two ways in which you may qualify for an application fee waiver:

  1. You can demonstrate financial need, or
  2. You are a current participant in certain programs that qualify for a fee waiver.

1. Financial Need

Financial need is determined by the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number listed on your Student Aid Report (SAR), or by the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your tax return. To be eligible for the Fee Waiver:

  • EFC cannot exceed $3,093 (Updated each November)
  • Annual family income cannot exceed the maximum AGI listed in the Family Income Guidelines chart below.
FAMILY SIZE (including student) FAMILY INCOME (Maximum AGI on Tax Return)
1 $23,107
2 $31,284
3 $39,461
4 $47,638
5 $55,815
For each additional family member add $8,177

Required Documentation to Demonstrate Financial Need

To demonstrate financial need you must enter the EFC or AGI in the Payment/Fee Waiver page and upload one of following three items through the online application:

  1. A statement of need from a financial aid officer at the college or university that you are currently attending. This statement must include your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), the financial aid officer’s signature, and your signature verifying that the information reported is correct.
  2. A photocopy of your 2020 – 2021 Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is generated from the information that you provide on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ( form (available beginning October 1, 2019) and includes your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Do not submit a copy of your FAFSA.
  3. A copy of your 2018 Federal Income Tax return. Provide either your Form 1040, if listed as an independent, or a copy of your parent’s or guardian’s 2018 Federal Income Tax return, if listed as a dependent.

Make sure you redact all Social Security numbers before submitting the documents. 

**Upload all fee waiver documents to the Payment/Fee Waiver Page.**

2. Program Participation

A) Participants in the following programs will be approved for a fee waiver once we confirm your participation. Applicants DO NOT need to provide verification of program participation for the following programs:

  • Berkeley’s Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT)
  • Public Policy and International Affairs-Junior Summer Institute (PPIA)
  • Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering at Berkeley (SUPERB)
  • UC-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative (UC-HBCU)
  • UC Leads Scholars Program (UC Leads)

B) Participants in the following programs must submit verification of program participation, such as a letter bearing the original signature of the program director or adviser, or a copy of the current contract. Participation must be current or no older than 2 years at the time of your application.

  • Americorps
  • California Pre-Doc Program (Sally Casanova Scholars)
  • Former Foster Youth
  • Hispanic Serving Institutions-Pathways Program (HSI)
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • McNair Scholars Program
  • Peace Corps
  • Undergraduate Minority Biomedical Support (MBRS-IMSD)

**Upload your program verification to the Payment/Fee Waiver Page.**

Application Fee Exemption Eligibility

The following categories of applicants are exempt from paying an application fee. If any of these categories apply to you, you may choose “Fee Exemption” in the payment section of the online application:

Health and Medical Sciences Joint Degree (UCSF) You are applying to the HMS Joint Degree program
MD/MPH Joint Degree (UCSF) You are applying to the MD/MPH Joint Degree program (Not currently accepting applications)
Optometry Residency Program You are applying to the Optometry Residency Program at the School of Optometry
Education Abroad Program You are applying to Course Work Only status through the EAP
LASPAU (Contact Graduate Admissions for information)