The well-being and health of our students, staff, and faculty are our top priority. To support our students’ financial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of California Berkeley is providing emergency financial aid grants to eligible undergraduate and graduate students from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To comply with reporting requirements and to offer transparency to our community, we are providing details about our use of these funds.

On April 10, 2020, the University of California Berkeley signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding and intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

The university will/has received $15,220,314 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, the total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to Students under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, and the estimated total number of students eligible to participate in programs under § 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act are available on Financial Aid and Scholarships’
COVID-19 CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants page.

The university used the following methods to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they receive under § 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Student portion

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under § 484 in the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 Students, who are actively enrolled as of May 1, 2020, with financial need greater than $500 based on the 2019-20 aid application, who have not already received emergency funding or a cash housing refund greater than $1,000 were awarded funding to cover expenses for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. The grant amounts each undergraduate student received are based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as currently reflected on 2019–20 aid application.

EFC Grant Amount
$0 $1,300
$1-$2,500 $1,200
$2,501-$5,000 $1,100
$5,001-$7,500 $950
$7,501-$10,000 $750
>$10,000 $500

Graduate students

Graduate students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under § 484 in the Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 Students, who were actively enrolled as of May 15, 2020, with financial need greater than $1,000 based on the 2019-20 or 2020-21 aid application, who have not already received emergency funding or a cash housing refund greater than $1,000 were awarded funding to cover expenses for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 crisis. Graduate student awards are $1,000.

After awarding, students receiving these funds are sent this CARES Act funding email notification.

Additional funding: May be awarded on a case-by-case basis to undergraduate and graduate students who have submitted a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request by the May 15th deadline and have not already received funding to cover additional expenses that have resulted from the COVID-19 emergency and move to remote instruction.

Institutional portion

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides funding to address higher education challenges created by the COVID‐19 pandemic. Of the funding we received, 50% was directed to emergency financial aid grants for student cost of attendance, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. The other 50% will be directed to the institution to defray operational expenses related to the impact of COVID-19. The funds cannot be used for endowments, athletic or religious facilities, or enrollment recruitment contractors.

We have now received the institutional portion of the CARES Act in the amount of $15,220,313. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer is working with the Chancellor and Provost to plan for and distribute these funds, including consideration of reimbursement of lost revenue associated with refunds to students for room and board and other fees. Our commitment to the well-being and health of our students, staff, and faculty remains our top priority and will continue to inform decisions that impact the financial well-being of our community.