Frequently Asked Questions

General

How do I authorize my parent or other payer to view and discuss my account with UC Berkeley?

Parents or other payers must be authorized by the student in CalCentral. Once authorized as a delegate in CalCentral, the parent or other payer will be able to make payments on the student account. Please allow 24 hours for access to the payment portal. Federal regulations and campus policy prohibit the release of information to a third party without student authorization. The process of granting authorization to release account information to a third party (for example, your parent or spouse) is initiated through CalCentral.

For more information, please refer to the Student Authorization Delegate Set-up instruction guide and/or the campus policy on disclosure of student record information.

Do I need to give my parents (or other third party) authorization to discuss my account with UC Berkeley?

Federal regulations and campus policy prohibit the release of information to a third party without student authorization. If you would like to grant authorization to discuss and release account information to a third party (for example, your parents or spouse), please complete the Grant Access FERPA Release. If you need assistance, please contact Cal Student Central located at 120 Sproul Hall or 510 664 9181.

For more information, please refer to the campus policy on disclosure of student record information.

I was authorized as a delegate but I still cannot make an online payment. What should I do?

Once delegate access has been initiated by the student and accepted by the delegate, please allow 24 hours for access to the payment portal.

If after 24 hours you still are unable to make an online payment, contact Cal Student Central at 510 664 9181 or open a case online by visiting Cal Student Central.

Student Financial Agreement (SFA)

What is the Student Financial Agreement (SFA)?

The Student Financial Agreement (SFA) provides important information to students about the financial policies associated with their enrollment at UC Berkeley. Tuition and fee charges are incurred through enrollment and other charges post to student accounts throughout the semester. The SFA sets forth expectations for making payment on charges when they are due. We feel it is important that students understand and acknowledge their financial responsibilities when it comes to the charges on their student account. This document also addresses the policies related to, among other things, non-payment, communications, and student privacy (FERPA).

Why do I have to sign the Student Financial Agreement?

Our goal is to help our students understand the cost of their education and the financial policies associated with their enrollment at UC Berkeley. The Student Financial Agreement is another means for the university to be transparent about our policies and requirements. This agreement, in conjunction with university websites and communications, help define the university’s expectations for payment, and allows us to clearly inform students of related policies.

While most of our students do pay their bills, we do see students who leave the university with unpaid charges, not fully recognizing the consequences. Once students have left the university, they may not have access to the same types of resources that could help them resolve their unpaid charges.

What happens if I refuse to sign the Student Financial Agreement?

The Student Financial Agreement serves as notification of potential consequences of non-payment and provides important policy information. If a student chooses not to complete the SFA, they will not be able to enroll in classes. Once the agreement is completed for the academic year, the restriction will be removed and the student will be able to begin enrollment.

Do other institutions have this type of agreement?

Yes, it is a common practice among higher education institutions across the United States, including other campuses in the UC System. It is consistent with the national movement to increase financial literacy among college students.

Does the SFA have to be completed if financial aid or a third party contract covers the cost of tuition?

All students must complete the Student Financial Agreement once each academic year.

Certain eligibility is required and must be maintained in order to have tuition and fees covered by other means. Students are ultimately responsible for all tuition and fees. If a student's financial aid amount is reduced or the third party agency has not paid tuition and fees, the student is required to pay remaining charges on their student account.

Why must I complete the SFA if my tuition and applicable fees are being covered by the university or outside funding sources?

It is possible that students receiving university funding may accrue charges on their account which are not directly covered by the university and/or outside sources of aid. For instance, students may be sponsored for tuition and fees only, and have housing and UHS charges, for which they are responsible. Students are financially responsible for those additional charges and, as such, must accept the SFA. Additionally, in the event an account balance results from a change of circumstance in a funding source, students are responsible for the amount due.

Will completing the SFA affect my financial aid eligibility?

No.

The SFA is independent of your financial aid, and completing the agreement will not have an impact on the aid you are awarded.

My parents pay my tuition. Can they complete the form?

No.

While payment by a third party is acceptable, it is the enrolled student who is ultimately responsible for agreeing to the Student Financial Agreement.

Where can I find the Student Financial Agreement?

To navigate to the Student Financial Agreement, first log in to CalCentral.

Then, from the My Dashboard page, there will be listed any 'Incomplete' tasks that require action, which will include the SFA that has not yet been submitted.

SFA's that have already been submitted will be listed under 'Complete' tasks.

When will the Student Financial Agreement be assigned?

The Student Financial Agreement will be assigned to all active students prior to the beginning of enrollment for the fall term, every academic year for the duration of their studies.

How soon can I enroll after completing the Student Financial Agreement?

Once you submit the agreement, you will be able to begin the enrollment process.

Charges and Fees

I'm no longer an active student. How can I view my student account?

For information on how to view your account, please review the Alumni and Non-Current Student job aid.

Will my fees be different depending on the mode of instruction?

Some or all instruction for all or part of the Academic Year may be delivered remotely. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year. Figures for tuition and fees represent currently approved amounts and may not be final. Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California as determined to be necessary or appropriate. Final approved tuition and fee levels may differ from the amounts presented.

When will I receive my Fall or Spring bill?

Fall Charges:

  • We will post the charges to your account around mid July provided that you have enrolled in units. When the charges have been posted to your account you will receive an email notification. At that time you will see the balance due on your CalCentral student portal and remit payment.

Spring Charges:

  • We will post the charges to your account around mid November provided that you have enrolled in units. When the charges have been posted to your account you will receive an email notification. At that time you will see the balance due on your CalCentral student portal and remit payment.

Will I be charged a fee to make a credit card payment online?

Students and delegates can pay charges online using a credit card. A 2.75% non-refundable convenience fee applies to credit card payments. To make a credit card payment, log in to CalCentral, select the 'My Finances' tab and click the 'Make Payment' button.

The charges on my account were paid at the beginning of the semester with financial aid or with personal payment. Why am I receiving a statement now?

There are several reasons why new charges may appear on your account. If you have questions regarding charges appearing on your account, please contact Cal Student Central. You can visit Cal Student Central to open a case, locate operating hours, or you can contact a counselor by calling 510 664 9181.

Why is there a "Telecom" charge on my account?

The campus provides students who live in residence halls, Manville and International House, with access to a land telephone line. The basic charge for this line is required in the terms and conditions of your housing contract, whether or not the line is used. The fee is billed each semester.

Why do I have a $10.00 CalPIRG fee on my account?

Students who voluntarily pledge to support CalPIRG (California Student Public Interest Research Group, Inc.) are billed this fee to their account. The fee is billed each semester until the student contacts CalPIRG to withdraw their support. Questions related to this fee should be referred to the CalPIRG office via email at info@calpirgstudents.org.

I am being billed for student health insurance. How can I waive out of it?

All students are billed for health insurance. Students wishing to waive out of health insurance must submit a waiver each academic year. Deadlines to submit your waiver can be found on the UHS Waiving SHIP page. Questions related to this fee should be referred to the Student Health Insurance Office at 510 642 5700.

When will I be assessed late fees on my student account?

Late fees will be charged when your student account becomes 30 days past due. To help you keep your student account current, due dates are displayed in CalCentral, in the My Finances tab, in the Billing Summary section, under View Transactions.

General Payments

How do I check if the payment I submitted has posted to my student account?

To check if your payment has posted to your student account, log in to CalCentral and click the 'My Finances' tab. Under the 'Billing Summary' section, click the 'View Transactions' button. In this view, click the 'Payments and Aid' tab to see all payments posted to your student account.

How do I pay my bill using an outside agency scholarship?

If you would like to pay your bill using an outside agency scholarship, please submit the check to the Financial Aid Office. They will process the scholarship as a credit to your account. Please allow 3 to 6 weeks for processing.

How will my payment apply to my student account?

Payments on your student account will always apply in the order of due date, with the oldest charge first. If multiple charges on your student account have the same due date, payments will apply to your tuition and fees first. Payments cannot be targeted to pay a specific charge.

How do I change the payment amount when submitting an online payment?

You are able to pay the full balance due or a lesser amount through an online payment. For assistance, please see the instructions for Editing the Dollar Amount of your Online Payment.

How do I make a payment with my 529 Plan?

Coming in Spring 2021, students and delegates will have the option to pay their charges electronically via their 529 College Savings Plan. A $10.00 non-refundable convenience fee will apply to electronic 529 payments. Please see the list of participating 529 College Savings Plans that are available for use with Transact payments.

If your plan is not listed, please contact your 529 Plan administrator in order to initiate the payment process.

Check payments should be sent to the address listed on the Check Payments page.

Fee Payment Plan (FPP)

I enrolled in the Fee Payment Plan last semester. Do I need to enroll in the plan each semester?

Yes. You must enroll in the Fee Payment Plan each fall and spring semester. The option to pay in installments is not available for Summer Session and for some programs. To learn more about this payment option, visit the Fee Payment Plan page.

Can someone other than the student activate the Fee Payment Plan?

No.

Only a student can activate the Fee Payment Plan through Cal Central. While a student may give a parent/other person delegate access to view financials and pay bills, only the student can activate the FPP.

Do I need to make a payment to activate the plan?

No.

After activating the Fee Payment Plan, you must pay an amount equal to the first installment by the Friday prior to term instruction to avoid cancellation. If a payment is made before the FPP is activated, the FPP will recalculate based on the new principal balance due, and the first installment payment will still be required.

I have partial financial aid and want to be on the Fee Payment Plan. Do I need to make a payment to activate the FPP?

No.

Payment will not be required to activate the Fee Payment Plan. Financial aid will reduce the balance, and the FPP will recalculate based on the new balance. The 5 payment installments will adjust accordingly.

I mail in my payment. Can someone at UC Berkeley activate the Fee Payment Plan for me?

No.

In order to participate in the Fee Payment Plan, you must complete the process online.

What happens if I don’t pay my installment by the due date?

If you do not make payment according to the due dates outlined in your Installment Schedule, you may incur late fees and have a block placed on your account.

Is the Fee Payment Plan participation fee refundable?

No.

You will be charged a non-refundable $60 fee to participate in the Fee Payment Plan.

Can I set up the Fee Payment Plan for the whole academic year?

No.

You are not able to enroll in the FPP for the full academic year. You can only enroll in the Fee Payment Plan at the beginning of each term. Please visit the Enrollment section on the Fee Payment Plan page for details.

How do I cancel the Fee Payment Plan once enrolled?

If you decide you no longer wish to make installment payments under the Fee Payment Plan, simply make a lump sum payment for the remaining balance. This will fulfill the repayment agreement and the FPP will be complete for that term. Please note that the $60 participation fee will not be refunded.

If my financial aid fully pays my tuition and fees, is there any benefit to enroll in the Fee Payment Plan?

No.

Financial aid will disburse and pay all charges reducing future FPP installments to zero. You will still be responsible for the $60 participation fee if you enroll.

Check Payments

How do I make a payment by check?

A payment from a checking account can be made in the following ways:

  • Electronically online through your CalCentral account
  • Checks can be sent through the mail
  • Checks can be placed in the payment drop box located at the entrance of University Hall on the 2199 Addison Street side

UC Berkeley does not operate cashiering windows for student account payments. Please make sure that the student's full name and ID number is indicated on the check.

Can I submit my payment at Sproul Hall?

Check payments can be submitted by mail (please see the Check Payments page for mailing instructions) or can be placed in the payment drop box located at the entrance of University Hall on the 2199 Addison Street side.
UC Berkeley does not operate cashiering windows for student account payments. Please make sure that the student's full name and ID number is indicated on the check.

If I place my payment in the University Hall drop box, when will it post to my student account?

Check payments placed in the drop box located at the 2199 Addison Street entrance of University Hall will be processed weekly, on Thursdays. During peak periods payments will be processed 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

For faster processing, please submit payments online via CalCentral.

Will I be charged a fee to make an online payment from my checking account?

Students and delegates are not charged a fee to make an e-Check payment (ACH). To make an electronic payment, log in to CalCentral, select the 'My Finances' tab and click the 'Make Payment' button. You will need to know the bank routing number and bank account number to submit the payment. Please be sure to enter this information accurately.

Where is University Hall?

University Hall is located at 2199 Addison Street, on the corner of Addison and Oxford. A drop box is available in the breeze way for students and delegates to submit payments.

Check payments placed in the drop box located at the 2199 Addison Street entrance of University Hall will be processed weekly, on Thursdays. During peak periods payments will be processed 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

For faster processing, please submit payments online via CalCentral.

Will I be charged a fee if my check or electronic check (ACH) is returned unpaid by the bank?

Yes.

Checks and electronic checks (ACH) that are returned by your bank for any reason are subject to a Returned Payment Fee of $25. When entering bank account and routing information online, please verify the information you have entered to ensure the item is not returned by your bank. Please do not use your ATM/Debit cards numbers in lieu of your checking account number, as the payment will be rejected by your bank and a non refundable Returned Payment Fee of $25 will be assessed.

International Payments

How do I make an international payment?

UC Berkeley has partnered with Flywire and Western Union for international payments and payment using foreign currency. Please refer to these resources for more information and instructions:

How do I pay using foreign currency?

UC Berkeley has partnered with Flywire and Western Union for international student payments and payment using foreign currency. Please refer to the links below for more information and instructions:

What is UC Berkeley's account information?

My bank says they have to wire funds directly to my school’s bank account.

When you send funds through Flywire or Western Union, you are sending funds to UC Berkeley. Flywire, and Western Union acting as our agent, processes your payment and delivers it directly to us in the destination currency along with your student information for accurate posting. This is how UC Berkeley receives wire transfer payments from outside of the US.

Attempting to send wire transfers without utilizing Flywire or Western Union will cause delays in UC Berkeley receiving your payment and updating your student account. Additional fees may also apply.

Please initiate your payment through your Cal Central portal. For bank transfer options, once you initiate the payment, you will receive payment instructions with an authorization letter permitting your bank to send the funds via Flywire or Western Union. If your bank has any questions, Flywire's and Western Union's support can help.

What are UC Berkeley's bank wire details?

You can obtain UC Berkeley's bank wire details by first initiating your payment on your Cal Central student portal via CashNet, and then selecting either Flywire or Western Union. Once you initiate your payment, the bank information will be displayed with instructions on how to send your payment.

International payments to UC Berkeley are managed by Flywire and Western Union to ensure funds are received promptly and securely. Both options will process and deliver your payment directly to UC Berkeley with your student information for accurate posting.

How do I pay from a foreign country using US Dollars?

UC Berkeley has partnered with Flywire and Western Union for international student payments and payment from a foreign country using US Dollars. Please refer to the links below for more information and instructions:

Does UC Berkeley accept direct wire payments?

Please note that UC Berkeley does not accept direct wire payments from students. Wire transfers intended for student payments must be remitted through Flywire or Western Union, which will ensure that your payment is posted to your account correctly and timely.

Please refer to the following two options for International Payments:

What is Flywire, and is it safe to use?

Yes, Flywire is a secure and convenient way to make international payments to UC Berkeley. Flywire allows you to track your payment online from start to finish, leverage 24/7 multi-lingual customer support, and access competitive exchange rates.

Does Flywire charge fees?

Flywire's exchange rates seem higher than what I can find online.

The exchange rates you may find online are mid-market rates, which are not available to individuals. Instead, mid-market rates are the published rates for currency purchases for large volume traders.

Please reach out to Flywire's customer service team with any pricing concerns. If you have found a lower rate with your bank for local bank transfer payments, Flywire offers a best rate guarantee that will match your bank's offer.

Please refer to the Best Price Guarantee for Bank Transfers page on the Flywire website for more information.

Delinquent Accounts

Why do I have a hold on my account?

If there is a hold on your accound, please log in to CalCentral to find and contact the office blocking your account. You can still enroll in classes, but you will not be considered registered until the block is resolved.

Direct Deposit

Which student payments are eligible for Direct Deposit?

  • Refunds, graduate student stipends, and any non-payroll university payments to students (except Emergency Loan checks) can be directly deposited to your bank account
  • Some outside agency payments may be processed via direct deposit, while some may not
  • Student employees can have their paychecks deposited automatically to their bank account each payday. Please contact your hiring department for a special form and more information

How will the money be deposited to my bank account?

The money will be deposited electronically. Direct deposit is fast, convenient, safe, and reliable.

How soon will my direct deposit start?

After you submit your bank information, direct deposit will be activated within 7 business days. Once set up, refunds will continue to go to your designated bank account until you either cancel your authorization or edit your bank account information online.

How will I know when the money has been sent to my bank?

You will be notified via e-mail one business day before each deposit is sent to the bank. Please check with your bank to verify the deposit of the funds into your account.

Are there any reasons why the money would not be deposited to my bank?

If you close your bank account, the transfer will not automatically go to a new account. To avoid the disruption of direct deposits, you must update your bank account information through the Direct Deposit website 7 business days prior to closing your bank account.

What else do I need to know?

  • If you do not have direct deposit, a paper check will be mailed to your local address within 10 business days
    • Please make sure you review and update your local address information in Cal Central
  • You may cancel your direct deposit authorization at any time through the Direct Deposit website
  • All funds must be deposited to an account in your name
  • The bank you designate to receive your direct deposit must be in the United States
  • We cannot issue deposits to accounts held at investment firms
  • If you receive funds you are not entitled to, you will be billed for repayment

Form 1098-T Tax Benefits

What should I do if there is an error with the reported amounts shown?

Beginning with the tax year 2018 form, your 1098-T form reports qualified tuition related fee amounts paid in Box 1 for the calendar/tax year. Amounts paid are reported on your 1098-T form based on the date the payment is posted to your student account, regardless of the date or term the charge is posted. (Please note that mail-in or wire-transfer payments may experience a delay from the time they are received to the time they are posted on your student account). For example, a charge for Spring that is posted to your student account in November, would be included on your tax form if the payment is posted to your student account by December 31. However, if the payment is posted on or after January 1, it would be included on the next year's form.

If you believe there is an error with the amount(s) reported on your form, please verify by reviewing your student account transactions on your Cal Central portal as well as your bank records. Please also review the IRS Publication 970 to ensure that the payment in question qualifies as a QTRE expense.

If you still believe there was an error, please open a case with Billing and Payment Services under the topic 1098-T Form to have your form reviewed.

Why did I not receive a form?

If your 1098-T tax form was not available after late January online via the Tab Services website, if you did not consent to receiving the form online or withdrew consent, or if your 1098-T form was not mailed to you after February, a 1098-T form may not have been generated for you. Potential reasons for this are:

  • The student was not billed qualified tuition related fees, or did not receive applicable scholarships or grants (i.e. inter-campus visitor program or all courses were complimentary) for the tax year
  • The student took courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program

What should I do if my legal name or SSN/ITIN is incorrect on my form?

If your SSN or ITIN number or legal name is incorrect, you must update by contacting the Office of the Registrar.

After you have updated your information with the Registrar's Office, please open a case with Billing and Payment Services under the topic 1098-T Form to have your form updated.

Will I still receive a form if I do not have a SSN or ITIN?

If you do not have a SSN/ITIN to file with the university, (for example: an international student who does not have a SSN or ITIN) you may take no further action without penalties. You can still access your 1098-T online via the TAB Services website, or receive one in the mail if you did not consent to receiving a 1098-T online, beginning late January for the previous tax year. The form will not have a SSN/ITIN reported on it.

How do I register my existing SSN or ITIN with the university?

You can update your existing SSN or ITIN through your CalCentral profile by following these steps:

  1. Click the 'Update My SSN' button to add your SSN/ITIN to your profile
  2. Enter your SSN/ITIN carefully
    1. Once the nformation is saved, you will not be able to make additional edits through CalCentral
  3. Click the 'Update' button to save

What should I do if my SSN or ITIN is not on file with UC Berkeley?

If you do not have an existing SSN or ITIN to file with the university, no action is required. If your existing SSN/ITIN is not yet registered with the university, you must submit your SSN or ITIN to UC Berkeley via your Cal Central portal profile. Your SSN/ITIN must be on file with the university prior to December 31 in order to have it reported on your form for that tax year.

Current federal tax regulations require the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) to report your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), with other registration-related information, to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on form 1098-T for each year that you are enrolled. Your ITIN may be a Social Security Number (SSN), or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if you are not eligible for a SSN. To avoid penalties from the IRS, students should provide SSN’s or ITINs to UCB so that it may be included on the form 1098-T.

What is a 1098-T form?

The 1098-T form is used by eligible educational institutions to report information about their US resident students to the IRS as required by law. As an eligible educational institution, UC Berkeley reports certain financial and identifying information regarding US resident students for which UC Berkeley has received payments of "qualified education expenses" for the corresponding tax year. Included in the 1098-T form are qualified charges that were paid and financial assistance received for the corresponding tax year. Loans are excluded and not reported on the 1098-T form.

The 1098-T form is not intended to be used for determining any taxable income you may have received from scholarship or fellowship payments. The university does not report scholarship or fellowship income to you or to the IRS. Please use Worksheet 1-1 in IRS Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Education) to figure the amount of a scholarship or fellowship grant you can exclude from gross income.

Which tax benefits do I qualify for?

UC Berkeley is unable to provide you with tax advice or to assist with strategies for filing your taxes. To determine your potential eligibility, please consult your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Where can I find more information about the educational tax benefits?

For more information about the educational tax benefits, please visit the IRS website or refer to IRS Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Education).

How do I access my 1098-T forms from prior years?

Students may access their 1098-T forms for current and prior years via the TAB Services website.

How will I know when my 1098-T form is available?

UC Berkeley will send you an email to the email address listed in CalCentral. The email will come from billingnotices@berkeley.edu.

What are "qualified education expenses"?

The term "qualified education expenses" refers to the tuition and fees an individual is required to pay in order to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution.

At UC Berkeley, this includes the following:

  • Campus fee
  • Tuition
  • Non-resident tuition
  • Student services fee
  • Graduate professional student fees
  • Course material fees

The definition of “qualified education expenses” may differ depending on whether you are claiming the tax credit or taking a deduction. Please refer to the appropriate section in IRS Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Education) for the related definition.

What expenses do not qualify as "qualified education expenses"?

Generally, amounts paid for any course or other educational expense involving sports, games, or hobbies are not eligible for the tax credit. Charges and fees associated with room, board, student activities, athletics, health insurance, books, equipment, transportation, and similar personal, living, or family expenses are not qualified.

How do I get a copy of my 1098-T form?

If you have qualified paid charges and/or gift aid for the corresponding tax year, you may access your 1098-T form online in late January via the TAB Services website.

How can I find the details of the totals reported in boxes numbered 1-6 on my 1098-T form?

To find the details of the totals reported in boxes numbered 1-6 on your 1098-T form:

  • Log in to the TAB Services website
  • Click on 'View my 1098-T' in the upper left hand corner of the screen
  • Advance past page 1 of the 1098-T for detailed information

If I attend UC Berkeley Extension or Summer Session, will I receive a 1098-T form?

Yes.

UC Berkeley reports information on students who attend UC Berkeley Extension and/or Summer Session.

I am an international student. Do I qualify for these tax credits?

International students may not be eligible to claim the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. To determine your potential eligibility, please consult your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).