Frequently Asked Questions - 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.