UC Berkeley, or Cal for short, is one of the most selective public colleges in the country, with an acceptance rate of about 14%. A respected research institution, Cal gives students access to a faculty that includes numerous MacArthur fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates, including biologist Randy Schekman, who received the 2013 Nobel Prize for medicine, and astrophysicist George Smoot, who won the 2006 award in physics.
As with many big universities, lower-level classes are large — one computer science course usually draws more than 1,000 students. But with scale also comes a mind-boggling array of choices for non-academic pursuits, including more than 60 sororities and fraternities, as well as hundreds of clubs (including several devoted to specific dance styles such as tango, ballroom and K-pop). Sports are a big attraction on campus, and the Golden Bears' Division I sports teams tend to be very strong — the football rivalry with nearby Stanford is legendary and results in an annual "Big Game."
Cal grads go on to earn a median of $88,000 in the first 10 years after enrolling, which is more than what peers from comparable schools typically make. Famous former students include the author Maxine Hong Kingston, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, actor John Cho, novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and "Myspace Tom" Anderson.
University of California, Berkeley tuition and fees
Estimated cost and due date
Tuition and fees at University of California-Berkeley are $15,444 (in-state) and $32,574 (out-of-state). You should also factor in room and board, books, and living expenses while enrolled.
The due date for Fall is August 18, 2023, but it's always a good idea to check the university's official calendar or your student portal for any changes. Late payments may incur extra fees.
Feeling overwhelmed by the cost? That’s understandable – college can be expensive, but there are a variety of financial aid sources you can use, including student loans, grants, and scholarships. Here is a brief overview of the available options; for a more comprehensive step-by-step, read our How to Pay for College guide.
Exploring financial aid options at University of California, Berkeley
Scholarships and grants
The average amount of financing awarded to undergraduates at the University of California-Berkeley is $21,056, with these awards coming from federal, state, local and college-specific programs. The Pell Grant, a frequently utilized form of federal aid offered to lower-income students, is among the most common, with 27% of students at UC-Berkeley being recipients. To be eligible for the Pell Grant or any other type of financial aid, submitting the FAFSA is necessary.
All around the country, college-bound students have access to a variety of state-funded financial assistance options, typically restricted to local students. It might be worth taking the time to look into the eligibility requirements for your home state, such as California's Cal Grant program.
University scholarships, aka institutional aid
Colleges typically give out two types of financial aid - need-based and merit-based. Need-based grants are dependent on a student's financial situation, while merit-based aid includes awards not based on financial need. Merit awards can be based on academic achievement, artistry, leadership and more. At the University of California-Berkeley, 45% of freshmen receive a scholarship from the college, with the average award being $11,168.
Remember to look for externally funded scholarships, too. Numerous local groups provide grants to students to help them cover college costs, and there are some scholarships with year-round deadlines, enabling you to access funds after you have registered. For additional information on various types of gift aid, please refer to our guide on college grants and scholarships .
Federal student loans
Federal student loans are one of the most prevalent sources of funds for educational purposes. Such loans come from the government and have comparatively low-interest rates in addition to providing flexible repayment plans.
Private student loans
Private student loans are an alternative. These are offered by private lenders such as banks and credit unions. They can be used to cover expenses not covered by federal loans, but they usually have higher interest rates and less flexible repayment plans.
How to pay tuition bills at University of California, Berkeley
If you receive a loan, scholarship or grant, that money usually goes directly to the university. You’ll have to pay the balance that’s left. To make the payments online, visit https://www.berkeley.edu/.
The information included in this page contains data published in university sites, government public records and other vetted sources as of June 23, 2023. Be advised to validate this information with the university registrar or financial office.
This content was created with the assistance of AI technology and has been reviewed, edited and fact-checked by Money's editorial staff.