How to Apply to UC Berkeley
Whether you’re applying to UC Berkeley as a freshman, transfer student or for grad school, here are some helpful tips for going through the application process as an undocumented student.
Tips for Completing Your Undergraduate Application
Social Security Number
- If you have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) — for instance, because of immigration proceedings — enter that on the application.
- If you have an SSN for work purposes (usually through DACA), use that where the application asks for an SSN.
- If you don’t have a valid SSN or SSN for work purposes, but do have an Individual Tax Payer Identification Number (ITIN), use the ITIN in place of an SSN on the application.
- If you don’t have a valid SSN, SSN for work purposes, or ITIN, leave this item blank.
Make sure that the number you use on this item in the application is the same as the SSN or ITIN you enter on your California DREAM Act Application.
Country of Citizenship
Undergraduate application: As an undocumented student, you have the option to choose “No Selection.” This option is considered a valid response and we recommend this choice for undocumented applicants, including those with DACA status. By choosing “No Selection,” you’ll avoid being asked other questions about permanent residency and visa status that are not applicable to you.
Graduate application: Choose your country of citizenship. Once you enter it, the application will ask you for “Residency/Visa Status”. Please select “OT: Other Visa Type, including status of international student unknown” for this question.
You’ll be asked the following questions to determine if you are a California resident for admissions purposes:
- Have you attended a California high school for three or more years and will graduate or have graduated from a California high school?
- How long have you lived in California?
- Is your parent or legal guardian a legal permanent resident of California? [If you’re under 18]
- Is your parent, legal guardian, spouse or registered domestic partner an employee of UC or a UC-affiliated national laboratory?
If you’re considered a California resident for admissions purposes, you may be eligible for our application fee waiver and you’ll be considered for admission using the 3.0 minimum GPA (rather than the 3.4 GPA for nonresident applicants).
Keep in mind: Being a California resident for admissions purposes does not necessarily mean you’ll be considered a resident for tuition purposes. Find out if you could be eligible for a nonresident supplemental tuition exemption (also known as AB540).
It’s up to you if you want to use the personal statement or the additional comments section to discuss your undocumented status. It isn’t required, but it can provide more context for your application by helping reviewers understand your circumstance and resources. It will not be used outside the application process.
Parent Citizenship Information
Undergraduate application: When you submit your application, you’ll be asked questions about your parents’ citizenship status. For example: Is your parent a U.S. citizen? Has your parent been physically present in California for the last three years?
You don’t have to answer these questions, but if you do, we encourage you to answer them truthfully — any information you provide will not affect your admission decision. This information is used only to help UC determine residency.
Application Fee Waivers
We don’t want the application fee to get in the way of you applying to UC. That’s why we’ll waive application fees for up to four campuses for undocumented students who are AB540-eligible and meet the income guidelines.
You can apply for a fee waiver within the online application and be notified immediately whether you have qualified. You will get the option of applying for a fee waiver based on how you fill out these questions:
- Citizenship Status: If you choose “No selection” (see the tips for filling out this section above)
- California Residency: If you attended a California high school for three or more years and will graduate or have graduated from a California high school
- Your family’s income and the number of people supported by that income
Fee waivers can’t be applied to more than four campuses, regardless of their source. For instance, you wouldn’t be able to use a College Board/SAT fee waiver and a UC fee waiver to apply to more than four UC campuses. If you qualify for a fee waiver and select more than four campuses, you’ll need to pay $70 for each additional choice.
For more application tips, please visit:
California DREAM Act
The California DREAM Act extends eligibility for certain types of UC and California Financial Aid to students, including undocumented students, who qualify for non-resident tuition exemption under AB540.
What You Need To Do
If you think you meet the requirements for an AB540 non-resident tuition exemption, here’s how to make sure you’re considered for Financial Aid:
- Submit your application for admission to UC. When you fill out the application for undergraduate admission, you’re automatically considered for a number of UC scholarships.
- File a California DREAM Act Application between Jan. 1 and March 2. When you do this, you’ll need to confirm that you’ve registered for the Selective Service (if you’re a male under age 26). If you have a valid Social Security Number, you can register online. If not, you’ll need to register in-person at any U.S. Post Office. For help filling out the California DREAM Act Application, download our Dream Act application guide (pdf).
- Make sure your GPA has been submitted for a Cal Grant (in addition to the California DREAM Act Application). California community colleges and most California high schools automatically submit students’ GPAs for Cal Grants. Check with your school to make sure. If they don’t automatically submit your GPA, download the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and have your school submit it to the California Student Aid Commission.
- Once you’ve been accepted to a UC campus, submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) at your intended campus.
- After the campus receives your SIR, you’ll need to submit a Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) to the campus residence deputy.
- If you then receive a nonresident classification, complete the AB540 nonresident tuition exemption forms, which you can get at your campus registrar’s office. If you’re an undocumented student and are not eligible for an AB540 nonresident tuition exemption, you will be ineligible for all federal, state and institutional aid. Private loans and scholarships are the only financial aid options.