Berkeley universities

UC Berkeley educates a relatively large number of low-income students

According to information from the United States Office of Post-Secondary Education, UC Berkeley educates a high number of low-income students compared to its student body, especially compared to other universities.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, 26% of undergraduate students on campus received the Pell Grant, a federal scholarship program given to low-income students across the country, the spokesperson for the campus, Adam Ratliff.

“All students admitted to Berkely have unlimited potential and we know some may have limited means,” Ratliff said in an email. “Investing in Berkeley students is investing in an engine of economic mobility that benefits California and the world.”

Overall, in the 2019-20 school year, 63% of students received some kind of on-campus financial aid, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

These numbers are significantly higher than some private colleges and universities.

According to the Office of Campus Planning and Analysis, in data collected from 2018, the campus awarded Pell grants to 28% of its undergraduate students. Private institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained a lower percentage—19%, 16%, and 18%, respectively—in the same year.

Ratliff added that some students on campus can complete their studies without any loan debt. He noted that between July 2018 and June 2019, 68% of undergraduate students graduated debt-free from direct or unsubsidized federal loans, federal Perkins loans, or private loans.

“We are grateful to have both federal and state grants, as well as campus scholarships, a strong work-study program, and a loan program to help students pay for their education costs,” Ratliff said. in the email.

Besides the Pell Grants, Ratliff noted several existing programs to help students with various expenses, such as books, housing, food and transportation.

The Emergency Housing Assistance Scheme, Basic Needs Centre, Housing Security Deposit Allocation Fund and Short Term Emergency Loans are all available to help students to meet these expenses, he said.

“We understand that funding an education, including at UC Berkeley, is a challenge for many students and families,” Ratliff said in the email. “The well-being of our students is essential, and we want to make sure students know there are resources available year-round.”

Contact Sébastien Cahill at [email protected]and follow him on Twitter at @SebastianCahill1.