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Program Description

During the second semester of your 2L year, you can petition the Administrative Board, through the Dean of Students Office, to study at Berkeley in your 3L year.

Financial Aid Application Process

If you are approved for the program, you will spend your third year at Berkeley enrolled as a Berkeley Exchange student. HLS Student Financial Services will be responsible for processing your financial aid as you will still be considered a Harvard Law School student. You will apply for aid  in the same manner as in your previous years here at HLS.

Your Student Bill

You will receive two bills: one from Harvard and one from Berkeley.

  • On your Harvard bill, you will be charged the full HLS tuition minus the Berkeley Exchange program fee, which for the 2015-2016 academic year is $1,730.25 (or $865 per semester). Additionally, Harvard will charge you both the Harvard University Health Service fee (HUHS) and the Harvard Student Health Insurance Program (HSHIP a.k.a. Blue Cross/Blue Shield) fee. In order to waive the HUHS fee you will need to take action and contact the Harvard University insurance office. If you have appropriate medical coverage, you may also waive the Harvard Student Health Insurance Program (HSHIP) fee by going to the same web site.
    • Please note that under Federal student aid regulations, an allowance for the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan (HSHIP) may be included in the student’s budget only for students who enroll in the plan. For students who waive this coverage and instead take Berkeley’s insurance, the budget will be adjusted to the amount charged by Berkeley. Students may request upon appeal to have the documented cost of an alternate health insurance plan for which the student pays added to the student’s budget. We will not cover two insurance charges if you forget to waive the ones offered by Harvard and are paying the one offered by Berkeley.
  • Your Berkeley bill will consist of five budget categories: the class pass, the campus fee, the law materials fee, the Student Services fee and the non-waiveable Berkeley institutional health insurance for a total of $5484.50 in 2015-2016 ($2,742.25 per semester).

In mid-August and again in mid-January, HLS will cut a check to Berkeley for students on financial aid for the program fee. You will need to pay Berkeley directly for any other charges incurred.

Your Student Budget

Your budget will be increased by $1,500 to compensate for the extra expenses related to this program of study. This increase is eligible for grant assistance, if applicable. Additionally, the tuition category will be lower and you will have an additional budget category called Berkeley Exchange Program Fee. See 2015-2016 example below:

15-16 Standard Academic Budget 15-16 Berkeley Exchange Budget
Tuition $57,200 Tuition $55,470
Mandatory Health & Insurance Fees $1,042 + 2,390 Insurance see Berkeley Allowance below
Books & Supplies $1,275 Books $1,275
Room/Board/Personal $21,373 Room/Board/Personal $21,373
Travel Allowance $1,500 Travel Allowance $1,500
Stafford Loan Fees $220 Stafford Loan Fees $220
Berkeley Exchange Program Fee $1,730
Berkeley Allowance $5,254 ($1500 related expenses + $3754 insurance)
Total: $85,000 Total: $86,822*

*The total budget amount will decrease if the waives both the Harvard and the Berkeley health insurances.

Summer Work Requirement

You will be held to the same work requirement the summer before you enroll at Berkeley as in previous years. See the Student Contribution from Summer Income section of this web site for details on the summer work requirement.

Cash Advances and Refunds

If you are eligible to receive a cash advance, you will receive it after you have registered. All students in the exchange program are required to have direct deposit set up with the Student Receivables Office in order to receive their cash advance and refunds via the direct deposit system. If you have not yet set up direct deposit, please go to the Student Receivables site and set up your account information as soon as possible.

Other Considerations

  • Mandatory Meeting: You will need to attend a meeting with Student Financial Services prior to leaving HLS  at the end of your 2L year.
  • Graduation Requirements: In April of your last semester at Berkeley, we will contact you regarding an Exit Interview. The Exit Interview is required for all graduating students. You will receive materials via the web and conduct your Exit Interview over the phone with a Financial Aid Officer.

For more program-specific details, contact the Dean of Students Office.