August 12, 2022 - 10 tips to get ready for the fall semester

Update as of August 31: 2022: students will no longer be required to verify that they are participating in their courses for the Fall Semester (tip number 7 below).


This is the second in our Back-to-School series. Read the first message about Fall 2022 COVID-19 mitigation measures and stay tuned for a special Berkeley Life Roundup


Dear undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students,


We’re excited to begin a new year within our amazing learning community. Here are a few tips to help your semester start smoothly:

  1. Review and complete all outstanding tasks and resolve any holds in the CalCentral student portal.

    • University Village Albany residents who may be experiencing holds are encouraged to read the FAQs.

  2. Ensure you get your financial aid when disbursement begins on August 15. Complete your tasks in CalCentral and make sure you are enrolled in a minimum of 6 units.

  3. Get your money faster. Sign up for direct deposit and update your US bank account information. Learn just how easy it is.

    • Need a paper check? Paper refund checks are mailed to your local address. Note that there may be delays in paper check refunds this year due to supply chain issues.

    • Keep your local address current in CalCentral.

  4. Decide if you want to give your parents/guardians or partner delegate access to certain parts of your student account. Make sure they have their code phrase to view your financial information in CalCentral, pay bills, or speak to Cal Student Central. Without delegate access, we will not be able to talk to your parents/guardians or partner.

  5. Ask yourself two important questions:

  6. Make certain you are officially registered. This means you have done three things:
    1) enrolled in at least one class; 2) paid 20 percent of tuition and fees (even if it’s not yet due) by August 19, and; 3) have no holds against your registration.

  7. Verify you are participating in your courses by September 16. Check bCourses (or your bMail if your class is not on bCourses) for prompts to "verify participation" in each of your courses by completing a single-question Qualtrics assignment.

  8. Need to speak with someone about financial aid, billing and payments, enrollment, or transcripts? Cal Student Central offers online and phone advising, and in-person advising for financial aid, registration, and billing inquiries. For more information, including hours of operation, please visit the Services & Areas of Support page. For other questions, please reach out to the applicable offices:

  9. Remember: you can ask the chatbot your questions 24/7/365. Get your financial aid, registration, billing, payment, housing and rec sports questions answered through text and video in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese. It’s as easy as visiting the Cal Student Central, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Office of the Registrar, Housing or Berkeley Rec Sports websites.

  10. Set up your access to key campus services

    • Pick up your Cal 1 Card. Your Cal 1 Card is your campus ID card allowing access to buildings, debit accounts, meal plans, and university services.

    • Activate your AC Transit EasyPass. EasyPass provides unlimited travel on all AC Transit service to and from campus and around much of the Bay Area. Learn more.

    • Sign your Rec Sports Activity Waiver to ensure access to gyms, pools, group exercise classes and more. Go to Cal Central, then “Notifications,” select “Rec Sports Waiver,” and hit “Accept.”


Have a wonderful semester and Go Bears!


Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D. (he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs


This message was sent to all undergraduate and graduate students.