UVA FAQs

You may reference an archive of recent communications for the UVA community.

To submit a question for our team to review and answer, you may submit your question here.

NOTE: These FAQs are intended for our University Village Albany residents. This FAQ will be updated with new information frequently, so please continue to visit this site for information.

 

Registration/Enrollment and Rent Questions:

 

I can’t pay my rent, what should I do? Will I be evicted?

First and foremost, we are committed to keeping our students and student families in their homes during these trying times. Students who cannot pay rent to the campus during the shelter-in-place order will not be evicted for non-payment, the campus will work with them on an individualized basis to come up with a solution that works for them. Please contact Cal Housing at apts@berkeley.edu as soon as possible. If needed, Cal Housing will work with you to help connect you to resources and figure out an appropriate payment schedule that works for your individual circumstance.

 

Updated August 26, 2020: If I owe the University rent, can I be enrolled/registered for Fall 2020? What about Spring 2021?

First, the campus will work with students who are unable to pay their UVA rent on an individualized basis to come up with a solution that works for them. Please contact Cal Housing at apts@berkeley.edu as soon as possible. If needed, Cal Housing will work with you to help connect you to resources and figure out an appropriate payment schedule that works for your individual circumstance.

The University is currently continuing the practice of not assessing late fees to student accounts that have become past due - including rent. If a student does not have a balance of more than $100 from a term prior to Spring 2020, an exception has been made allowing the student to enroll in classes for the Fall 2020 term. A balance from the Spring 2020 term will not prevent enrollment. 

(As a reminder, students are considered registered when they: are enrolled in at least one unit; do not have any blocks against their registration; and have paid at least 20% of the Fall enrollment fees by the due date.)

There may be some University Village students who have back-rent owed, but they will be allowed to enroll and take classes both this Fall and this Spring, and to also be considered fully registered. Also, we are committed to keeping our students and student families in their homes during these trying times. Students who cannot pay rent to the campus during the shelter-in-place order will not be evicted for non-payment, the campus will work with them on an individualized basis to come up with a solution that works for them.

The University is currently continuing the practice of not assessing late fees to student accounts that have become past due - including rent. If a student does not have a balance of more than $100 from a term prior to Spring 2020, an exception has been made allowing the student to enroll in classes for the Fall 2020 term. A back-rent balance from the Spring 2020 term will not prevent enrollment or registration this Fall, or this coming Spring.

For clarity, if a student living at University Village owes campus housing rent, they may still enroll in classes and proceed to take these courses this Fall and Spring, and will not encounter a block from being considered registered. (Note - this applies to matters of owed rent. A student could potentially face a “hold” on being considered registered for other, unrelated reasons, which they would need to resolve separately).

Nevertheless, if a student finds that they owe UVA back-rent, it is important that these students reach out to Cal Housing as soon as possible so that we can work with them to find solutions for rent payment. Also, if they encounter an erroneous “hold” on their registration that they believe is due to an owed UVA rent issue, they should contact Cal Student Central as soon as possible for assistance.

 

What’s the difference between being enrolled and being registered?

  • Enrolled: Enrollment occurs in CalCentral. You choose classes, add them to a shopping cart, and then enroll.
  • Registered: In order to be officially registered at Berkeley, you must meet the following criteria:
  1. You must be enrolled in at least one course. [see above note on enrollment]
  2. Your tuition and registration fees must have been paid, either in full, 20% or the first installment if you are on the Tuition and Fee Payment Plan.
  3. Balances from prior terms must be paid.
  4. You must have no blocks against your registration.

As a reminder, students are considered registered when they have paid at least 20% of the Fall enrollment fees by the due date

 

I’m seeing a Past Due hold in my account, and I fear I won’t be able to enroll in classes for Fall 2020 because of UVA back rent I owe. What do I do?

For clarity, you may be seeing a Past Due hold due to owed Spring 2020 UVA rent, and you may continue to see this in your account if you have charges that are past due. However, a hold due to Spring 2020 UVA unpaid rent balance will not prevent you from enrolling or registering for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021

  • However a Past Due hold may prevent registration (see FAQs above)
  • If a student does not have a balance of more than $100 from a term prior to Spring 2020, an exception has been made allowing the student to enroll in classes for the Fall 2020 term. 
  • (Late Fees Note: We are not assessing late fees to student accounts that have become past due - including rent.).  

Note that there may be other types of blocks that could prevent your enrollment, such as advising holds. If you feel you have an erroneous block on enrolling for classes for Fall 2020 as a result of an owed rent balance, please contact Cal Student Central, and note your situation with them immediately. Cal Student Central (CSC) can be reached via phone at (510) 664-9181 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday, or you can open a case. When opening a case, please begin your inquiry with a description of your situation. 

 

Are you proactively working to ensure students aren’t having holds on their accounts that would block them from being enrolled in classes?

Holds are being placed automatically when the account is 60 days past due. The Past Due hold will remain but may not prevent enrollment (depending on the balance - see information above).

For clarity, there may be other types of blocks that could prevent your enrollment, such as advising holds. If you feel you have an erroneous block on enrolling for classes for Fall 2020 as a result of an owed rent balance, please contact Cal Student Central, and note your situation with them immediately. Cal Student Central (CSC) can be reached via phone at (510) 664-9181 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday or you can open a case. When opening a case, please begin your inquiry with a description of your situation.

 

I’ve seen my financial aid disbursement going towards paying back-owed UVA rent, as opposed to coming to me (as a student) directly. Why is this?

In general, all of your accepted financial aid for a current term will apply toward charges on your account before refunds are issued. This means, Financial Aid will apply to the oldest charges in the current or prior term of the same academic year first.

For example, the 2019-20 academic year includes: Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020.

  • Fall 2019 financial aid can apply toward Fall 2019 charges;
  • Spring 2020 financial aid can apply to Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 charges;
  • Summer 2020 aid can apply toward all three terms.
  • Financial Aid applies to the oldest charges on the account before applying toward current charges.

It is important to note that:

  • Financial Aid from the current term will not pay future terms (e.g. Fall 2019 aid will not pay Spring 2020 charges);
  • Financial Aid will not apply toward future academic years (e.g. Summer 2020 aid will not pay Fall 2020 charges); and
  • Financial Aid will not apply toward prior year charges (e.g. Fall 2020 aid will not apply to Summer 2020 charges as Fall 2020 is part of the 2020-2021 academic year, and Summer is the last term in the 2019-2020 academic year).

This last point is key as students may be under the impression that Fall 2020 aid will pay off remaining Summer 2020 charges, which is not the case.

If charges from the prior academic year are not paid, they can result in financial holds that may impact your ability to enroll in future courses.

Note: There are some exceptions in that some specific awards can bypass charges on the account and refund directly to the student. It is important to monitor your account regularly because these awards result in refunds, leaving charges on your account unpaid.

Top

 


 

 

Financial Aid Questions:

 

How has the campus distributed the CARES Act funds? What did students receive?

Funding for the CARES Act from the Federal government was received by the campus on April 20. UC Berkeley received $15.2 million in direct-to-student funding. We have awarded CARES funding to all eligible undergraduate and graduate students by the end of May 2020, as planned. 

While we have disbursed the majority of the funding based on the original eligibility criteria and appeals submitted in the Spring, we are currently refining criteria to award the remaining funds in the coming weeks. See information above if you have financial aid needs for this summer.

Dream Act Equivalent Support: We are also committed to providing CARES equivalent awards to our Dream Act students, and we have awarded over $343,000 to our Dream students from the Student Emergency Fund. The amount of CARES Act equivalent emergency grants to students depends on the need of the individual student, however, the average awards have been roughly aligned with monthly food and/or housing expenses.

 

What are my options for Summer 2020 financial aid?

Students enrolled in at least 6 units in summer session and meet all other financial aid eligibility criteria will be packaged with summer financial aid within a few days of enrollment. Summer emergency loans are available through August 14 for those students registered in Summer Session. 

 

What are my financial aid options for Fall 2020?

Students are encouraged to file a financial aid application and complete all required tasks as soon as possible. Fall financial aid disbursements begin on August 17 and refunds will be processed 3-5 business days following disbursement. Document processing timelines will continue to increase as we approach the start of the fall semester. 

Fall emergency loans will become available for eligible students beginning on  August 19. 

Students may also visit the UC Berkeley COVID-19 Student Relief Funds website to explore other possible local campus support funds with the Basic Needs Center on a case-by-case basis. 

Please contact Cal Student Central (create a case online) for assistance with your financial aid for summer and/or fall 2020.

 

What if I need more financial aid in the fall than I was initially awarded?

If you have expenses that exceed the standard cost of attendance, you can submit a  Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form, which will be available mid-August for the fall semester.  

Top

 


 

 

Basic Needs Questions:

 

What options are there for me if I am unemployed?

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has been extended through December 26, 2020, and can provide up to 46 weeks of benefits. You will need to apply for unemployment to receive this benefit. The relief bill covers the types of jobs many students hold including self-employed, part-time and "gig.” It also covers those who have had their hours reduced (partial benefit).

If you rely on a school, a daycare or another facility to care for a child, elderly parent or another household member so that you can work (only applies to work, not school), and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus, you may also be eligible for unemployment benefits. While the state is still awaiting specifics from the federal government, you can find current information and frequently asked questions online.  

 

What basic needs options are there on campus?

  • UVA Bear Pantry and Diaper Bank
  • The UVA Bear Pantry and diaper bank remains open and operating 7 days a week. To apply, please fill out a Village Bear Pantry form. You can also contact the Bear Pantry at thebearpantry@berkeley.edu if you need assistance with having pantry food delivered to your apartment, or cannot make it to the Pantry when it is open (note: if needed, we can set food aside for those needed assistance).
  • Basic Needs Center and Food Pantry
  • The Basic Needs Center has moved operations due to the shelter-in-place order. Their satellite location is now 103 Sproul Hall.
  • The Food Pantry remains open on select days. Please email basicneedssupport@berkeley.edu for immediate support. The Basic Needs Center is also supporting food pop-ups each week at UVA. These distributions are open to anyone living at UVA who needs food. See regular updates on Instagram @studentparentcenterucb.

Top

 


 

 

Childcare Questions:

 

What support, if any, will we have if our children do not return to the classroom?

If you rely on a school, a daycare or another facility to care for a child, elderly parent or another household member so that you can work (only applies to work, not school), and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus, you may also be eligible for unemployment benefits. While the state is still awaiting specifics from the federal government, you can find current information and frequently asked questions online.  

 

Since there is less access to childcare, will the emergency dependent care hours be increased?

At this time, we do not have an increase in the available emergency care hours. 

 

What are my other childcare options?

With the closure of the University Village (UVA) Child Development Center, we are strongly encouraging student parents to try to keep their children at home with immediate family members for health reasons, but we realize that is not always an option. Below is a list of backup childcare resources offered by the University of California, if needed:

Top

 


 

 

International Students Information:

 

If I am an International student, will I be deported if Cal goes all-remote?

Chancellor Christ sent a campus message on July 8th responding to recent news that the Department of Homeland Security issued new guidance to universities related to international students and fall instruction requirements.

Fortunately, the federal government has rescinded the rule that would have harmed our international students allowing them to make decisions that work best for them.

 

If I am an International student who needs to be in the classroom, will I qualify for childcare?

At this time, essential workers qualify for university childcare options.

With the closure of the University Village (UVA) Child Development Center, we are strongly encouraging student parents to try to keep their children at home with immediate family members for health reasons, but we realize that is not always an option. Below is a list of backup childcare resources offered by the University of California, if needed:

Top

 


 

 

Medical / Testing / SHIP Questions: 

 

What should I do if I feel sick or someone in my household thinks they may be sick?

University Health Services is open and providing care. If you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact UHS at (510) 643-7197. You can also get health and mental health information on our UHS coronavirus webpage. If you or your partner lose your private health insurance, the student and their dependents are eligible for the Student Health Insurance Program. To obtain coverage, please complete a Waiver Reversal.

 

Does my family have health insurance?

All registered students at the University of California are required to meet the university’s health insurance mandate. Registered UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students are automatically enrolled in the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) as a way to meet this mandate unless they have proof of other qualifying health insurance. Voluntary SHIP plans provide coverage for “dependents” such as a spouse or registered domestic partner and dependent children. See https://uhs.berkeley.edu/insurance/insurance-dependents, or for additional questions, (510) 642-2000.

For non-student residents without SHIP, the City of Berkeley has information on its website around assistance with signing up for Medical. 

 

What testing options are there available?

University Health Services will be providing COVID19 testing onsite at UC Village for all adult residents (both UC students and other family members/caregivers). Resuming in August 2020, testing will be from 10 am - 1:30 pm at the UVA indoor basketball court on Tuesdays/Thursdays. Testing for children is not currently available, but may be soon.  Details about the testing at UVA will be on the UHS testing page.

 

Will children be tested at the UVA testing site in the future?

Testing for children is not currently available, but may be soon.  Details about the testing at UVA will be on the UHS testing page.

 

Myself or my relative is experiencing a mental health crisis. Are there resources for them/us?

This situation is evolving rapidly and you may experience fear and worry during these times. We encourage you to reach out for support if you need it. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like support, Village Social Worker Zenaida Hernandez and Social Work Fellow Jason Strausmann are available to meet over the phone. You can reach Zenaida at 510-520-7031 and Jason at 510-561-8199.  

Additionally, counselors at University Health Services (UHS) at the Tang Center are available for urgent concerns: Counseling and Psychological Services website or (510) 642-9494 (after-hours counseling line (855) 817-5667). Please see UHS’s Managing Fear resource for more information and the CDC’s recommendations for managing the stress and anxiety that many experience in a pandemic, including how to identify stress in children and teens. 

Top

 


 

 

UVA Community Questions:

 

When will playgrounds reopen? 

At this time we do not know. In Alameda County, all recreational areas with high-touch equipment and surfaces, or that encourage gathering must be closed, including but not limited to playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, barbecue areas, swimming pools, and spas. At UVA, parks, courtyards, athletic courts/fields, and playgrounds continue to remain closed (also remember that people in Alameda County are also required to wear face coverings.

Please know there are other open spaces around our community that remain open where you may take your family (while also remembering to practice good physical distancing!), and activities such as walks and runs are still permitted. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we also have a list of social distancing activities and ideas for you and your family on our website.

 

My neighbors are very noisy during the day - I'm in classes and can't concentrate when I hear kids playing! What should I do?

If you aren’t able to reach a reasonable solution with your neighbors, or if you experience an egregious noise violation, you may notify us if a community member isn’t in compliance with the following:

  • Disruption during quiet hours, defined as the time between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 1a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday-Saturday, with unreasonable noise prohibited in all residential facilities, courtyards and surrounding areas. Unreasonable noise is any noise that disrupts or potentially disrupts the lives of residents or neighboring community members, such as a house party. 
  • Disrupting Courtesy Hours, which are in effect 24 hours, 7 days a week, and which can be broken by any unreasonable noise that disrupts or potentially disrupts the sleep or studying of other students at any time is prohibited. 
  • Use of amplified sound, which may include subwoofers and musical instruments, in outdoor areas without permission of a Residential staff member is prohibited. 

As a reminder, the Residential Code of Conduct is available online, as is our Village Manual.

 

I’m experiencing internet bandwidth issues at UVA and it’s impacting my ability to study and learn. What can I do?

We understand that the bandwidth at University Village Albany (UVA) has some problems that we are aware of and that we are planning to find solutions for in the future.

Essentially, there are historical infrastructure issues that have proven challenging. Especially with the move to mostly remote learning, we realize this presents some issues for residents. As a short-term solution, the Village Office and SAIT provided, at the beginning of the pandemic, 

  • 300 - 14 ft Ethernet cables
  • 300 - Ethernet adapters
  • 100 - USB-C to USB-A adapters

We strongly recommend UVA residents use the ethernet provided (and in an effort to help, SAIT has provided ethernet cables as noted above for free that UVA residents can pick up at the Village Office). Of course, this doesn’t solve all of the problems with internet bandwidth, and please know we are brainstorming as a campus on possible solutions. We will keep UVA residents posted on our progress.

Best practices that can help improve internet reliability include:

  • Establish first whether your wired connection works properly:
  • If you have a successful wired connection but want to try establishing WiFi, then attempt to set up your wireless router.
  • If you experience slow loading time with Zoom or other software, be sure you have accepted all updates on your device for your operating system and/or the programs you are trying to use.
  • Lastly, should you run into difficulties with any of the technical steps above, please contact Student Tech Services through Zoom, phone or email. Student Technology Services (STS) is paying special attention to requests from University Village at this time so they can receive timely assistance and/or escalation as needed.

The University wishes to ensure that all students have equitable access to the technology resources they need to support research, teaching, and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the technology resources you have available to you do not enable your effective participation in remote instruction or other academic work, please consider the following resources.

 

Residents completed a survey and received results about our thoughts and ideas on safety improvements.  Any progress on implementing any of those changes?

Negotiations are underway to receive funding for multiple high priority projects with great impact to the residents, including updating the internet capabilities and relieving staffing issues. The proposal is currently at the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs level and we are hopeful we will be able to move forward with many of the changes before the end of the school year.

 

Why were Community Garden plots not available this year?

We can’t take new participants at this time, especially with uncertainties about what spaces may be open during the pandemic, our ability to maintain grounds services, among others. However, be aware that renewals were honored when they took place several months ago. When plots again become available, we will let UVA residents know. If you’re interested in joining a Waiting List, you can email gardenadmin@berkeley.edu.

 

Is smoking permitted at UVA?

UC Berkeley is a tobacco-free environment, and that includes campus residences such as University Village. Tenants are responsible for ensuring that their family, other occupants, and guests comply with the tobacco-free policy.

 

If the campus loses power due to a public safety power shutoff or wildfires, will UVA?

Not necessarily, as we are on a different power grid than the main campus. However, we would encourage all residents to be prepared for power outages should they occur, and have bottled water, packaged or canned food, and formula on hand, as well as portable power chargers.

 

Why is the no-pet policy not being enforced?

We do allow assistive animals if they are approved in advance. Fish in tanks under 20 gallons, small animals in tanks under 10 gallons, and caged birds, are also permitted on the premises.

If you are being seriously impacted by a neighbor’s pet or assistive animal, you may contact the Village Office to report egregious issues.

 

Are we going to have another town hall meeting in the near future?

We will continue to have town hall discussions on an as-needed basis, as we understand the importance of hearing from our residents.

We are planning to ideally have at least one townhall-type meeting per semester (including summers), either virtually or in-person at UVA, as health conditions allow. We will communicate more on this in the future as we develop these plans.

Top


 

Key Theft Incident  

 

Who is responsible for not being able to protect the master key? What are the consequences to them?

This is still an ongoing police investigation, so we’re limited in what can be shared. However, I can tell you that the keys were secured at campus standard, and even though we were victims of a crime, we are looking into ways to exceed that standard and keep the master keys safer in the future.

 

Will UVA residents have to pay, or receive any reimbursements from, the cost of changing the locks?

No. The University is assuming all of the costs related to the rekeying. We will not be reimbursing residents for additional security items that they purchased, such as their own personal security systems/cameras, or for those who installed their own locks, which is contrary to the UVA rental agreement. Locks not installed by UC Berkeley locksmiths will be removed.

 

Can we get specific dates on when mailbox keys and apartment keys will be permanently changed?

We don’t have a firm date yet, but we will inform the community when we have the dates set for the permanent rekeying. It should be within the next two weeks, ideally. 

 

Why was there not previously a plan in place to minimize the turn-around time for changing locks?

It’s important to note that our locksmiths change lock sets regularly for repairs, lost keys to a unit, and move-outs. However, when 4,000 key sets need to be repinned simultaneously, it is a time-consuming task. The task was minimized by having the locksmith group devise a temporary repin plan and work as much overtime as possible to complete the job. This unfortunate criminal event will allow us to make security revisions to the master key system to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.   

 

Will my back door be secured?

All of the back doors are secure. If you experience any issues with your door, please notify the Village Office as soon as possible. 

 

What will UVA be doing to prevent mail theft? 

We are working to change the locks not only for doors throughout UVA, but also for the mailboxes. If you believe you’ve experienced mail theft, please contact both the Village Office and USPS, as mail theft is a crime.

Top


 

Safety/Security

 

What are some alternatives being discussed to improve security other than increasing police presence?

There is an ongoing lighting project which will increase the illumination across UVA. We have partnered with a company that will be switching all exterior lights to LEDs and replacing worn/fogged up covers.

 

Can we install more cameras around UVA to prevent theft? 

The infrastructure at UVA is not set up for the easy installation of cameras, but it's a long-term goal we have. Especially in light of recent events, we are exploring our options regarding camera installation. 

 

How will we ensure that the increase in policing is not accompanied by an increase in racial profiling?

 This is a real concern for many, as it came up in several questions. This is something that we are mindful of, and will continue to partner with UCPD on our overall strategy to be less reliant on law enforcement from UCPD. One way we are reimagining security at UVA is through leveraging our Community Assistants (CA) who can observe and address concerns in the community in lieu of UCPD officers.

 

Can UVA become a gated community?

Installing a gate isn’t a feasible option, because it would impact our AC Transit service, make it more difficult to get packages delivered, slow down emergency response, and create a barrier for guests.

Top


 

Rent

 

Will a rent increase be happening given that we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic?

We will not be increasing rent through October 2020. Beyond that, it’s still too early to say if or when there will be an increase in UVA. We’re working on the budget for the current fiscal year and we will be in discussions with the Chancellor on this matter soon.

 

What’s the extra revenue generated by rent increases used for?

As you may imagine, we have significant issues that we're trying to balance while also addressing budget cuts. We also fund many of our programs and solutions (such as renovations) through the room and board revenue. 

 

If the market rate rent in the area is falling, will the rent reduce accordingly?

We strive to stay below-market rate for our rent; we are currently 13-35% below the market (dependent on the size of the unit), which doesn’t include amenities that we provide, such as utilities and parking. We also have several other factors to consider when setting rent, such as the programs and services we offer our residents. We only increase the rent when needed to maintain our property and services. 

Top


 

COVID-19

 

How is the mandate of wearing facial coverings being enforced?

When on campus, physical distancing and wearing facial coverings are required at all times. In addition to that, All UC Berkeley students will need to accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge in CalCentral. The pledge will be posted beginning August 21 and students will need to complete it by September 18. The pledge creates a shared understanding of the expectations in our community and helps us hold each other accountable for the measures that will be taken to protect the community. Students who do not acknowledge reviewing the pledge will not be permitted on campus or other UC Berkeley property. For students moving into the campus residence halls later this week, the expectations for living in the halls are outlined in the Residential Code of Conduct. Students will be required to comply with all city and county public health orders.

Top