daily californian logo


15 free services you didn't know UC Berkeley offered

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

APRIL 03, 2014

You probably already know that going up to the top of the Campanile, commuting to San Francisco on the F bus and enjoying a noon concert on Upper Sproul Plaza are all free activities if you’re a UC Berkeley student. But did you know you can also meet with a lawyer, take private ballroom dance lessons and use your RSF membership at any UC campus? That’s right — being a student at UC Berkeley comes with many benefits, and finding these perks is all a matter of using your resources. The Clog understands you are a busy student on a tight budget, so we did the research for you. Here are 15 free services that you have complete access to as a UC Berkeley student.

1. Individual psychological counseling

The Tang Center offers five one-on-one counseling sessions to every UC Berkeley student regardless of insurance plan. Professional counselors can meet with students to talk about issues including adjusting to school, deciding on a career or major, dealing with family or relationships, sexual orientation and coping with personal crises. Workshops are also available.

2. Couples counseling

Having relationship issues with your significant other? Regardless of whether he or she attends UC Berkeley, you and your partner are eligible for free counseling sessions with a therapist if you have SHIP.

url3. Computer assistance and tech training

The Open Computing Facility offers many free services to students, including disk and shell spaces, 250 pages of printing per semester, a computer lab in 6A Hearst Gymnasium and the berkeley.edu web hosting domain. OCF volunteers hold staff hours in the lab to assist UC Berkeley students. 

4. Microsoft, Adobe and security software

Software Central provides a wide variety of free software to students. Loading is quick and easy, and there is no limit on the amount of software you can download.

5. Academic tutoring

The Student Learning Center offers adjunct courses, study groups, exam reviews and tutoring in a wide range of subjects. Best of all, the center is open 24 hours a day during the week. Simply check the program page on the SLC website for service and event times.

6. Be a tutor and get paid or earn academic credit.

UC Berkeley looooves community service. No, seriously. Our school loves it enough to pay cold hard cash (up to $16 an hour!) or even give you academic credit for tutoring fellow students and youth around the Bay Area.

7. Legal services

The ASUC Student Legal Clinic offers many free legal services to students. Meet with a lawyer, get professional advice and work with trained staff to sort out your taxes, file a claim and understand your legal rights.

8. Emergency loans

You can obtain an emergency loan from the university, regardless of your credit history. Payment is due in 60 days and can be processed through CARS.

9. Resume workshops, career-preparation info sessions and recruiting events

The Career Center works around the clock to provide you with helpful services related to employment. Counseling with personal advisers, workshops and alumni-shadowing internships are all available.

10. Ballroom dance lessons

The Social Dance Program offers free dance lessons to UC Berkeley students. You can take four-week series classes or drop in to ballroom classes. No experience, partner or special shoes are necessary.

11. Bicycle repair and maintenance

Thank the bicycle lords for BicyCAL, UC Berkeley’s cooperatively run organization devoted to bike safety and appreciation. Staff will teach how to maintain, operate and love your bicycle at no cost. BicyCAL offers peer-to-peer bicycle repair and maintenance education outside the MLK, Jr. Student Union on Sproul Plaza.

bollywood.minal_.mehta_12. Gym access at any UC campus

Visiting a friend over at UC Davis? Taking a trip to Los Angeles? You can still get your sweat on at no cost. To support student health throughout the UC system, a policy of reciprocity was adopted in 2005. All registered UC students are allowed to use the recreational facilities at any UC campus.

13. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive admission

Do some arts and crafts, watch a movie and enjoy beautiful paintings at BAM/PFA. Admission is always free for students. 

14. Botanical Garden admission

Get away from it all and take the shuttle up to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, open seven days a week. Admission is $10 for the general public, but it’s free for us!

15. Pianos and music practice rooms

Located on the ground floor of Morrison Hall, the music practice rooms at UC Berkeley consist of 33 small rooms, most with a single piano, as well as four larger grand piano rooms that double as teaching studios and an organ/early music practice room. All can be reserved in advance.

Image credits: Minal Metha, Peg Skorpinsi, education.indiana.edu

Contact Daniela Grinblatt at [email protected].

APRIL 03, 2014

Related Articles