Many of you have signed onto myBerkeley and found out that you were admitted. Congratulations! Some of you may have noticed that you were admitted for SPRING 2008. Please check to see whether you were admitted to Fall 2007 or Spring 2008. Every year tons of threads pop up about Spring Admission so I thought I'd take the liberty to answer some most common questions. Any questions not covered in the FAQ is welcome here and I will try to answer it for you. Hopefully we can just have one thread going so we don't have a bunch of random questions floating around.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What are Spring Admits? What does it mean to be admitted into the Spring Semester?
Simply put, it means you will start Berkeley one semester late, in the spring. The first semester is the only difference. Yes, you are admitted into Berkeley. Yes, you are a Berkeley student. "But I don't want to wait until spring to start college" many of you will say. Don't worry, there are other options that I'll cover later.
2. How many people are admitted in the spring?
If I remember correctly there are roughly 2,000 admitted into the spring semester.
3. Wait, I didn't apply to spring semester!
Don't worry, no one applied to be a spring admit. Berkeley just admit a certain number of students as spring admits.
4. So why are there spring admits in the first place? Why not admit all of us in the fall?
Well, a few reasons. First, many large intro classes have high demand in the fall. For example, Chem 1A had about 1200-1300 students in the fall, and only about 700 in the spring (many of whom are spring admits). Also, students will study abroad, join frats/sororities, and so on, so spots in the dorms open up.
5. How does Berkeley decide who's a spring admit and who's not?
This part is debatable. From talking to many fall and spring admits it is my honest opinion that spring admits are those with borderline stats. However, this does not mean that you are not as good as fall admits! I have seen many spring admits do better in classes now than fall admits, so it's entirely dependent on how you perform once you are at Berkeley.
6. Will others look down on me because I'm a spring admit?
For the most part, no one will care. You are a Berkeley student as much as anyone else. Most people won't even know unless you tell them. The responses I've seen are all along the lines of "oh you are a spring admit? That's cool." No one's making you wear a "Spring Admit" sign around the school.
7. I wanted to go to Berkeley, but now I found out I got into UCLA Regents and Berkeley as a spring admit, so I can't decide...can you help?
I would say definitely don't let the fact that you are a spring admit deter you from coming to Berkeley if you wanted to come in the first place. If you really have trouble deciding, feel free to start another thread with specifics and the posters here will be happy to help.
8. Okay, so I want to come to Berkeley. What do I do in the fall?
Well, generally there are 3 options. You can either take a semester off and stay at home, take courses at a community college, or enroll in FPF. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, so I'll go into more detail about FPF.
9. What is the Fall Program for Freshmen?
It's in my opinion, by far, the best option for spring admits in the fall. Basically, you come to Berkeley, you get to live in the dorms with fall admits, you take Berkeley-level classes "off-campus" (it's a building that's about 2 blocks away from dorms) at the Berkeley extension building, and earn Berkeley credits. It's not very different from being a regular Berkeley student, to be honest. You can still go on-campus and join clubs and organizations and use the library and everything.
10. So why doesn't everyone do FPF?
Unfortunately, the program has limited spacing. 650 to be exact, so if you want to get in (and I strongly recommend that you do) send a deposit in now to reserve your spot. It's first-come first-serve so don't procrastinate. And NO YOU DO NOT NEED TO DECIDE TO ENROLL IN BERKELEY TO RESERVE A SPOT. So you can reserve a spot in FPF, decide you want to attend another college, and lose nothing more than a mere $100.
11. I'm still not convined...any advantages to being in FPF?
This may come as a surprise, but there are tons of advantages to being in FPF! First of all, all your classes will be no more that about 50 people. Also, many of your discussion sections will be led by professors and not GSIs, so that's a lot more personal attention than the fall admits get! Also, all your classes are in one building so it's very convenient. It has a nice study lounge and all the professors' office hours are there too, making office hours very accessible. You interact with about 650 freshmen instead of 4000, so it's much easier to build up a good social network and make some friends. Also, in my opinion, the classes in FPF are noticibly easier than many classes on campus, so it's a good GPA booster. FPF students average a higher GPA their first semester than their fall admit counterparts!
12. You mentioned that we could live in the dorms?
Yes! You can get housing and live with fall admits. If you have a friend who is a fall admit, you can even request him/her to be your roommate. Here's the bad news: housing is not guaranteed for Spring Admits. It's hard to say your chances of getting housing. In the past almost everyone in FPF got housing, but last year more students enrolled than Berkeley estimated, so only 250 students out of 650 were offered housing. Those who live closeby usually did not get housing and had to either find off-campus housing or commute.
13. Off-campus housing?
So if you don't get the dorms you can get a private apartment, co-ops, themed housing, etc. There are plenty of options (although dorms are probably the best). Tau House is a popular option. Also some space in dorms open up come spring semester so many spring admits move into the dorms in the spring.
14. FPF sounds great! What's the catch?
Well, in my mind the worst drawback is the limited number of classes. You get your english classes, your math classes, and about 20 more classes from Astrology to Psychology to Anthropology that fulfill breadth requirements. There are no lab classes so no general Chemistry, Biology, or Physics classes. For engineers you will probably be a little behind in your prereqs. Other than that there isn't much.
15. Are there any spring admits who are Out-Of-State? Or engineers?
Yes there are definitely spring admits from OOS although I don't know about internationals. There are also those who are admitted into the college of engineering who are spring admits. For those who applied to the college of engineering, you'll take classes at FPF and then you will enter the college of engineering in the spring.
16. I realllly want to be a fall admit. Can I appeal?
If it's possible, it's rare. I would think that those who were rejected outright would be considered for an appeal over spring admits. But like I said, just enroll in FPF and it's not very different from being a Berkeley student anyway, so there's really no reason to appeal.
That's everything I can think of off the top of my head. If you have any more questions feel free to post them here. Once again, congratulations and welcome to Berkeley!