<p>My son got admitted to CAL for spring 2014 - undeclared letters and science. We are trying to figure out to do it or not. The FPF seems like a good idea, but it is my understanding he won't necessarily get housing for the full year (just for Fall?) and his classes will be given credit so he can graduate on time - in light of this (he would be going to school on campus at the same time as regular freshman as well as living there) why wasn't he just admitted for Fall?? </p>

<p>He was also admitted to UCLA which he seems to really like. HELP </p>

<p>He wants to major in math or physics</p>

<p>FPF offers Math 1A and 1B, and does not offer the physics courses that physics major need. If he is more advanced than Math 1B and/or wants to start physics right away (a good idea, due to the long prerequisite sequence of physics courses) then he may want to investigate whether a community college in your area has courses that match up to his desired math course and Physics 7A (see [Welcome</a> to ASSIST](<a href=“http://www.assist.org%5DWelcome”>http://www.assist.org) ). Otherwise, he may only be able to fulfill breadth requirements in FPF. (Not sure if FPF students would be allowed to enroll in courses at Berkeley City College as well, as it offers courses matching up to UCB math and physics courses.)</p>

<p>If your son gets campus housing in the fall, his housing would be guaranteed for the entire school year. It’s my understanding that most FPF students are now able to get into the dorms for the fall semester (didn’t used to be the case).</p>

<p>Note that the long sequence of courses for the physics major is 7 semesters long:</p>

<p>Math 1A
Math 1B, Physics 7A
Math 53, Physics 7B
Math 54, Physics 7C
Physics 137A
Physics 111 (3 units)
Physics 111 (3 more units)</p>

<p>A student who has AP credit for Math 1A may shorten it to 6 semesters by taking Physics 7A (and an appropriate math course more advanced than Math 1A) in the first semester, but that option is not available in FPF.</p>

<p>As of this year (fall 2012), the university guaranteed housing for all FPF and fall admit students for the entire year - so that’s not a setback anymore. All classes you take in FPF can cover breadth requirements (which you’ll need to complete eventually) and unit requirements for graduation. Additionally, the social aspect of FPF was something I actually really enjoyed - the classes are smaller, no larger than 100 students for the largest lectures, so you get closer contact with both the people in your classes and your professors. You also can participate in any campus activities (Greek life, clubs, IM sports, etc.) while an FPF student that semester. Living in the dorms is a HUGE aspect of social life at Cal, and I would definitely have felt “set back” in terms of forming friendships and relationships if I had come to Berkeley spring semester. No one really knows how or why people are admitted to be fall vs. spring admits - I’ve heard it’s simply based upon a lottery.</p>

<p>As an intended math or physics major, it might be a BIT of a setback for him to not start immediately on major prerequisites first semester, because (as ucbalumnus said) they only offer math 1A and 1B and no hard science courses. However I don’t think this would be a huge problem in the long run. </p>

<p>Between UCLA and Cal, it all comes down to how much he likes the school and which place he would rather spend his next four years. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I fell in love with Berkeley the moment I stepped on campus, and wouldn’t go back on my choice in any way. They’re both excellent schools, so it all depends on where he feels the better fit is. Don’t let having to do FPF be a point against Berkeley - I, and everyone else I know who did it, actually really enjoyed it.</p>



<p>The [Hout</a> report](<a href=“http://academic-senate.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/committees/aepe/hout_report_0.pdf]Hout”>http://academic-senate.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/committees/aepe/hout_report_0.pdf) explains it (page 20, which is page 24 of the PDF).</p>

<p>I signed up for FPF last year but I ended up not going to Berkeley.
If your son does FPF he will be living in on-campus dorms and it will be guaranteed for the next semester as well. There is a nonrefundable reservation fee but if you are financially eligible (i.e. receiving FAFSA you can email them for a waiver).</p>

<p>Also- when I went to a Cal info session at a hotel boardroom after acceptances came out, they said that spring admittance was just their “way of getting around the system to be able to accept more people into Berkeley.” It might also be based on a lottery as well because I was spring-admitted while my considerably worse-in-academics friend got right into fall 2012.</p>

<p>Agree with ucbalumnus that the main disadvantage of FPF is for some majors you cannot start the sequance and can get behind in declaring the major especially if it is impacted. Otherwise, don’t see much other disadvantage.</p>



<p>Could be that your friend wrote a better essay or had enough other factors in his/her favor to get a better admissions read score than you, but you were pulled in for spring due to having better academic numbers than an admitted student from your high school despite a marginal admissions read score. See the Hout report linked above.</p>

<p>We learned at Cal Day that you must be in the school of letters and science to be placed in the FPF program. If you study engineering or something in another college you have to start Fall semester.</p>