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Ask vicissitudes: Spring Admits (FAQ included)

vicissitudesvicissitudes Registered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member
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!
Post edited by vicissitudes on
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Replies to: Ask vicissitudes: Spring Admits (FAQ included)

  • sasheepup1104sasheepup1104 Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    ^ Thanks SO MUCH for all your insightful input. I was just admitted to Cal as a spring admit (sooo psyched!!!), and you answered all my questions. Now I don't have to go searching around the website for answers, lol. I was also accepted to UCLA, but I'm def leaning toward Berkeley.
  • kyledavid80kyledavid80 Registered User Posts: 8,093 Senior Member
    Great post! I never even knew that Berkeley admitted people for spring admission, even though they were planning on fall admission.

    Do you know whether spring admission affects the admission rates? I mean, when they say that Berkeley has a 24% acceptance rate, that's including spring admits, no?
  • d=]d=] Registered User Posts: 178 Junior Member
    do spring admits enter in the fall for the rest of their three years at berkeley?
  • LeftistHominidLeftistHominid Registered User Posts: 3,803 Senior Member
    BTW so those 250 people were people for regular dorms, not theme dorms right. I want to do a theme dorm.
  • vicissitudesvicissitudes Registered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member
    Do you know whether spring admission affects the admission rates? I mean, when they say that Berkeley has a 24% acceptance rate, that's including spring admits, no?

    I've always wondered that too, whether they include spring admits in their acceptance rate, and whether they include spring admits into their "freshman profile." If I have time I'll try looking that up.
    "d wrote:
    "]do spring admits enter in the fall for the rest of their three years at berkeley?

    Yup! Your seven other semesters will be just like fall admits.
    BTW so those 250 people were people for regular dorms, not theme dorms right. I want to do a theme dorm.

    Yeah. Some people I know didn't get dorm housing so they applied for themed housing.
  • mofmogmofmog Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    So we have to take 7 breadth req courses- this means that each required course is really just half a school year long (1 semester) right?
  • Golden BearGolden Bear Registered User Posts: 1,014 Senior Member
    The 7 breadth courses are a semester each. This 7 breadths are only required for L&S. The other colleges have different requirements.
  • cougar2cougar2 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    What about tuition and housing fees for FPF? Same as regular?
  • DranakinDranakin Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    Have to disagree about number 6. It's not so much that they care, but most people I've talked to jokingly don't consider spring admits to be real students. If you say something dumb, people will hit their forehead and say, "Sigh. Extension students."

    I hope you're not sensitive because Cal (and college in general) is not a place you want to go if you don't have a thick skin.
  • vicissitudesvicissitudes Registered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member
    mofmog wrote:
    So we have to take 7 breadth req courses- this means that each required course is really just half a school year long (1 semester) right?

    Yup. So you can usually get 2 taken care of in FPF. Plus you can finish the Reading&Composition requirements, and AC requirement.
    cougar2 wrote:
    What about tuition and housing fees for FPF? Same as regular?

    Housing fees are the same for FPF and fall admits. Tuition is slightly more expensive but it's about the same. It's also covered by financial aid. According to unlimitedx in another thread there's no OOS fee for FPF but I can't confirm it.
    Dranakin wrote:
    Have to disagree about number 6. It's not so much that they care, but most people I've talked to jokingly don't consider spring admits to be real students. If you say something dumb, people will hit their forehead and say, "Sigh. Extension students."

    I've never had anyone say that to me nor have I heard stories of being treated like that from other FPF friends. While you're in FPF you're mostly only interacting with other FPF students anyway, and once spring semester starts people generally won't even know you're a spring admit, unless you tell them. I'll admit the top 10% of Berkeley undergrads probably aren't filled with extension students, but come on, there are a lot of mediocre students that are fall admits. Like I said, many spring admits end up performing better than fall admits anyway.
  • CA2006CA2006 Registered User Posts: 863 Member
    I have to agree with Vicissitudes (although I am not a Spring admit.) I know a lot of FPF students because my room mate is one and have never heard any one look down on them. They have all the advantages of Fall admits except their classes are in the Extension building. Big deal!

    IMO, if you want to come to Cal and can get into the FPF program then do it.

    On the other hand, there are several people on my floor that came to Cal in January as a Spring Admit... a couple are having a hard time transitioning into "college life." If you are a Spring admit and stay out until January, you need to be very outgoing, have unusually thick skin and have the ability to infiltrate groups already somewhat established since August... a few seem to be doing okay, a few on my floor seem to be having a hard time fitting in.
  • mofmogmofmog Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    If I can't get housing, would it be feasible to commute from SF for FPF? My sister has a condo with an extra room in the east of SF (as in, cheap(er) BART fare!)

    Or would that be a bit too expensive?
  • ev700ev700 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Don't worry about being looked down upon. I experienced not such thing. I was a spring admit; did not affect my application to Haas. Was accepted, it depends on what you do with youself. FPF was wonderful.

    Don't let what other thinks dictate your decision and action.

    Sprint admit + FPF or Community College + A lot hard work = UC Berkeley Class of 2011. Go Bears....
  • DranakinDranakin Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    Personally, I would go to CC during my fall semester if I was a spring admit. I mean, you can get a significant amount of coursework done and earn some money while living at home. Plus, your friends are still there if they didn't go to college.
  • yayarea510yayarea510 Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    i have a serious concern about dorming. are your chances good for housing? i do not want to live at home or commute and i definitely dont want to miss out the dorming experience.

    i know it may sound stupid but i rather go to ucsd instead if i cant live over there.
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