Campus announces waiver of late fees for adding and dropping classes

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The Student Information Systems Project’s Executive Steering Committee announced in a campuswide email Thursday that the campus will waive late fees for adding and dropping classes after the deadline for the fall 2016 semester.

Prior to the waiver, students would have been charged $5 per course added after Sept. 9. Undergraduates would have needed to pay $10 per course dropped after Sept. 2, while graduate students would have been charged the same amount after Sept. 9.

A late registration fee of $150 for students who were not officially registered after Sept. 9 was not waived.

“It’s a small step, but at this point I think a lot of students will take what they can get,” said Frances McGinley, ASUC academic affairs vice president.

According to campus spokesperson Ellen Topp, UC Berkeley Registrar Walter Wong recommended waiving the late add and drop fees as the campus refines the new SIS waitlist management functionality.

“We recognize that students, staff and faculty are in the process of learning the new system this semester,” Topp said in an email.

Topp added that the administration does not anticipate a fee waiver in future semesters. Junior campus sociology student Ismael Chamu said he thinks the campus should be focusing on more long-term solutions to ease financial burdens for students.

“We are already paying for (tuition) and having to pay extra is just punishing and pretty much robbing from students,” Chamu said.

In general, students can request waivers for late add, drop or enrollment fees if they provide proof that their failure to meet the deadlines was due to the action or inaction of the campus.

According to Topp, the late add and drop fees are put in place as an incentive for students to act in a timely manner in order to open up enrollment opportunities for other students and to help the campus plan for space and other resources.

Jessica Lynn is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jessicailynn.