Following UC Berkeley’s announcement of plans to hold a hybrid fall semester, some students have expressed interest in withdrawing or deferring admission while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Despite some students wanting to withdraw for the fall semester, UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ previously said submitting a request to withdraw admission due to the new method of online learning would not be a good enough excuse to approve withdrawal.
Students have the option to take a break from their academic studies either by withdrawing for a certain period of time or deferring admission. The process to withdraw varies by student.
“The process looks different depending on the type of withdrawal, which college the student is withdrawing from, the student’s residency status, and at which point in the semester someone withdraws,” said ASUC Student Advocate Joyce Huchin in an email. “Once a student withdraws from the university, they cannot continue taking classes until they have been readmitted.”
Continuing students who are looking to leave for a semester must withdraw by filling out the withdrawal request form on CalCentral.
The process to withdraw is best navigated by consulting with a college adviser who can aid in reviewing all the student’s options, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff.
“The college advisor can answer questions about cancellation and withdrawal, recommend future study plans, advise on coursework that could be completed while away, and review one’s academic standing to ensure that one qualifies for readmission,” Ratliff said in an email.
Students who choose to withdraw will need to reapply for admission. This process is the same as it was prior to the pandemic.
This process, however, is different from new student admission.
“Unlike the initial, highly competitive admissions process, readmission is handled by a student’s college (Letters & Science, Engineering, etc.),” Ratliff said in the email. “It is not a competitive process.”
New students have the option to defer admission, which is different from withdrawing. They will need to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. According to the Berkeley Admitted Students FAQs page, the admissions office rarely approves requests to defer admission to a future term or academic year.
Many students have raised concerns regarding the obstacles associated with attending a university during these uncertain times, according to Huchin.
“Both physically and financially, many of us are in very different places than we were a couple of months ago,” Huchin said in the email.
With the high costs of living in the Bay Area and attending campus, Huchin encourages students to fill out financial aid applications via FAFSA.
As of press time, campus cannot predict if more students will choose to withdraw.
“The campus is working hard to support our high standards in teaching and learning whatever the teaching format and conditions we face,” Ratliff said in the email.