In a bid to make the campus more inclusive, the admissions office will no longer use the phrase “spring admits” to refer to incoming freshmen admitted for the spring semester.
The reason for dropping the term “spring admit” hinges on preventing those students who fall under the term from feeling “that their admission was significantly different,” according to Amy Jarich, assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions. Certain students are admitted for spring because of a lack of sufficient space for them in the fall.
Jarich said that the “spring admit” label made some students feel disconnected from the main campus because they did not apply for the spring-admission option.
“Most of your life on campus is very similar to someone who is taking their classes on campus,” she said, adding that students in the Fall Program for Freshmen, or FPF — an academic program offered to spring-admission students through UC Berkeley Extension — “lived on campus, went to classes, went to football games.”
In the admissions email sent to spring-admission students, three options are presented to “January start” students for the fall semester: FPF; a semester off to work, travel or take community college classes; or Global Edge, a new study abroad program for freshmen.
“At first, I was a little disappointed because I didn’t get into regular admissions,” said Katrina Uy, a student from Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. “But once I started reading about the Fall Program for Freshmen, I realized it was a good option for me.”
The change has no effect on overall spring-admission numbers or on the separate admission policy and terminology for community college transfers.
“The difference is really what we’re calling it,” Jarich said.
The email about spring 2016 admission, however, did cause some confusion for Lara Volski, a student at Orange County School of the Arts.
“I was really confused at first because the wording was a little off,” Volski said. Upon first reading the email, Volski thought that she had to go to London with the Global Edge program and that spring admission implied she was not “outstanding.”
Now Volski said she is “happy” with the social transition into college provided by FPF, which she refers to as “Berkeley kindergarten.”
Of the students recently admitted for the spring 2016 semester, about 750 will join FPF in August, and about 200 will wait until January 2016 to begin classes on campus, according to Jarich. Global Edge will be a third option for 50 incoming UC Berkeley freshmen.
“We don’t want you to feel like a second choice,” Jarich said. “You are someone I dearly want to come here, but I don’t have a seat for you right now.”