Starting College a Semester Late?

Some colleges accept students as spring admits.  This means that instead of starting college right away in the September after high school, you’d start in the Spring semester, usually in January.  One such college that does this is UC Berkeley and I myself was a Spring Admit.  In this article, I’ll explain briefly what a Spring Admit is, what my options were for college, and what I ultimately decided on doing.

  • What is a Spring Admit?

A Spring Admit is a student who has applied to college and has been accepted to start college in the Spring semester.  This is usually due to space and accommodations.  Seniors who need an extra semester before they graduate are filling up university resources so after they graduate in the fall semester, the university has more space for Spring students.  Spring Admits are not unlike Fall admitted students in any way other than they’re starting a semester late.  There is no distinction between their admittance statistics and their Spring admit status is usually based purely on lottery.

  • What to do if You Gain Spring Admittance?

There are three main options you can pursue if you are a Spring Admit: (1) Take the semester off, (2) Take classes through a community college, (3) Enroll in your university’s Fall Program for Freshmen that is specific for Spring students.  I will explain each of these options in further detail:

(1) Take the Semester Off:

Because you have received Spring Admission, take advantage of it and extend your summer break!  Take the time to do things you didn’t have time to do in high school.  Get a job and extend your hours past just thee summer.  Travel or take a vacation.  Visit your friends in colleges that are either far away or close by.  It might be your only chance to visit them because once you start school, both your schedules will clash a lot more.  The bottom line is: you have an extra four months to lounge around as you please!

(2) Take Class Through a Community College:

If you feel like you might fall behind and want to get started on some college courses, you can enroll in classes through a community college and earn units.  Community college courses are a great way to ease yourself into your university because community college courses won’t appear as a letter grade on your university transcript but you can still earn credits that will go toward your graduation.  Most of the classes you take through a community college will fulfill your general education courses, freeing up courses when you attend your university to focus more on your major courses.

(3) Enroll in your university’s Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF)

For those of you that really want to attend college in the fall time, not to worry.  Most schools that have Spring Admits will also offer something called Fall Program for Freshmen.  It’s a program that is run by the school that offers students a chance to start taking some university courses.  Most of these courses fulfill general education courses and the letter grades do show up on your transcript.  At my school, the class size is usually smaller and this means you can get to know your professor better in a more intimate setting.

  •  What I Decided to Do:

Everyone’s spring experience is different.  After receiving my Spring admittance to UC Berkeley, I struggled a little bit deciding what to do.  While I wanted to start my college career along with all my friends in the fall time, something was nagging me to take advantage of my Spring admittance.  I realized that I had fulfilled many of my general education requirements through AP classes.  Furthermore, I calculated my semesters and found out that if I took some classes through a local community college the summer of my senior year and through the fall semester, I could be on track to graduate with a double major.  Therefore, I decided to take my fall semester in a different direction.

My local community college offered many online classes that fulfilled my requirements.  I could work remotely from my computer.  So since I didn’t need to physically be in class, I decided to do a little traveling.  I was able to travel to Boston and Hong Kong and even pick up an internship in Hong Kong for the three months I was there!  Getting a Spring Admittance is really what you make of it.  Weigh all your options and see what works best for you!

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Clara Ma

Clara Ma

Clara is a third year student attending the University of California, Berkeley currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Media Studies. Her school activities include being a captain on the Cal Dance Team, being a Campus Ambassador, as well as being part of THRIVE Dance Company. She enjoys living vicariously through others on the Internet, keeping up with pop culture on Tumblr, and watching a copious number of television shows (namely Sherlock and How I Met Your Mother).