HomePre-College Scholars: Summer Commuter Program • Letter to Parents

Pre-College Scholars: Summer Commuter Program Parents

We are pleased that your student is considering participating in our Berkeley Pre-College Scholars program. It is an exciting moment for you, and an excellent opportunity for them. If selected, your student will attend classes with an exceptional cohort of college students from Berkeley and around the world.

We understand that you may have questions about your student's time at Berkeley this summer and we hope you will find the information here helpful!

Welcome to the Pre-College Scholars Commuter Program!




What are the impacts of COVID-19 on the Pre-College Scholars: Summer Commuter program?

Due to the continuing complications associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, UC Berkeley has made the decision to change face-to-face classes to remote delivery of instruction for Summer Sessions 2020. At this time, we welcome your student to consider our online and remote courses. Orientation and extracurricular programming will be conducted online. Information on courses is available here under the 'Courses' tab. Additional information will be available in the student handbook.

How will my student access the online course?

Coursework will be offered in a virtual format, and most classes will be utilizing bCourses, which is our Berkeley virtual platform powered by Canvas. To learn more about bCourses and Canvas, you can visit the following link. Courses that are listed as 'synchronous' will require attendance in real-time via Zoom. Courses that are listed as 'asynchronous' will be self-paced and have no meeting times. For more information, please contact the academic department that is offering the course of interest directly.

How will my student take their final exam?

Some courses will require a final exam, but others will not. If your student must take a final exam that is not open-book, they will need to secure a proctor. It is crucial to get started on this process as early as possible and be responsible for all arrangements and fees connected to the proctoring process. Detailed information will be available on your student handbook's addendum.



I see under the program's eligibility requirements that the student must be 16 years of age to participate. My student will still be 15 years old (or younger) by the start date of the program, but they are very hardworking and can certainly take on a challenging course at UC Berkeley. Are you willing to make an exception?

Unfortunately, due to program policy and University policy regarding minors on campus, no exceptions can be made at this time. For this year, we recommend looking at the Academic Talent Development Program (adtp.berkeley.edu). We strongly encourage your student to submit an application for the Pre-College Scholars: Summer Commuter program in the following year, provided that they still meet our admissions criteria.

My student will finish ninth grade by the beginning of summer. May they participate in the Pre-College Program?

No. Only students who have completed at least two years of high school are eligible to participate in this level of work. For information about a program for rising high school sophomores, contact the Academic Talent Development Program on campus, atdp.berkeley.edu.

My student lives outside the U.S. May they enroll in the Pre-Collegiate Program?

Yes, this summer, we are opening the program to students from all parts of the world.


Is financial aid available for my student in the summer?

Financial aid is not available to Pre-College students. If the student has any funds available from external sources (veterans benefits, scholarships, grants, etc.), we are happy to help the student apply those funds to their summer payment. If the student does have other funds available, they should contact our office precollege@berkeley.edu before completing the online application.

Does the Pre-College Scholars program offer scholarships?

We do not have scholarships at this time for the Commuter program.

May I check my student's financial and/or academic records?

No. Because of regulations outlined in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), financial and/or academic records may be released only to the student. Students must submit their Release Student Information form for our office to be able to communicate with parents regarding their student records.

Course Information

What classes can my student take?

Students may take only lower-division courses (numbered 1-99). Please consider the following:

Online Courses 

Online courses are specifically designed to be taught in a virtual setting and are asynchronous, meaning that there are no scheduled class times and, therefore, would be more flexible than remote class options. (Pre-College students are only eligible to courses numbered 1-99)

Remote Instruction

Remote classes will be conducted synchronously, based on the class times listed in the Course Catalog in the Pacific Time Zone, and will require that students log in and be virtually present for all class meetings. (Pre-College students are only eligible to courses numbered 1-99)

All courses under the Course Catalog will indicate their scheduled time, number of units, and number of students currently enrolled

Will the grades my student receives in the Pre-College Program count towards high school requirements and/or high school GPA?

As a rule, Pre-College grades do not count towards high school requirements, AP credit, and high school GPA. However, for the most accurate answer, your student should contact the College/Career counseling office at their high school. Upon successful completion of the Pre-College course/s, your student will receive college credit (recorded on an official transcript) at UC Berkeley, which they will report when completing college applications.

Personal/Academic Support

Where can my student go for academic support?

The first and most valuable resource for your student is their professor and Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). Both schedule weekly office hours, which are posted in the student syllabus. If the student is struggling academically or needs more information or resources, the professors and GSIs are an excellent place to start. Additionally, the Student Learning Center is a resource that offers tutoring, writing assistance, study skills workshops, and more. These services are provided at no charge.


When does the Pre-College Program fill up?

There is no limit on the number of students who can enroll in the program. If a student wants to enroll in a course that has already met its enrollment limit, the student will be put on the waitlist. To determine if they have been admitted to the course, the student will need to check on CalCentral regularly. If on a waitlist, the student will not be charged until they are successfully enrolled in the class. If no longer interested in participating in the program, therefore, please make sure that the student removes themselves; otherwise, they will incur charges if they get enrolled in the course without notice.

Will participation in the Pre-College Program give my student an advantage when applying to UC Berkeley?

The UC application for undergraduate admission allows students to indicate any course/s they have taken in addition to their high school offerings. Any academic work outside of the high school classroom is a valuable contribution to a college application, so your student should indicate the Pre-College course/s on the application. However, participation in the Pre-College Scholars Program does not give any extra weight to your student's UC application. While the Pre-College Scholars program does not guarantee admission to UC Berkeley, the program is of significant value to the student's intellectual growth and academic exploration.

How will I know that my student is doing well?

We encourage you to talk with your student about their academic progress and concerns regularly. Because of regulations outlined in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), information about a student's academic progress may be released only to the student unless we have the signed Consent to Release Student Information form on file.

My student has a disability. What kinds of services are available, and how do we arrange for them?

Students with disabilities should contact the Disabled Students' Program as soon as they receive an admissions offer to the program. Providing any accommodation will take time. Given the accelerated nature of our summer sessions, we ask that you allow plenty of time after you submit an application to receive the requested accommodation/services on time.

Five More Things Every Pre-College Scholars Commuter Program Parent Should Know

1. Academic Courses: Courses taken during the Pre-College Program are regular UC Berkeley courses. Your student's classmates will be UC Berkeley and visiting college students from other institutions across the U.S. and around the world. These courses are generally 16 weeks long during the regular semester and are compressed into intensive summer sessions. Some courses have lab and discussion sections for additional specified hours. More specific course information may be found at the Online Schedule of Classes.

2. Academic Rigor: Because classes are condensed during the summer, there will be a lot of material covered in a short amount of time. It is recommended that the minimum amount of time per week students spend studying should be the number of units they are taking multiplied by three, e.g., if a student is taking a three-unit course, they should be studying at least nine hours per week for the course outside of class. At the beginning of the course, instructors will usually share a syllabus that outlines the course plan for the entire session, which will give the students an idea of what is expected and plenty of time to prioritize.

3. Academic Resources: If students are having difficulty in their course/s, the Student Learning Center on campus is a great resource that offers tutoring, study groups, and much more. In addition to the resources available at the Student Learning Center, students are encouraged to connect with their instructors and graduate student instructors (GSIs) during office hours. Instructors and GSIs set aside time slots each week for students to come in and ask questions related to the course. The day and time of office hours are a great way to get to know instructors and GSIs, as well as to get assistance with assignments. Office hours are usually posted on the course syllabus.

4. About Refunds: Please consult with this important page to learn about all the sessions' important dates and deadlines. Also, be sure to review the information about the Summer Sessions refund policy.

5. School-Related Information: According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, UC Berkeley cannot give parents any school-related information (e.g., information about grades, classes, amount of money owed, etc.) about a student without their consent.