Resources and Support for Staying Enrolled for Fall 2021

As we plan to return to in-person instruction, you may be feeling overwhelmed, may be facing continued challenges from the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, or facing new challenges as we enter a “new normal.” As a result, you may be questioning whether or not to stay enrolled in classes.

In order to make an informed decision regarding your enrollment and your future, we encourage you to explore UC Berkeley resources that can support you. Please carefully consider the larger impacts of not enrolling before making a final decision.

I’m struggling with my well-being

You are not alone. The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-reaching effects, and many students are facing new challenges with mental health and well-being. As things reopen, it can be natural to experience anxiety or stress. Know that there are resources at UC Berkeley to support you.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides mental health resources to you. You can call CAPS at (510) 642-9494, or call the after-hours counseling line (855) 817-5667. Counselors are available for virtual counseling appointments by phone or video.
  • Recalibrate can connect you to wellness resources designed for the entire campus community.
  • The Basic Needs Center provides essential resources that impact your health, belonging, persistence, and overall well-being. You can also book a virtual appointment with the Basic Needs Manager by emailing or calling (510) 519-4003 (Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) for immediate support.
  • Read Student Affairs’s message on resources for stress and mental health needs or the Berkeley Life article “Find your balance” to find even more resources to support.
  • Remember that SHIP insurance for the 2020-21 academic year only covers you until July 31, 2021. If you do not enroll in classes for fall 2021, you would need to line up another health insurance option for continuous coverage.

I’m struggling financially

  • Remaining continuously enrolled can help you earn your degree on time and save you money in the long run.
  • UC Berkeley has several resources to help if you are struggling with financial concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. You could be eligible for a short-term emergency loan or it could make sense for you to apply for an expected family contribution appeal. Visit the Financial Aid website to see if these might be the right steps for you. Cal Student Central also provides online and phone advising for financial aid, registration, and billing inquiries. Visit their website for information on hours for phone advising, create a case with your inquiry, or use the CSC chatbot which is available 24/7.
  • The federal government has suspended loan payments until September 30, 2021, but it is not guaranteed that this suspension will continue beyond that date. This means that if you are not enrolled for a period of 6 months, you could enter loan repayment. Read more at the Federal Student Aid website.
  • Enrollment can affect your UC Berkeley job. Students can’t continue to earn work-study pay if they are no longer enrolled, which can affect their employer’s ability to retain them. Student staff positions also require you to be enrolled and typically only offer a limited grace period. Contact your employer to see how enrollment can affect your position.

I’m worried about coming back in person

We hear you. The transition back to in-person campus life and instruction may feel overwhelming. In addition, you may be struggling with new challenges such as those related to dependent care, international travel, or accessibility. We encourage you to explore several resources that may be able to support you.

  • The University of California is moving forward with a vaccine mandate. University Health Services has compiled answers to the most commonly asked questions about the mandate. Getting vaccinated is the best protection against COVID-19 and vaccines are free and readily available. Learn more about the vaccine’s efficacy and safety.
  • Fall 2021 instruction will be predominantly in person. However, some classes—especially those with 200 or more students—may be remote. Remember that component parts of a class may have different instruction modes. You can view instruction modes in the schedule of classes or in CalCentral. You can also explore the Suggested Classes Twitter feed for classes with available seats.
  • International Students: If you think you will need to arrive later than the start of instruction for fall 2021, contact your academic department to see what academic options are possible for you. Berkeley International Office (BIO) will work with you address arrival difficulties for fall 2021 to determine the best visa options for your specific circumstances, including advising on late arrivals, readmission and return after deferral/withdrawal, and how to receive updated I-20/DS-2019 documents. See the BIO COVID-19 FAQ page for information about late arrivals for fall 2021.
  • Many parents may still be struggling with childcare. The Student Parent Center provides accommodations for undergraduate and graduate student parents. In addition, you can explore the Early Childhood Education Program and Rec Sports Youth Programs.
  • The Student Learning Center offers virtual service in many disciplines
  • If you need hardware (e.g., laptop, noise-canceling headphones, webcam), you can apply for STEP (Student Technology Equity Program).
  • The Disabled Students’ Program provides you with accommodations and services for disabilities in the academic environment.
  • If you are looking for housing off campus, Cal Rentals provides free information and advising.

Ready to enroll? Read about the next steps.

Still considering your enrollment options? Please reach out to a college advisor to discuss things further. Find information for your college or school.