New academic participation assignment for students

May 23, 2022

Dear UC Berkeley instructors,

This fall the campus will implement a new system to guarantee that all undergraduate and graduate students receiving financial aid are participating in their courses at the start of the semester, in compliance with federal requirements established by the Department of Education.

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will verify student participation in their courses via a centralized Qualtrics survey. This survey will consist of a single question: students will click a box affirming they have read the syllabus, reviewed course requirements, and intend to engage in the class and observe the UC Berkeley honor code. The survey will be required of all students regardless of their financial aid status, since their status can change throughout the year. Students in independent study courses, honors thesis courses, or research courses will still be required to confirm participation via the appropriate method specified below.

The following will take place at the start of the fall semester:

  • For classes using bCourses: At the start of the semester, a bCourses assignment will be automatically generated with a link to the Qualtrics survey and text explaining that completion is required by the Department of Education regardless of whether you are currently receiving financial aid.

  • For classes which do not use bCourses: Around the start of classes, an email will be sent to all students which will provide a link to the Qualtrics survey. The message in the email will be identical in content to the bCourses assignment.

No action is required by instructors to implement this process.The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will send reminder emails to students who have not completed the assignment with instructions for completing it. While it is not the responsibility of instructors to guarantee participation, they can encourage students to complete the survey question. Additional information about the academic participation program, including the approved assignment question, may be found here

Thank you for your understanding. 


Catherine P. Koshland, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Ronald C. Cohen, Chair, Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate

Lisa García Bedolla, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division

Oliver O'Reilly, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Stephen C. Sutton, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs