Writing a Bar Appeal Letter

If you have received an academic standing decision requiring you to enter the process of barred enrollment and wish to request further consideration and a possible exception to barment, you may wish to submit an appeal letter to your College Provost.

Your College Provost may grant an exception if a student clearly and honestly explains the circumstances affecting their academic performance and presents a detailed and realistic plan for returning to good academic standing in the next quarter.

The advice below can help you write your statement. You may also wish to consult offices on campus that can give you guidance on your appeal, such as EOPSTARS or your College Advisors. If campus staff are not available to help, trusted family members and friends can also be a good resource.

Format and Deadline

Bar appeal letters should be addressed to your College Provost. Instructions for submitting your appeal and the submission deadline are noted in your initial bar notification. Please keep copies of all documents pertaining to a review that you send or receive.


Bar appeal letters should include the following elements:

  • an opening sentence that clearly states the reason why you are submitting an appeal
  • an explanation that describes the circumstances that you believe contributed to your being barred from enrollment
  • documentation that supports your description of the circumstances that led to your being barred
  • a plan for the future that explains what specific steps you would take to return to good academic standing if your appeal is approved.

Please note that the information you share in your appeal will be kept private and shared only with campus officials as required to process your appeal. However, in limited circumstances, including those related to potential harm to yourself or others, sexual assault, and abuse, we may be required by law to report incidents you disclose to other need-to-know offices on campus such as the Title IX Office and/or University of California Police Department. If you are in need of support for any issues you disclose in your appeal statement, please see the list of confidential and/or support resources.


The College Provost overturns the decision to bar only in exceptional cases. Appeals are granted when the following criteria are met:

  • there is clear and persuasive evidence that a student could not have remained in good academic standing; and
  • there is clear and persuasive evidence that the student has a viable plan for returning to good academic standing. This may include a plan to seek support for academic success (college advising, department major advising, LSS, MSI, tutoring, study hours, discussion sections, Disability Resource Center, EOP, etc.); it may also include a plan to pursue part-time enrollment if you're eligible, change a major, or other plans.

Students will be notified about the final status of their appeal within approximately one week. Please email your College Advisors with any questions.

Questions to Address in Your Appeal:


Was your performance in classes this quarter hampered by unusual, extreme, or emergency circumstances? Can you provide documentation to give context to your experience this quarter and how it affected your performance in class and on exams?

Major and Graduation Timeline

Are you still able to pursue the major you originally selected at UCSC? How has this quarter affected your graduation timeline? What changes can you make to your schedule next quarter to graduate by your expected graduation date?

If you are not meeting qualification requirements for your first-choice major, what major will you pursue now? What changes can you make to your schedule next quarter to declare on time?

Campus Resources

If allowed to continue, what campus resources would you make use of to establish a stronger foundation for academic success? Here are some resources other students in similar situations have benefited from: College advising, Major advising, LSS/MSI, the Disability Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (or an off-campus therapist), STARS (for transfer students), EOP, and the Career Center.

Your appeal should demonstrate that you know which resources would help you most and have taken steps to access them as soon as the quarter begins.

Support System

It is always possible for academic challenges to arise even when we have good intentions. If allowed to stay at UCSC next quarter, how would you strengthen your current support system? What kinds of support do you currently lack, and how would you bring that support into your life? 

Next Steps and Appeal Timeline: 

Please submit your appeal via the instructions and deadline noted in your initial enrollment bar notification. 

The College Provost will read it carefully and make a decision about whether to grant an appeal. The decision will be sent to your email address within approximately one week of submission. In the meantime, your college advisors can support you and answer any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions for Barred Students

Q: My enrollment has been barred. What does that mean?

A: Barred enrollment means that the Academic Standing Committee at your college reviewed your academic record and, based on the grades you have been earning and your academic progress, decided it would be best for you to take time off from the university. You are required to take a specified number of quarters off, after which you may apply for readmission to UCSC. During your time off, you are not an active UCSC student, and therefore ineligible for on-campus housing, financial aid, and student benefits.

Q: What should I do now?

A: You should carefully read the information about your conditions for readmission. If you have questions about this information, contact a College Advisor.

Q: Can I appeal my barred enrollment?

A: Yes. You may submit a letter of appeal using the instructions and by the deadline stated in your letter of barment. Guidelines to help you write your appeal letter are above. Your appeal should be addressed to your college provost, and should clearly explain any extenuating circumstances and how you plan to be successful if your bar is rescinded. Provide any documentation if applicable. Late appeals will not be accepted.

Q: Can I still take classes during UCSC Summer Session?

A: Barred enrollment does not prevent you from attending UCSC Summer Session. However, you should plan ahead and carefully consider whether attendance at UCSC in the summer is viable. Please contact a college advisor for support in determining if UCSC Summer Session is a good option for you.

Q: Can I take classes somewhere else, like a local community college?

A: Yes, and sometimes this is advisable, depending upon your situation. You can use www.assist.org to find UC transferable classes offered at California community colleges. You may want to consult with your major advisor, and/or your college advisor if you plan to take courses elsewhere. Your GPA from another institution will not be factored into your UCSC GPA, but will be considered when you apply for readmission. The number of credits you transfer in can impact the amount of time you have left to complete a degree when you return to UCSC.

Q: How do I apply for readmission?

A: Review the readmission application, instructions, and filing deadlines here. After submitting your application, you may need to submit any documentation related to your conditions (statement of intent, transcripts, major planners, medical documentation etc.) to your College Advisor. If you have questions about the additional documentation you will need to submit, contact your College Advisor.

Q: What happens when I return to UCSC?

A: When you return to UCSC, you are expected to maintain communication with your college and department advisors about your progress. If your academic performance is again below good standing, your record will be reviewed again at the end of the quarter during which you return.

Q: Is my barred enrollment noted on my permanent academic record?

A: No, barred enrollment is not permanently noted on your official transcripts. Once you complete the conditions of the bar and return to UCSC, the barred enrollment notation will be removed.

Q: What about UCSC housing

Students who are barred and are living in university housing need to make arrangements to move out as soon as possible. Delaying your move-out means you will continue to accrue room and board charges. Contact your Housing Coordinator to complete the necessary cancellation paperwork and schedule your move-out date. Contact information is available at: https://housing.ucsc.edu/contact

If you pursue an appeal to the academic bar, you may remain in university housing while your appeal is considered. You will be responsible for your room and board costs for each day you remain in residence.

Off-campus students who plan to leave the Santa Cruz area should review the terms of their rental agreement/lease and make any necessary arrangements with their landlord.

Q: What happens to financial aid when a student is barred?

If you are a financial aid recipient, your aid is canceled effective in the effective quarter of your barment (for students barred after spring, aid is normally canceled for fall, but check the language in your letter of barment). This means you will owe back to the university any refund you may have received for the subsequent term after you are barred. You can apply for aid only once you are re-admitted to UCSC, at which point you may be awarded aid if eligible. If you attend another university during your absence from UCSC, you may be eligible for aid at that institution and can consult with their offices about this.

If you appeal your barment with your college and are approved to continue at UCSC, you will need to ensure you are meeting Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements to receive aid: https://financialaid.ucsc.edu/financial-aid-policies/undergraduate-sap.html. Consult with the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office about your status. 

Q: What happens to health insurance when a student is barred? 

Barred students are not eligible to continue UC SHIP medical insurance coverage and will need to apply for new insurance. Covered California is one option and offers an online application here https://www.coveredca.com/. If you are barred at the end of spring quarter (barred for fall quarter) your UC SHIP medical insurance will continue through the summer and then be discontinued before fall quarter begins.

Please note that if you are not enrolled in UC SHIP medical insurance at the time of your visit to the Student Health Center, charges reflecting full cost of service will be posted to your account. If you are unsure of your status, you can ask to speak with a Triage Nurse or the Insurance Office located at the Student Health Center.

Q: What other resources are available?

If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, you may contact our Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Crisis Line at 831-459-2628 or the local 24-hour Suicide Crisis Line at 1-877-663-5433.

CAPS staff can assist with transitional support such as finding counseling services in your hometown or notifying your family about the separation from UCSC, but please note that CAPS is unable to offer ongoing services to students who are not enrolled.

If you need help finding housing, mental health or food resources in the community where you will be living, you can call your local 2-1-1 for community resources and/or apply for food benefits here: https://www.mybenefitscalwin.org/.  

The UCSC Slug Support Program offers support to students faced with varying crises to connect them to resources. If you would like to consult with a member of the Slug Support team about your transition plan after being barred, please contact the Dean of Students office at deanofstudents@ucsc.edu or by dialing 831-459-4446.

**Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and may vary depending on your situation**