ELWR Enrollment Hold and Appeal Packet

The information on this page is for students who are nearing the ELWR deadline or students who have an ELWR enrollment hold.

Students are not allowed to enroll for fifth quarter classes until satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). All fourth quarter ELWR-required students will have a hold placed on their enrollment after the drop/add deadline of their fourth quarter. 

Summer options for satisfying ELWR

Students with an ELWR hold

Appeal packet process

Appeal packet contents


Summer options for satifying ELWR

Students who have not satisfied the ELWR by the end of their first year at UCSC may opt to take an appropriate course over the summer at a community college. Students may submit an appeal packet of papers from this course in an attempt to satisfy the ELWR. The guidelines for this packet are a bit different than the guidelines for the portfolios that you submitted while taking classes at UCSC, so be sure to gather and present all required materials. The course will not satisfy ELWR and will not be transferable for Composition (C1 or C2) credit.

If you would like your appeal packet to be reviewed before fall quarter, it must be submitted to the Writing Program no later than September 1. See process for satisfying ELWR with an appeal packet.

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Students with an ELWR enrollment hold 

You have not been barred from the University. Your enrollment is on hold until you satisfy the ELWR. Once you satisfy the ELWR you will be able to enroll in classes once more.

If you are in good academic standing, you may be eligible to take a Leave of Absence from UC Santa Cruz which allows you to return once you have successfully completed the ELWR requirement. For more information including the form to file a Leave of Absence with your college, visit this page.

If you are not in good academic standing, you are not eligible for a Leave of Absence and you will need to submit an application for readmission in addition to completing the requirements for ELWR to return to UC Santa Cruz. For more information on the readmission process including deadlines and procedures visit this page.

To satisfy the ELWR after the fourth quarter you will need to submit an appeal packet of work from a community college or other college writing course. The guidelines for this packet are a bit different than the guidelines for the portfolios that you submitted while taking classes at UCSC, so be sure to gather and present all required materials. The course will not satisfy ELWR and will not be transferable for Composition (C1 or C2) credit.

If you would like your appeal packet to be reviewed before fall quarter, it must be submitted to the Writing Program no later than September 1. See process for satisfying ELWR with an appeal packet.

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Process for satisfying ELWR with an appeal packet

What kind of course must I take?

  • Any course that requires reading of academic texts (nonfiction or fiction) and writing essays in English that respond to these texts is acceptable.

Are there specific courses that are recommended?

Will passing the class satisfy ELWR?

  • No. At this point the only way to satisfy the ELWR is by submitting a packet of work from an appropriate college writing course. Your work is then evaluated to determine if it is of sufficient quality to satisfy the ELWR.
  • The course will not satisfy ELWR and will not be transferable for Composition (C1 or C2) credit.

Do I have options for remaining in the Santa Cruz area?

  • Many students on leave from UCSC take courses at Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, which is under ten miles from UCSC.
  • If you are an international student, you should contact Cabrillo’s International Student Program at https://www.cabrillo.edu/services/international/admission.html This program can assist you with the application process and will be able to advise you on visa concerns.
  • If you are a domestic student, you can apply for admission to Cabrillo College through the Cabrillo Admissions Office: https://www.cabrillo.edu/services/ar/

What can I do if I am an international student concerned about my visa status?

  • You should keep in regular contact with the International Education Office: http://ieo.ucsc.edu/intl-students/ This office can keep you updated on current visa requirements.
  • The UCSC Writing Program cannot advise you on visa issues.

When will I know if my appeal has been successful?

  • We generally read packets within a week of receiving them, so you can anticipate a quick response to your appeal.
  • You will be contacted by email at the address you provide.

What will happen once I satisfy the ELWR via appeal?

  • Your ELWR hold will be lifted and you will be eligible to enroll in UCSC classes again (assuming you are in good academic standing and have no other holds on your enrollment).
  • If you are not in good academic standing, you  will be required to submit an application for readmission to return to UC Santa Cruz. Keep in mind that the deadline to apply for readmission for fall quarter is April 1st. You can submit an application for readmission prior to completing ELWR and may be approved provisionally until ELWR is satisfied.
  • Contact your college advising office for assistance with the readmission process, academic advising, and enrollment planning for the quarter you plan to return to UC Santa Cruz.
  • Please consult the Academic and Administrative Calendar for important campus deadlines.

What if my appeal is not successful?

  • You may continue to take additional writing classes at schools other than UCSC and can submit an appeal portfolio for each class you take.
  • There is no limit on the number of appeals you can submit. You can keep working on your writing until it has reached the necessary level.

How do I submit my appeal packet?

  • Your packet can be dropped off in person during business hours at the Writing Program Office (Humanities 1, Room 209), or mailed to the Writing Program Office.
  • Address appeal packets to:
    Attn: ELWR Coordinator
    The Writing Program
    UC Santa Cruz
    1156 High Street
    Santa Cruz, CA 95064
  • If you are trying to satisfy ELWR prior to fall quarter, appeal packets must be submitted no later than September 1.

Required Appeal Packet Contents

  • 8-12 pages of essays (double-spaced) that make use of academic sources and that have been written for a college-level writing class. Be sure that your essays refer directly to these the texts that you read and that you make use of those texts in presenting your own ideas. Summary essays that do not contain original arguments will not satisfy ELWR. Narrative, descriptive, or argumentative writing that does not draw on academic texts will not satisfy ELWR.
  • Copies of these papers with instructor comments. You can continue to revise your essays after you receive these comments and can also include your revisions in the appeal packet, but we require the copies with instructor comments as this is the only way we have of verifying that the work is your own.
  • A two-page, double-spaced cover letter addressed to “Writing Program Reviewers” that discusses your development as a writer. In particular, you are encouraged to comment on how your writing process and skills have developed since you last took classes at UCSC.
  • Include your full name (as enrolled at UCSC), your student ID number, your college, your UCSC email address, and an alternate email address.


For further questions, please contact Sarah-Hope Parmeter, UCSC ELWR Coordinator, at shparmet@ucsc.edu.

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