FAQs

HomeFAQs

Click on a question to view the response.

Membership

Can I register for courses without becoming a member?

The Bernard Osher Foundation requires that all Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes have a membership requirement. OLLI @Berkeley is a membership-based, non-credit educational program. Only members can register for courses.

When will I receive my OLLI membership card?

OLLI membership cards for new and renewed memberships are mailed to a member’s listed home address starting approximately 3 weeks prior to the beginning of classes. An additional mailing goes out at the end of the first week of a term.

Can I change my membership type?

Membership types are usually changed at the end of the member’s active membership period; this date is provided on the member’s ID card.

Members may request an upgrade to Premium Membership from Annual Membership within their active 12-month consecutive term period; the change will start at the beginning of next term following the request and receipt of membership due payment.

No requests to change a Premium Membership type to an Annual Membership type will be considered with the active 12-month period of the membership.

No requests to apply for Scholarship Program Membership will be considered within the active 12-month period of an established Premium or Annual Membership.

How do I apply for the Scholarship Program?

You can download an application from the Scholarship Program page of the website, or request one by contacting the OLLI @Berkeley office (510.642.9934 or berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu). Scholarship applications for a given term must be submitted at least seven days prior to the start of the term. Scholarships, if granted, are valid for one year.

Are OLLI memberships and course fees tax-deductible?

Even though UC Berkeley is a nonprofit, to the best of our knowledge course fees and membership fees are not tax-deductible.

Because OLLI classes are non-credit and do not lead to a certificate or degree, they are not a qualified education expense under the American Opportunities Tax Credit. (View IRS guidelines.)

Course fees are not tax-deductible under IRS guidelines about tuition paid to nonprofit institutions because the student receives a benefit (the class) in exchange for the payment. (View IRS guidelines.)

Unlike nonprofits where membership is an optional way to show additional support for an organization (e.g. a museum membership), OLLI membership dues are not tax-deductible because memberships are a condition of participation in classes. They are therefore in the same category as course fees.

For further clarification, please consult your tax professional.

 

Classes

How do I add a course?

Members can add a course at any time, on a space-available basis, by logging into their account and paying the applicable course registration fee associated with their Membership type (Term, Annual, Premium, etc.).

How do I withdraw from a course?

Members can drop a course by contacting the OLLI office. Only courses dropped seven or more days before the start of a term will be given a refund.

Are classes refundable?

Members may drop a course up to seven days before the start of a term for a full refund. No partial refunds are available.

If I can’t attend all meetings for a class, can I prorate the cost or get credit towards a future class?

There are no prorations or credits for any classes that a member cannot attend.

Is my course registration transferable to another person, or can another person attend class in my place?

Course registrations are not transferable from the member who registered for the course to another person under any circumstances. Also, no other person can attend a course session in the place of a member.

Why are classes sometimes moved or cancelled?

Classes are sometimes moved to a different location to accommodate enrollments that are higher or lower than expected. This allows us to accept more students into a class instead of turning people away, or move a small class into a room that's better suited for group discussions. Sometimes venue availability changes as well, so that we need to move a class for one week or the whole term.
Reasons for a class cancellation can include an instructor schedule change, instructor illness, changes in venue availability, low enrollments, or a combination of these factors. We cancel classes only as a last resort, after other options have been considered. If a class is cancelled, all enrolled students have the option to transfer to their course registration to another open course within the same course type (A-B-C-D) or request a refund. Single-term members who are not taking any other classes and who choose a refund of their course registration fee are also offered a refund of their membership fee.

What happens if an instructor misses class due to illness or other reasons?

If an instructor misses a class meeting due to illness or other factors, whenever possible we will schedule a make-up class at the same time and location during the seventh week of the term. 

What happens if a class meeting is scheduled on a religious holiday?

OLLI @Berkeley follows UC Berkeley's policy with respect to accommodation of religious creed. Like other UC Berkeley classes, OLLI @Berkeley classes do not meet on UC administrative holidays. 

Can I attend the first class before I register?

Class auditing, for any reason, is not permitted.

Can I bring a friend or relative to class as a guest?

When space allows, there are two opportunities for OLLI members to bring a friend or relative to a class as a guest. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate guests in courses that are fully enrolled.

  • Last class session
    • Members can bring one guest to the last session of a large lecture course at no charge.
    • Due to space constraints, this option is only for available classes that are held at Freight and Salvage, 150 University Hall and the Lafayette Library Learning Center.
  • All other class sessions
    • Registered OLLI members can bring a guest, on a one-time basis to a single session.
    • The cost per guest is $30; the OLLI member should email or call the OLLI office at least one day in advance of the class to complete arrangement.
    • The one-time guest option is only offered on a space-available basis at Freight and Salvage, 150 University Hall or the Lafayette Library Learning Center.

Are OLLI classes accessible for people with hearing loss or other physical challenges?

OLLI @Berkeley class venues comply with the American for Disabilities (ADA) guidelines for public access; the OLLI office is also compliant with a ramp on the side of the building for wheelchair access to the first floor offices, meeting area, and restroom.

For information on hearing accessibility and assisitive listening options in our classrooms, go to olli.berkeley.edu/hearing.

OLLI @Berkeley makes every effort to have course readings be accessible to members who use screen readers due to visual impairment. If you encounter course readings that cannot be accessed using a screen reader, please contact us at berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu so we can provide the materials in an alternate format.

Can I record a class?

UC Berkeley's campus-wide policy on note-taking applies to all OLLI courses. This policy specifies that lectures and presentations are the intellectual property of the instructor and states that "Students may not make audio or visual recordings of lectures or class presentations without the advance written consent of the instructor. Recording of lectures or class presentations made with the instructor's advance consent is authorized solely for the purposes of individual or group study with students enrolled in the same class unless the instructor has given explicit written consent for other uses. The recording may not be reproduced or distributed in any manner, including the Internet, without the instructor's written consent."

I have an idea for a class. How do I let OLLI know about my idea? 

Send your suggestion to berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu.

The instructor for my course has produced a course reader; how do I obtain it?

Some instructors choose to produce a course reader for their class participants. OLLI members have the option to purchase these course readers, which are offered at a minimal price by local copy centers. The instructor contracts directly with the copy center to produce the reader; this is not an OLLI function and OLLI does not inventory nor sell the course readers. Members will be notified prior to the start of a class if there is a course reader and where they may purchase it.  

What are your policies regarding animals in OLLI classrooms?

OLLI @Berkeley follows UC Berkeley's policies regarding dogs on campus property and the Access Guide to Animals as Accommodations

 

Website

I forgot my password. What do I do?

  1. From the login screen, enter your username or email and click "Log in".
  2. You will see an error message. Click "Have you forgotten your password?"
  3. Enter your username or email address and click "Email new password."
  4. You will receive an email with further instructions. If you have not received the email within 5-10 minutes, please check your Spam folder.

How do I access readings and other course materials for a class?

Course materials are made available online as they are received. To view and download your course materials, first log in to the OLLI website, then click the "Course Materials" link.

Due to UC policies about the use of copyrighted material online, students can only access course materials for courses in which they are enrolled, and only for the duration of the course. If you wish to save articles and other course materials for future reference, please do so before the end of the term.

Why can't I purchase a membership and register for classes at the same time online?

Because the price per course is determined by the type of membership you have, you must complete the purchase of a membership before registering for classes. With our current system, that requires two separate transactions.

How do I update my address or phone number on your site?

  1. Log in to olli.berkeley.edu
  2. Click on the “My Account” tab in the blue bar at the top of your screen.
  3. Click on the "My Contact Information” tab.
  4. Enter your new contact information.
  5. Scroll down and hit “Save.”
  6. Stuck? Give us a call during business hours at 510.642.9934.

 

Connecting with Members

What is an Interest Circle?

When an OLLI term ends, some members may wish to meet to continue their discussion of the class subject matter, to read more about it, or to share activities together. The OLLI Interest Circle program provides this opportunity.

Interest Circles are self-organized, self-governing discussion or activity groups, proposed by OLLI members and coordinated by participants. There are no instructors for Interest Circles and no fees.

OLLI’s role in the Interest Circle process is to help OLLI members connect with each other around a shared topic of interest and to provide initial communications support. In addition, subject to space availability, OLLI can provide reserved meeting space for up to a year in order to help the new group establish itself.

How do I start an Interest Circle?

There are two ways to start an Interest Circle:

Towards the end of Fall, Winter and Spring Terms, members in each course receive an email inviting them to sign up to start a new Interest Circle related to the subject matter of the course. Depending on how many class members respond and if at least one member agrees to facilitate the first meeting of the interested members, a new Interest Circle can be formed

At any time, OLLI members can propose an Interest Circle topic or issue that is not related to a specific course via our online Interest Circle proposal form. A member of the Member Services Committee will contact you to discuss your idea.

How can I find out about an Interest Circle?

You can view a list of current Interest Circles that are accepting new members on the Interest Circle page of our site. Click the name of any Interest Circle for more information and facilitators’ contact information.  

Does OLLI @ Berkeley have other groups for members?

OLLI @ Berkeley's "clubs" are member-organized social or activity based groups. Current clubs include Hiking, Film, Lunch, Current Affairs, Wine, Travel, Spanish Conversation, and several book groups. Anyone interested in joining an exisiting club should contact berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu so OLLI staff can forward your request to the coordinator of the club in question.

OLLI @Berkeley has a Fourth Age Salon where OLLI members age 80 and over meet several times a year for presentations and discussions on topics of interest to the group. Please contact the OLLI office at 510.642.9934 or berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu for more information.

The Member Services Committee also sponsors a member listserve; OLLIB Connect [OBC]. The listserve allows OLLI members to post information on various community activities and opportunities that may be of interest to OLLI members; members may also seek information on ride shares to OLLI class venues. Members can join this listserve by sending a request to berkeley_olli@berkeley.edu; this request will be forwarded to the OBC moderators.  

 

Getting to Class

Where do I park? What are the public transit options?

See our Venues page for information on course locations, and  our Parking and Transportation resource page for information on parking, public transit, ridesharing, and bicycling.

 

Volunteering

How can I volunteer at OLLI @Berkeley?

Any active OLLI member is welcome to volunteer at OLLI @Berkeley. The three categories of volunteer options are: Class Assistants, Projects and Events, and Advisory Roles. After reviewing the website information about volunteer opportunities, please complete the volunteer interest form and submit it.

Also, at Berkeley Open House sessions and Lafayette Info Sessions visit the Volunteer Table to learn more about volunteer opportunities, especially opportunities for Class Assistants.