Underground Scholars Initiative (USI)

Berkeley Underground Scholars (BUS) creates a pathway for incarcerated, formerly incarcerated and system impacted individuals into higher education. We are building a prison-to-school pipeline through recruitment, retention, and advocacy. BUS is an academic support program housed within the Division of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley.

Underground Scholars Initiative (USI) is the student org that works in partnership with BUS. USI is completely student-run. The two organizations, BUS & USI, are separate and aligned. For UC Students who would like more information on USI Chapters on each campus and how to join please see the USI Chapters section below.

We prioritize our services for formerly incarcerated students. We define system-impacted as a person who is legally, economically, or familially affected in a negative way by the incarceration of a close relative. System-impacted also includes people who have been arrested and/or convicted without incarceration.