Appealing Canceled UC Admission

Sounds like the UCs are starting to cancel admission offers (at the moment, over contract violations; cancellation notices for missing documents usually start going out at the end of July or early August).

At this stage, a canceled admission offer is difficult to overturn (particularly if a campus’s agenda is to cull the herd due to over-enrollment, which may be a possibility for some UCs this year). But if you find yourself with a canceled admission offer, here is some advice to improve your chance of appeal.

  1. The moment you receive notice that your admission offer is canceled, contact the admissions office. Briefly describe the situation and offer a short explanation about the circumstances leading to your contract violation. See what the admissions office says and try to figure out if you have a case for appealing.
  2. Find out what the process is for appealing. Do you need to send an email or a letter and to where? What documents should you provide? Take copious notes while on the phone, don’t try to remember all the details in your head.
  3. Most importantly, ask for the name of the person you spoke to and a direct phone number if he or she has one (or ask how you can get in touch directly with him or her if you have more questions). You are staking your appeal on the say so of this person; it would be nice to be able to find him or her again if something goes wrong.
  4. Follow the instructions precisely as you put together your appeal. Provide all the documents requested and meet the specified deadline if there is one.
  5. Download an online appeal letter template or postal appeal letter template to help you compose your appeal letter.
  6. If you need to mail a letter, make sure you send it using some form of tracking (USPS Priority Mail + Delivery Confirmation, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.) so you know when it arrives.
  7. Your online status will change to something like “appeal under review” when your appeal is entered into the system (1-3 days after delivery for letters, sooner if by email). From there it takes anywhere between 1 to 3 weeks for the campus to make a decision and your online status will change again.

While you prepare your appeal, make sure you also start looking at backup plans in case your appeal falls through.


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