UC Freshman Appeal Guide

Appeal Process
Appeal Writing Guidelines
Appeal Instructions
Appeal While On Waitlist
Appeal Numbers
Appeal Help

UC Appeal Process

Most UC campuses will not have an answer for your appeal until well after the May 1 SIR deadline, so be sure to follow through with a backup plan in case the appeal doesn’t work out in your favor. There is no penalty for you to withdraw a UC SIR if you are accepted on appeal at another UC campus (except losing the $250 deposit).

Each UC campus offers a set of instructions on how to submit an appeal. You MUST follow the instructions to ensure proper and expedited processing of your appeal submission. Failure to comply with the instructions may result in dismissal of your appeal. Many UCs have an appeal deadline of April 15, but some campuses may have different deadlines. I recommend that you carefully review the appeal instructions before pursuing this option.

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Appeal Writing Guidelines

I want to emphasize that the UCs have become heavily reliant on the waitlist to meet enrollment target and therefore appeals are likely to receive more scrutiny. Students without new and compelling information that was NOT previously available to the admissions office (i.e., NOT disclosed on the UC Application) may not receive serious consideration (although the admissions office does review all appeals). I do want to point out that whether a particular piece of information is “compelling” is entirely subjective and, ultimately, can only be decided by the admissions office.

Generally, for your appeal to have merit, you must prove that you are a much stronger applicant than what was presented in your original UC Application. Again, when the UCs ask for “new and compelling information,” they are asking for information not previously available to the admissions office (not necessarily information that is recent; in fact, most UCs have stated that recent developments are generally not considered to be “new” information).

Examples of new and compelling information may include extraordinary hardship or exceptional talent. You can discuss these things in your appeal as reasons for the UCs to reconsider you. Make sure you describe exactly how the exceptional talent qualifies you for UC admissions or how the hardship prevented you from performing to your full academic potential. The objective of your appeal should be why you are an excellent addition to the UCs and how you expect to excel in college (and what resources at the UCs you intend to utilize in order to succeed). Avoid badmouthing anyone or any institutions (high school, other colleges, etc.) and do NOT brag about the other colleges that have made admission offers to you (UCs generally encourage students to take the offers they already received and skip the appeal). Be concise and don’t exaggerate or try to be dramatic. Follow through with a backup plan in case the decision is not reversed.

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Appeal Instructions

Confused about how to access the appeal form? Need to know what supplemental materials you are allowed to include with your appeal (transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.)? Purchase my campus-by-campus appeal submission instructions for six UCs (Merced and Riverside not included) for just $25 here (on the PayPal payment confirmation page, scroll down and click “Return to Merchant” button to access download – please note, purchase of a digital product is NONREFUNDABLE).

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Appeal While On Waitlist

UCs do not allow applicants who were offered waitlist option to appeal. For campuses that have optional or required waitlist statement, you can use that as an appeal if needed.

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UC Appeal Numbers

Not sure if you should appeal or give up? Take a look at previous years’ appeal numbers I have compiled here to help you decide the best way forward!

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Appeal Help

You may download an appeal template here to help you structure your appeal letter.

Find DIY appeal help on my YouTube Channel (watch Understanding How the UC Appeal and Waitlist Process Works first, then check out How to Compose Your UC Appeal).

Need personalized help with your appeal? I offer a service where I review your UC Application and provide suggestions on information you should cover for your appeal. Learn more!

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Jet Burnsreply
April 6, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Do you know around what time appeal decisions will come back?

Ms. Sunreply
April 6, 2022 at 12:50 pm
– In reply to: Jet Burns

The definite no’s seem to come out pretty quickly. The maybe’s tend to hear back later, often after the waitlisters hear back.

April 9, 2022 at 11:00 am

So do appeal decisions typically release in June?

Ms. Sunreply
April 10, 2022 at 12:18 pm
– In reply to: Marshall

Likely. But could be earlier or later. The UCs can do whatever they want.

Phyl Levine, PhDreply
April 13, 2022 at 3:03 pm

Hi. Do the UCs accept Financial Aid & Grants Appeals, specifically from out of state students? If yes, how is this done, and is there a deadline? Thanks! Warm regards, Phyl Levine

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 6:38 am
– In reply to: Phyl Levine, PhD

Search “forms” on the financial aid office website to locate the appeal.

Michael H Napolireply
April 15, 2022 at 12:59 pm

My daughter is due to submit her appeal letter to UCSB today and her counselor no showed for the final review. Is there anywhere I can have someone do a final review before submitting today?

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 1:36 pm
– In reply to: Michael H Napoli

Try her English teacher?

May 15, 2022 at 12:29 pm

Does appealing to one UC campus affect the admission decision of another campus?

Ms. Sunreply
May 15, 2022 at 4:17 pm
– In reply to: Sophie


Questions or Comments?