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.
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. 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).
Keep in mind the objective of your appeal should be why you are an excellent addition to the UC campus and how you expect to excel there (and what resources at the campus 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.
Don’t know where to find the appeal form? Not sure what kind of supplemental materials you are allowed to include with your appeal (transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.)? Purchase my appeal submission instructions for six UCs (Merced and Riverside not included) for just $25 here (remain on the payment page after you pay and you will be redirected to the PDF – please note, purchase of a digital product is NONREFUNDABLE).
Appeal While On Waitlist
UCs do not allow applicants who were offered waitlist option to appeal. Keep in mind that, if you decline the waitlist, then you effectively said no to the campus, and that disqualifies you from appealing as well. If a waitlist statement is allowed, you may use that as an appeal if needed.
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!
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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