UC Freshman Appeal/Waitlist Opt-In Due in THREE DAYS (4/15)

The appeal and/or waitlist opt-in deadline is this Friday, April 15, 2022 (except appeal for Berkeley, which has a deadline of Sunday, May 1, 2022, and the Santa Cruz waitlist opt-in and appeal, for which the deadlines have already passed).

Have questions about the waitlist? See my UC Freshman Waitlist Information + Waitlist Statement Guideline for waitlist resources and guidelines.

Make sure the content of your appeal meets the specified requirements of the UC campus before you send it out. Check my UC Freshman Appeal Guide for appeal resources and guidelines.

Trying to gauge your chance of coming off the waitlist and/or getting admitted from appeal? Look at the UC Waitlist/Appeal/Cancellation Numbers I have compiled.

UCs do not “compare notes” so you can opt-in onto the waitlist for and/or appeal to multiple campuses. Whether you decide to opt-in onto the waitlist and/or appeal the admission decision, you should commit to a college where you were admitted or apply to community college if you intend to transfer later (apply now as most community colleges have started accepting applications for Summer/Fall 2022 enrollment). There is no guarantee that you will be admitted from the waitlist and/or appeal; you need to move forward with a backup plan.

Need help coping with the decisions? See my advice on Moving Forward in the Aftermath of Unfavorable Admission Decisions and learn how to objectively evaluate your situation outside of the admission decisions with my Reading List After Unfavorable Admission Decisions.


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40 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Jerreply
April 12, 2022 at 9:55 pm

Let’s say theoretically I get off the waitlist for Davis and accept, but then a week later I get off the waitlist for Irvine. My goal is to get in to Irvine, so would I be able to pull out of Davis accept an offer from Irvine? Would I be able to do the same with private schools? Thanks!

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 6:25 am
– In reply to: Jer

Yes, see this explanation.

April 14, 2022 at 2:24 pm

Suppose a student is offered and accepts a place on the waitlist at UC1 and UC2. Subsequently the student is accepted at UC1 from the waitlist and accepts the offer. Later the student is accepted from the waitlist at UC2. Can the student then accept UC2 and rescind the UC1 acceptance?

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 6:44 am
– In reply to: M

Yes, see this explanation.

Jenniferreply
April 14, 2022 at 5:15 pm

Do UCs notify you if you *don’t* get admitted off the waitlist? Obviously they will notify you if you do get admitted, but how do you know when they are done choosing people off the waitlist?

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 6:46 am
– In reply to: Jennifer

Check your portal (email sometimes ends up in spam; I have heard a horror story or two).

Frankreply
April 15, 2022 at 1:32 pm

Ms. Sun, despite having the hardest curriculum in high school available with a 4.0W, leadership in clubs and athletics and a few prestigious AIME awards, my son got waitlisted by UC Davis, UCSB, UCI, UCSD, UCLA and rejected from UCB. He applied as a math major and this case is similar among his school friends as well. Conversely, he got into Georgia Tech, JHU and other OOS schools. His dream schools were UCB and UCLA and we were thinking that is it possible that the UCs purposefully offered lower initial admits this year and would take more students from WL/Appeals(deciding to appeal at Cal)?

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 1:37 pm
– In reply to: Frank

Admission from waitlist depends largely on the size of the initial admit pool and the yield from that pool, the size of the waitlist opt-in pool, and how quickly everyone else gives up. Kind of a crapshoot going forward.

Marshallreply
April 15, 2022 at 5:17 pm

Do the UCs prioritize waitlists over appeals when making offers after May 1. I appealed to UC Berkeley on April 7th as I left out some significant information from my application. Their appeal deadline is May 1st while their waitlist deadline is April 15th. So if they don’t start reviewing appeal apps until after waitlist apps will this put appeal apps at a disadvantage(lets say even if the appeal app becomes stronger or equivalent to the level of waitlist apps with additional info provided)

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 5:45 pm
– In reply to: Marshall

From my experience, if your application is significantly stronger (than the waitlisted students), then you would be admitted from appeal. But it seems like it’s rather whimsical (almost as if whatever gets picked up by the admission officer may get considered). I don’t really think it’s cut and dry like “let’s look through these 10,000 waitlisted students and then we’ll look at these 1,200 students who appealed.”

April 16, 2022 at 11:37 am

Can college advisors/guidance counselors contact the admissions department at UC’s directly to advocate for waitlisted students?

Ms. Sunreply
April 17, 2022 at 12:22 pm
– In reply to: M

It probably won’t accomplish anything, but if the counselor has the time and wants to be on hold for an hour (and end up talking to a student worker) or write an email that (probably) won’t get a personal response (some UCs have some pretty good boilerplate responses though), sure.

April 16, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Should a waitlisted applicant state in the letter of interest that if a sibling is currently at the university?

Ms. Sunreply
April 17, 2022 at 12:25 pm
– In reply to: M

I would suggest explaining why this fact makes the applicant more qualified for admission. Most UCs do not have waitlist statements (those that do, the deadline has already passed) and, generally, unsolicited materials (such as LOCI) won’t be reviewed.

Frankreply
April 16, 2022 at 7:50 pm

From your experience in guiding successful appeals in the past, could you briefly share what kind of letters constitute as “new and compelling” information. Do AOs mostly reverse decisions based on health/financial hardships not mentioned previously in the application?

Ms. Sunreply
April 17, 2022 at 12:29 pm
– In reply to: Frank

Getting called into actively military duty, serving in reserve military duty, pregnancy that interrupted schooling, severe and limiting financial hardships, debilitating illnesses of immediate family member that require student’s care (geographical constraint).

I’ve also worked with students who have, what I consider, flimsy reasons to appeal that have gotten admitted. I think it just really depends on the admission officer and the yield, and whether the student’s appeal resonates with the person who’s reading it (there’s no way to control for that – it’s a complete crapshoot).

As far as I’m concerned, appealing is about getting a ticket for the lottery. Student has to appeal to have a chance to win and do a good job on the appeal to advocate for why the student should be admitted. But whether the student actually gets admitted is by chance because there are too many variables that are out of the student’s control (what if the admission officer ran out of coffee that morning and was in a bad mood or the appeal was read after lunch when the admission officer was in a better mood – there are plenty of studies that say hungry judges hand out harsher sentences, the same probably applies here).

Frankreply
April 17, 2022 at 5:10 pm

Thanks for the thorough feedback and your point is definitely convincing. I was wondering that if we mention some significant achievements that was not mentioned in the application or occurred after the application submission–would that constitute as a reason to appeal. I ask because on Berkeley’s appeal form it states to reveal “semester grades, additional achievements” for an appeal to have merit.

Ms. Sunreply
April 19, 2022 at 10:17 pm
– In reply to: Frank

The UCs have flipped flopped on that. In the past, the general sentiment was “recent is not ‘new'” but now (at least some of) the campuses are encouraging students to disclose recent achievements. The way I look at it is, if you worked on a book for three years and it was published after your submitted the application, then yeah, that would be new and significant (compelling). But let’s say you have been getting straight A’s and you also got straight A’s in first semester in senior year (with the same number of APs as junior year), then I would hesitate to say that is significant.

The problem is, what the admission officers (sometimes, I think, depending on their mood) think are compelling or significant cannot be predicted, so trying to guess what would work and what wouldn’t is somewhat of an exercise in futility.

Marshallreply
April 19, 2022 at 1:53 pm

Ms.Sun, UCI just released waitlist decisions today, April 19, which seems way early for waitlist decisions to come out. Is this an indication that the UCs did in fact under-enroll this year and there might be more chances of getting off the waitlist/appeal for other UCs

Ms. Sunreply
April 19, 2022 at 11:16 pm
– In reply to: Marshall

UCI botches the yield prediction (quite literally) every time the campus makes tweaks to its process (this already happened two or three times around five or six years ago). It’s the only campus that consistently does that so I’m not sure I would generalize what’s happening with UCI across the system.

Tylerreply
April 28, 2022 at 11:54 am

When will UCI appeal decisions release?

Ms. Sunreply
April 30, 2022 at 11:01 pm
– In reply to: Tyler

If not May, then June. If not June, then July. So on and so forth.

Marshallreply
April 30, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Hi Ms. Sun. So April will end this weekend and the possibility of appeal decisions, as mentioned by the UCs, should roll off next week at the earliest. By looking at the trends on college confidential it looks like most people who are accepted of an appeal get their decision by mid-May. From your past experience, when have students started to hear back from appeals especially by UCB?

Ms. Sunreply
April 30, 2022 at 11:13 pm
– In reply to: Marshall

In my experience, definite yeses and definite noes hear back earlier. The maybes tend to hear back much later (often turn into noes).

Lini. Treply
May 2, 2022 at 11:49 pm

Ms. Sun just wondering how the UCs choose students from the the waitlist and the appeal pools. Is there a possibility with the large waitlist/appeal pools that the UCs may randomly pick applications for review resulting that some applications may not even be read(later getting denied)?

Ms. Sunreply
May 3, 2022 at 5:21 pm
– In reply to: Lini. T

Feels that way sometimes … but the UCs say that they look at everything (if they do, indeed, throw darts at applications behind closed doors, we would never know).

Marshallreply
May 10, 2022 at 8:52 pm

Ms. Sun, one week has already passed since the May 1 SIR deadline and all mid to top tier UCs have released waitlist decisions in some amount with the exception of Berkeley. Berkeley in the past has released the first wave in the first week of May or at least by today but this year there has been no movement at all. Is it safe to say that the Berkeley overenrolled like last year or has secured a good yield that they will not accept anyone from the waitlist or if they will then it will be a very small pool?

Ms. Sunreply
May 11, 2022 at 11:23 am
– In reply to: Marshall

If there has been no movement, then I would speculate that the campus has met enrollment target for now but is waiting to see if there will be movement of SIR’ed students due to waitlist admission at other UCs/colleges.

Jenniferreply
May 11, 2022 at 11:39 am

Ms. Sun, I haven’t heard that any UCs, other than UCI, have released waitlist decisions yet. Have you? I’m specifically waiting on UCLA or UCB… have you heard that these have been released? What do you consider the end of the “waitlist period”– fall? Thank you!

Ms. Sunreply
May 11, 2022 at 11:51 am
– In reply to: Jennifer

I have heard of some waitlist decisions released for UCLA. There were rumors around about Berkeley taking students off waitlist, but I don’t have any verification.

According to the official UC Freshman Waitlist and Appeals Fact Sheet, the campuses have until August to notify students.

Jenniferreply
May 12, 2022 at 2:53 pm

Ms. Sun~ Is there any way to add info or update a waitlisted application? My son got waitlisted at his top 2 choices (UCB and UCLA), and today won 3 awards at his school’s senior awards cermony. I’d love for the admissions officers to take those into consideration, along with his application and waitlist statement. Thank you.

Ms. Sunreply
May 12, 2022 at 7:20 pm
– In reply to: Jennifer

I believe there is an update form in the applicant portal for each UC campus.

Marshallreply
May 23, 2022 at 7:03 pm

Ms. Sun, do you think it is weird for UCB to not have had any waitlist movement until now. Last year even when Berkeley overenrolled there was a pretty evident waitlist wave in the first or second week of May on reddit/college confidential/discord and 9 appeals were also granted. This year almost anyone I ask or have seen on the internet has not gotten off the waitlist. Do you think this maybe a case for over-enrollment once again(implying no more admits) and is there any predictable possibility from previous years that there might be some admits in June? Thank you

Ms. Sunreply
May 24, 2022 at 1:15 pm
– In reply to: Marshall

If there has been no movement, then I would speculate that the campus has met enrollment target for now but is waiting to see if there will be movement of SIR’ed students due to waitlist admission at other UCs/colleges.

Joshreply
May 24, 2022 at 1:28 pm

I am still on the waitlist at UCSD for Communications, but I am seeing so many people getting rejected, specifically in CS and engineering. Do I still have a chance of being admitted or should I be expecting a rejection soon? I

Ms. Sunreply
May 24, 2022 at 1:35 pm
– In reply to: Josh

Engineering and CS are capped at UCSD and communication is not, so they are not comparable.

Joshreply
May 24, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Once the UC’s like UCSD start sending out rejections, does that mean they have met the enrollment cap? Or do you know if they still accept people despite rejecting others? I ask because I’m wondering if getting off for UCSD is still a possibility

Ms. Sunreply
May 24, 2022 at 1:53 pm
– In reply to: Josh

If you are talking about waitlist rejections for capped majors, those are different from non-capped majors.

Jenniferreply
May 24, 2022 at 9:38 pm

Ms. Sun~ Do the UCs (specifically Berkeley and UCLA) let students on the waitlists know if they didN’T get in (meaning, they’ve met their yield and won’t be taking anyone else off the waitlist) or do you only find out by school starting in the fall and you’re somewhere else?
And, do you know if those 2 schools send out waitlist decisions in different waves for OOSS?
Thank you.

Ms. Sunreply
May 25, 2022 at 10:56 am
– In reply to: Jennifer

I believe all of the UCs do inform you of the waitlist decision one way or the other, but often not until July or August. Waitlist admission decisions will go out in whatever pattern that suits the campus.

Questions or Comments?