UC Freshman Waitlist Information + Waitlist Statement Guideline

Waitlist Information
Waitlist Statement Writing Guidelines
Appeal While On Waitlist
Waitlist Numbers
Waitlist Statement Help

UC Waitlist Information

Each UC campus handles the waitlist opt-in process a little differently. Most UCs will have an opt-in deadline of April 15, but some campuses may have different deadlines. I recommend that you carefully review the waitlist information and/or FAQ from the campus that offered you waitlist before opting in.

Most UC campuses will not release waitlist decisions until well after the May 1 SIR deadline, so be sure to follow through with a backup plan in case the waitlist decision doesn’t work out in your favor. There is no penalty for you to withdraw the SIR if you are accepted from the waitlist somewhere else (except losing the $250 deposit).

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UC Waitlist Statement Writing Guidelines

For the campuses that allow waitlist statement, be sure to explain why the campus is right for you. For example, what opportunities will the campus offer you and how do you intend to take advantage of those opportunities? You should also reinforce why you are the right student for that campus. For example, what experiences, knowledge, skills, and characteristics do you bring to the campus and how will you positively contribute to the student body and/or the campus community?

For campuses that do NOT have a waitlist statement, keep in mind that UCs will NOT review unsolicited information.

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Appeal While On Waitlist

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

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UC Waitlist Numbers

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

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Waitlist Statement Help

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

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

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Min Mackreply
March 29, 2022 at 1:58 pm

If you accept a waitlist offer, are you required to accept an offer should the UC make one later on down the line? If you have put in a SIR somewhere else (not a UC school), will you be held responsible for attending, should a waitlist offer come through?

Ms. Sunreply
March 29, 2022 at 2:06 pm
– In reply to: Min Mack

UC waitlist opt-in is not binding, you can choose not to accept if an offer comes through. I believe most colleges give students the option to withdraw their enrollment commitment (majority of the UCs provide that option within the applicant/student portal); if the college where the student committed does not have that option in the student portal, search the admissions website or contact the admissions office to inquire about how to withdraw the enrollment commitment.

March 29, 2022 at 3:24 pm

You’re absolutely amazing and I really appreciate all of the information you provide

Ms. Sunreply
March 29, 2022 at 3:55 pm
– In reply to: Rebecca

Thank you for your kind words!

March 30, 2022 at 7:57 am

How soon can waitlist decisions possibly come (UCSD & SB)? First week of May, perhaps?

Ms. Sunreply
March 30, 2022 at 2:33 pm
– In reply to: Eric

Some UCs start releasing waitlist decisions as early as two to three days after the SIR deadline (the campuses need couple of days to sort through the SIR and make sure everything is in order and also sort through the waitlist in preparation for notification). Since May 1 falls on Sunday this year, I would anticipate the earliest waitlist decisions to come out by around Wednesday (5/4). If there is no movement for couple of weeks, then we may be looking at over-enrollment again (one UC admission officer had mentioned the system expects the yield to be unpredictable this year as well).

April 4, 2022 at 10:28 am

Hi Ms. Sun, my student is admitted to six UCs, and she just accepted the offer from one of them.

She is also waitlisted at Cal, she will opt-in before April 15th, if she gets off waitlist after May 1st, but she decides to withdraw the enrollment at Cal for any reason, is there penalty and is there any impact to another UC offer she already accepted?


Ms. Sunreply
April 4, 2022 at 1:48 pm
– In reply to: Grace

She can decline the offer from Cal. There is no penalty.

April 10, 2022 at 12:18 pm

If the school says it does not take any additional information (UCSB) for waitlisted applicants, would it look bad if I sent a LOCI because I am not following instructions, or would it show how much I want to go to the school? I want to increase my chances of admission and some say it helps to show it’s my top choice but I don’t know if it would hurt my chances because they say not to?

Ms. Sunreply
April 10, 2022 at 12:40 pm
– In reply to: Jim

Imagine if half of people on waitlist (I’m guessing 5k to 8k?) decided to do that. How excited would you be to work in the UCSB admissions office if that were to happen?

April 10, 2022 at 4:26 pm

Hi, I accepted multiple waitlist offers. If they all come out at different times, will I be able to accept one offer of admission but then later withdraw it if another waitlist decision comes out after? For example, if I get off the Davis waitlist and accept admission, will I be able to rescind the offer if I get off the Berkeley waitlist later?

Ms. Sunreply
April 10, 2022 at 7:52 pm
– In reply to: Erin

Yes, you got the gist of it. I have an explanation posted here also.

April 12, 2022 at 10:21 am

My DS is scared of accepting UCR .. coz he is waiting on UCSD UCSB UCD waitlists .. he feels by accepting UCR the waitlist schools will see his UCR SIR and will be inclined to not take him off waitlist

Ms. Sunreply
April 12, 2022 at 9:30 pm
– In reply to: Reginald


April 13, 2022 at 3:49 pm

I put in physics as my intended major however I want to switch over to computer science and in the waitlist essay I want to talk about the CS opportunities the UC provides. Do UC’s look at your major when reading your essay or no?

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 6:39 am
– In reply to: Vibertex

Generally request to change major from waitlist is not honored. CS is more competitive than physics, so you may be shutting the door on yourself.

April 14, 2022 at 11:29 am

I got accepted into UC Davis, but I’m hoping I get off the waitlist for UCLA. Can I accept admission at UC Davis and opt into the waitlist for UCLA. And if I do get off the waitlist for UCLA, can I go back and withdraw my admission from UC Davis?

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

Yes, see this explanation.

April 14, 2022 at 5:18 pm

will students get an email stating that they are no longer accepted and waitlist applicants have all been notified?

Ms. Sunreply
April 15, 2022 at 6:47 am
– In reply to: deb

I’m not sure the UCs do not that consistently or at all; if they do, it would probably be really late into the summer (when everyone stops caring).

April 17, 2022 at 10:53 am

I joined three waitlists in total (Berkeley, SD, Davis). Since they most likely won’t release the same time and I only have a 7 day timeframe to accept, is it possible to accept an offer and then withdraw when another waitlist spot opens from another school?

Ms. Sunreply
April 17, 2022 at 12:38 pm
– In reply to: Angie

Yes, see this explanation.

April 29, 2022 at 10:57 am

Would you know if any UCSD students made out of waitlist especially for Comp. Science last year. Any predictions for this year?

Ms. Sunreply
April 30, 2022 at 11:09 pm
– In reply to: AS

I’m not sure anyone came off the waitlist last year. Admission from waitlist depends largely on the size of the initial admit pool for your major, the yield from that pool, the size of the waitlist opt-in pool for your major, and how quickly everyone else gives up. Kind of a crapshoot going forward.

Sara Ghorbanireply
May 3, 2022 at 9:49 pm

Hello! My friend got waitlisted at UCLA and received an offer of admission yesterday. I was also waitlisted at UCLA and did not receive anything. Do all the waitlist decisions come out on the same day (which means that I didn’t get in) or do I still have a chance of getting off the waitlist? Thanks!

Ms. Sunreply
May 4, 2022 at 10:17 am
– In reply to: Sara Ghorbani

Waitlist decisions usually go out in batches.

May 5, 2022 at 9:32 pm

Hi. I just had quick question. So I got off a waitlist for a UC I am planning on going to and submitted my SIR for it. I was previously committed to an out-of-state university but now obviously I am going to cancel my offer of admission. I was just wondering when I should be cancelling that application. For example, should I cancel it after I submit housing deposit for UCSB or should I do it immediately?

Ms. Sunreply
May 6, 2022 at 3:26 am
– In reply to: NV

Once you are set up to go to the UC, cancel the commitment at the other college.

May 6, 2022 at 11:24 pm

Hello, I was waitlisted at UC Irvine and I noticed that they released a batch of waitlist decisions in April but have not done so since. Does this mean that UCI has all the students they need, or could there possibly be another wave sent out this/next week? And what day does UCI generally send out waitlist decisions? Thank you!

Ms. Sunreply
May 7, 2022 at 10:57 am
– In reply to: AL

If there has been no movement since the initial batch, 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.

May 7, 2022 at 11:20 am
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

Anyone got off waitlist for UCLA and UC Davis?

Ms. Sun
May 7, 2022 at 12:53 pm
– In reply to: Grace

I heard from one student who got off the waitlist at UCLA and another one who got off the waitlist at Davis.

May 11, 2022 at 11:03 am

What’s the latest UCLA or UC San Diego will contact you regarding getting off the waitlist?

Ms. Sunreply
May 11, 2022 at 11:27 am
– In reply to: Juliet

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

May 21, 2022 at 6:27 am

Do you know if all the UCSD has taken anyone off the waitlist?

Ms. Sunreply
May 21, 2022 at 9:49 am
– In reply to: Jill

Couple people mentioned students taken off waitlist here (in the comments).

May 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

If Berkeley hasn’t taken anyone off the waitlist yet, does that mean they wont take people off the waitlist since it’s already mid-May? Or when could they possibly take people off?

Ms. Sunreply
May 22, 2022 at 6:04 pm
– In reply to: JH

If current SIR’ed students withdraw because their plans changed (for example, they were admitted elsewhere), then Berkeley may admit students from the waitlist to fill the vacated seats.

May 25, 2022 at 12:22 am

How does UCI select who to admit from the waitlist? Do they review your application again or is it ranked? And do they admit to university first?

Ms. Sunreply
May 25, 2022 at 10:58 am
– In reply to: JL

I think all of UCs say they look at the application again, but I don’t think that’s feasible given that some UCs now put 10k+ applicants on waitlist. Bottom line, I don’t know that anyone outside of the admissions office really knows how the waitlist admission decisions are made. UCI still admits to campus (but you need to have an alternate major listed if your first choice is really competitive).

May 25, 2022 at 12:25 pm
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

What if my alternate major that I chose is also competitive? I chose nursing science with an alternate of biological sciences..Would I still have a chance in getting admitted off the waitlist?

Ms. Sun
May 26, 2022 at 10:34 pm
– In reply to: JL

There’s a possibility that your chance of coming off the waitlist may be diminished as a result.

July 1, 2022 at 9:20 am

My son is still waitlisted at UCR…and while there hasn’t been any movement in the waitlist, yesterday we received a letter from the Financial Aid office stating that they are working on Financial Award Letter. Should this give us some hope?

Ms. Sunreply
July 1, 2022 at 10:55 am
– In reply to: ML

Seems like Riverside is still working through the yield (my guess is there is a lot of movements in the SIR pool) so perhaps there is still hope. Although I strongly recommend your son to move forward full speed with a backup plan.

July 1, 2022 at 11:11 am
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

Yup…he had just finished enrolling for his classes at a CC for fall, and then he got the email! We were thinking if this was a cruel joke! lol

Ms. Sun
July 1, 2022 at 12:18 pm
– In reply to: ML

At this point, it’s more of a lottery ticket. Move forward without assuming he will win; he can deal with winning AFTER he actually wins it.

March 20, 2023 at 6:44 pm

Where is the place to enter a waitlist statement for UCSD? I saw on a website that they had one, but I didn’t see the option to actually enter one. Thanks!

Ms. Sunreply
March 20, 2023 at 11:25 pm
– In reply to: Keely

UCSD got rid of the waitlist statement a while back. I assume the post you mentioned was referencing an outdated document.

Questions or Comments?