UC Irvine Waitlist Woes

Don’t freak out if you were offered waitlist option by Irvine. This is NOT indicative of how competitive you are for admission at other UC campuses. Yes, it stings to not be loved by Irvine (I understand, I’d like to be loved by everyone too!). But I want to remind you that, every year, plenty of students are admitted to other UC campuses after this initial shock. So try to calm down (here’s a cat video to help you with that).

You may opt in onto the waitlist now or hold off until you have received all of your UC decisions. The opt-in is not binding and you may choose to attend another UC later. Hang in there!

Know someone who can benefit from this information? Share the page with family and friends using a button below!

Help support this blog by making a contribution today! Any amount is greatly appreciated!


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

March 13, 2021 at 9:02 am

Is it possible for a waitlist at UC Irvine get into more selective schools like UCLA or Berkeley? I got supplemental questionnaire for UCLA and got the LoR for Berkeley, so I have hope since I gave them additional information. Those are my dream schools.

Thanks in advance.

Ms. Sunreply
March 13, 2021 at 10:37 am
– In reply to: Ross

I’ve seen it happen every year (Davis is usually the first to release and there would be students waitlisted there who then get admission offers from UCLA, San Diego, and/or Berkeley later). Davis is strongly suspected to practice yield protection (FOR YERARS). Although Irvine has not done anything really obvious like that, there were signs of other issues with how the campus is evaluating and offering admission to students within the last couple years (according to a report I read, there were some disagreements between the faculty, who determines the admissions policy, and the admissions office, who is supposed to be implementing the policy; there was also a mention of some kind of AI- or software-assisted screening, which just sounded like a lawsuit waiting to happen).

I should also mention that Irvine used to have a supplemental questionnaire process, but got rid of it when the system switched to the current Personal Insight Questions.

March 13, 2021 at 10:03 am

Hi, I did get waitlisted by Irvine. I got supplemental by UCLA. If I was competitive for UCLA, then I would have assumed I am a lock other UC schools. What does this mean? You can be brutally honest if needed.

Thank you so much. What are you are doing needs to be commended.

Ms. Sunreply
March 13, 2021 at 10:50 am
– In reply to: S

Thanks 🙂

Generally the supplemental questionnaire is triggered when specific conditions are met (you can find a list of the conditions here on page 2). The last time (quite a while ago) any UCs mentioned admit rates for students who received the supplemental questionnaires, they said that the admit rate was pretty close to the regular pool.

As I mentioned in my other comment, there are a lot of seemingly questionable things happening inside the Irvine admissions office and, quite honestly, Irvine had seriously screwed up on admission offers in the past (at least twice I could remember) where they either over-enrolled or couldn’t meet enrollment target (essentially not accurately gauging who would actually choose to attend from the students they admitted, by a huge margin). Of all the UCs to freak out over, I wouldn’t take a lack of offer from a campus plagued with issues too seriously (at least not to the extent you are probably stressing out over it; there are other legitimate worries, like the huge increase in freshman applications, but at least one UC admission officer had mentioned during a webinar that a lot of students who would otherwise be unqualified for admission are applying this year so the number of people you are actually competing against may not be as worrisome as the numbers would make it – and personally, I’ve seen some flabbergasting applications during the supplemental questionnaire stage so I would have to agree with that admission officer).

March 14, 2021 at 3:53 pm

Does UCI do yield protection where overqualified students are rejected/waitlisted because UCI knows they would probably choose to go to UCLA/UCB?

Ms. Sunreply
March 14, 2021 at 4:16 pm
– In reply to: L

Irvine hasn’t done anything in the past to indicate that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the campus starts now. Last year Santa Cruz was making admission offers in a way that hinted at yield protection. It seems like a lot of the campuses are trying or tweaking enrollment management tactics and, unfortunately, the students are their guinea pigs.

March 14, 2021 at 6:32 pm

My son has a UC Weighted GPA of 4.66, overall GPA 4.4 and he still got waitlisted at UCI. He wants to do his undergrad in Mechanical engineering, he does go to a very competitive public high school in Bay area, but we were surprised to see that he didn’t get in. We don’t know what to make of it. I wonder if he got waitlisted because his school is extremely competitive.

Ms. Sunreply
March 14, 2021 at 8:29 pm
– In reply to: Mandy

Like I mentioned in my other comments, there were quite a few issues with how Irvine had handled admission offers in the past and there are likely ongoing/recent issues within the admissions office that has affected the admission outcome (this was articulated in some publicly available reports from the campus). At this point, I’m labeling the Irvine decisions as “defective” and advising my students accordingly.

Just to provide some additional information about how spectacularly Irvine has botched the admission cycles in the past: the campus had under-enrolled by a large margin one year (I want to say 1/3 or 1/2 of its target), to the point where the admissions office emailed high school counselors to have them encourage students to appeal into June/July, and, in 2017, the campus rescinded admission offers to 500+ students in an attempt to correct for over-enrollment, which made national headlines and forced UCOP to issue a systemwide policy to crack down on frivolous admission offer cancelation attempts (prior to this, Santa Cruz pulled a similar stunt). Yet, somehow, Irvine doesn’t appear to be able to learn from its mistakes (or the mistakes other campuses made).

March 15, 2021 at 9:49 am

Hi, What are the chances of getting in UCI from the waitlist?

Ms. Sunreply
March 15, 2021 at 12:01 pm
– In reply to: martha

How many students get admitted from the waitlist depends on how many admitted students choose to enroll at Irvine. The campus has, on one occasion, completely botched the yield prediction and had to admit everyone off the waitlist (and still didn’t meet the enrollment target). At this point, I’m somewhat expecting this cycle to be train wreck as well, but I’m not sure exactly how it will play out.

March 18, 2021 at 10:17 am

I see a trend in the last previous years that students were admitted to only 2 UC campuses. My girl got admitted to UCSC and waitlist to UCI. She then got rejected by UCSB. I am thinking maybe that’s all the UCs that she will be getting admitted. Do u think it’s true that UC admission officer will only max out students to 2 campuses? As they can probably see all UC admission info within the system? My daughter got a 4.6 GPA and just got the UCSC.

Ms. Sunreply
March 18, 2021 at 11:16 am
– In reply to: Vicky

I have some suspicion that UCs may be coordinating, but how that can be accomplished is questionable (the effort required to coordinate would be astronomical). I have heard of instances where some UCs reduced the number of students admitted from a particular school given persistent low yield. There is a possibility that a lot of this is a coincidence resulting from different UCs making adjustments to their enrollment management strategy at the same time.

March 18, 2021 at 11:58 am

Thanks! So normally will a student got admitted to more than 2 campuses? Do you see a trend of only 2 admission?

Ms. Sunreply
March 18, 2021 at 12:57 pm
– In reply to: Vicky

I looked at my records last year (Fall 2020) and 4 out 9 of my freshman clients were admitted to 3 or more UCs the first round (direct admission offer); counting admission offers from waitlist, 5 out of 9 were admitted to 3 or more UCs (there may be more, but they don’t always remember to tell me even if I ask). I excluded students who applied to only one or two UCs. 3 of the 9 were out-of-state and the rest were spread across California. The GPA range varied greatly (I think there were two or three of them with below average GPA and one was offered Regents).

Keep in mind that my clients are self-selected (people who would seek out UC-specific help), so their stats are anecdotal at best. I should also clarify that I generally don’t turn down students unless I know for sure they are not UC-eligible, so I usually have a client pool with a wide GPA range.

March 18, 2021 at 2:16 pm
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

Thank you for the insight!

Ms. Sunreply
March 18, 2021 at 2:41 pm
– In reply to: Vicky

I’m happy to help!

March 18, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Hey! My name is Jasmine and I have a quick question. I got into UCI (honors), UCR regents, UCD, and waitlisted at UCSB. I saw the previous comments that people generally only get into 2 UCs. Does that mean that my chances of getting into UCLA and UC Berkeley are lower?

Ms. Sunreply
March 18, 2021 at 4:03 pm
– In reply to: Jasmine

Congratulations! If you look at my last response to that comment, my experience has not corroborated that (~50% of my clients get into three or more UCs last year; I also went back and looked at the year before, and it was over 50%).

March 18, 2021 at 7:31 pm

Hi Ms.Sun, I have currently gotten into UCSC , waitlisted to Davis, and rejected by Irvine and Santa Barbara. Does that mean I will not get into UC Berkeley and UCLA. I have a 3.7 GPA , and an AS/AA degree from my local community college with a 3.55 GPA.

Ms. Sunreply
March 18, 2021 at 10:16 pm
– In reply to: KSH

Did you report your college courses on your UC Application? If your application was completed correctly, I would suggest waiting for the decisions to come out before you decide on your next steps.

March 18, 2021 at 10:25 pm
– In reply to: Ms. Sun

Yes, all 23 courses. Total of 65 semester units

Ms. Sunreply
March 18, 2021 at 10:41 pm
– In reply to: Karanvir

I think you should be fine. Hang in there.

March 28, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Hi Ms. Sun,
My son got waitlisted at Irvine and Davis, admitted at UCSD, but as an undeclared major, rather than for CS. If he gets off the waitlist at Irvine or Davis, is there a chance he won’t get his major there either? We are OOS and trying to figure out which schools are worth trying to visit! Thank you!

Ms. Sunreply
March 28, 2021 at 2:13 pm
– In reply to: H

That’s a possibility and there isn’t a way to know for sure until he gets the offer.

I wouldn’t visit in person since most campuses have very limited operations and are discouraging people to come on-campus except when absolutely necessary (different parts of the country are also seeing increase in COVID cases so campuses may shut back down if that happens in California).

April 2, 2021 at 12:16 am

Hi Ms. Sun,

My son has been waitlisted at Davis, Santa Cruz and San Diego. As you are aware, this has been an unusal year with a significantly increased number of applicants to the UCs, likely from the UC application process being SAT blind. Do you have any insights about the movement off the waitlist for these UCs? UCSD is one of his top choices. Thank you.

Ms. Sunreply
April 2, 2021 at 2:33 am
– In reply to: Aninda

What the masses will do is difficult to predict, especially given the recently announced vaccination schedule. My guess is the UCs probably made fewer admission offers upfront so there will be students coming off the waitlist, but the waitlist pools are probably so huge that the percentage of admitted students would still be low.

Ben Rosenreply
April 2, 2021 at 10:24 am

Hi Mr. Sun,
I was rejected by all 4 UC’s I applied to . I have a 4.44 GPA, unweighted 4.00 GPA and advanced math/science focus. I also wrote about disability discrimination on my essay portion.
I disclosed that I had Autism and wrote about the educational barriers that I had to work nonstop to overcome. I was even blocked from AP classes but took Honors and got all A’s. I graduated at the top 3.4% of my class. Now, the UC’s are saying that I do not get a statewide eligibity because they are using SAT scores for this. My school is virtual and is not part of the local index.
Do you know if I’m eligible for a statewide eligibilty without a SAT/ACT score?



Ms. Sunreply
April 2, 2021 at 12:11 pm
– In reply to: Ben Rosen

The UCs are not using SAT/ACT to determine the statewide guarantee. The UC admissions website (here) was recently updated to reflect that (refresh your browser window or clear your browser cache if the updated information is not showing).

If you have concerns about your admission decisions, review your application for any errors and also contact the admissions office or the admission officer assigned to your school/area for more information.

Ben Rosenreply
April 2, 2021 at 12:59 pm

Thanks Ms. Sun! Have a good weekend!

Ms. Sunreply
April 2, 2021 at 1:20 pm
– In reply to: Ben Rosen

Thanks and the same to you! My best wishes to you and good luck!

April 4, 2021 at 11:24 pm

Hi! I was accepted into UCD which I have recently committed to. I have also been waitlisted at UCI which is my number 1 choice who informs me in the summer. The bad part is UCI doesn’t send out information about virtual events for “new students” to acclimate to the university to students on the waitlist. I have attended many webinars etc. for UCD in the past few days. How do students adjust, if admitted off the waitlist, to a UC when they are admitted late in the game? Not given access to the virtual events about housing, student life, etc. that is given to newly admitted students? It seems like a hassle saying yes to a UC later in the game than your peers.

Ms. Sunreply
April 5, 2021 at 2:02 am
– In reply to: TB

You should contact UCI about this.

April 8, 2021 at 7:41 pm

Hi Ms.Sun, I have currently gotten waitlisted by Berkeley and Davis, accepted by UC Santa Cruz, and rejected by UCLA, Irvine, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. I was wondering what the chances are of getting off the waitlist this year, will it be extremely competitive due to COVID and test optional SAT/ACT or will it be easy. Lastly is there any point to appeal any of the other UC’s if you don’t meet their average GPA, but have compelling reason for the rejection, such as already being a transfer prospective student.

Ms. Sunreply
April 9, 2021 at 10:30 am
– In reply to: KSH

It’s difficult to predict what admitted students will do (go out of state because of the vaccine roll out, stay close to home anyway, take a gap year because travel will be allowed, etc.). If you want to appeal, you should appeal. No one can tell you whether your reason is compelling except the admissions office.

April 24, 2021 at 2:45 am

Hello, I was wondering when will UC Irvine waitlist decision will come out. It’s coming to an end of decision date and I really want to go to UCI but the waitlist decision hasn’t updated yet.

Ms. Sunreply
April 24, 2021 at 9:26 am
– In reply to: Oliver

Most UCs do not release waitlist decisions until after the SIR deadline.

April 30, 2021 at 12:40 am

Hi Ms.Sun,
I was waitlisted by UCI and UCSB. I was accepted by Davis, and to the UC Riverside Honors Program. I am from Orange County. I am unsure of which university to attend. I would really like to stay close to home though. Do you believe UCR is a good school for premed? I was wondering what the chances are of getting off the waitlist this year? My dream school is UCI though I got waitlisted. Though I was contacted my UCI scholarships and the honors program several times it does not make sense to me why I was waitlisted. I truly thought UCI would accept me being that they were constantly emailing me to join their honors program. Thank you.

Ms. Sunreply
April 30, 2021 at 11:31 am
– In reply to: JC

UCR offers a variety of medical school pipeline programs (most target socioeconomically disadvantaged students, but some are open to all students). If you want to stay close to home, I would suggest SIR with UCR and see if you come off the waitlist at UCI.

May 9, 2021 at 11:48 pm

Hi Ms. Sun,

We found out on 5/7/21 that my son has been accepted at UCSC after being waitlisted earlier. His first choice is UCSD where he is waitlisted. Now that the SIR deadline has passed, what is your sense about the movement from the waitlist at UCSD and UC Davis this year? Thank you.

Ms. Sunreply
May 10, 2021 at 12:53 pm
– In reply to: Aninda

You can try the College Confidential UCSD/UCD waitlist thread or check the Reddit UCSD/UCD thread for crowdsourced information.

June 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Hello Ms. Sun
I have two questions. When UCI start to said who are in or out of the waitlist? When is the limit time for wait?

Ms. Sunreply
June 19, 2021 at 12:27 am
– In reply to: Jackeline

The UCs decide the time frame and they also break it. I’m not sure UCI has admitted anyone off waitlist and I believe currently the campus is saying until the end of July, possibly later.

Leave a Reply to JC Cancel reply