University of California – Admissions Decisions Released. Next Steps Ahead.

As you might have heard in the news the University of California has received a record-breaking number of undergraduate applications, again! Yes, It seems every year tops last year’s record.  

The UC experienced a 3.5% increase in all Freshman applications for fall 2022. That’s a whopping 22.5 % increase since Fall 2020! About 149,779 students applied to UCLA alone and 128,192 students to UC Berkeley.  

While selected students have already received early admissions decisions in February, the UCs release their decisions in general in the month of March. UC Merced and UC Riverside did so on March 2nd, UC Davis on March 11th, and UC Santa Cruz on March 15th.

Friday, March 18th, was the day when UC Irvine, UCLA, and UC San Diego released their admissions decisions and emotions were running high.

UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley, however, still have many students on edge waiting for the news that will define their next few years: UC Santa Barbara will notify students on Tuesday, March 22. UC Berkeley is expected to release acceptance notifications on March 24.

You got Accepted – Waitlisted – Rejected : Next Steps to take

Depending on the admissions decision you have received from the UCs you’ve applied to, you have different options of moving forward.

1 – You got accepted to your first choice UC. Yay!!!

Celebrate, put on your spirit gear if you already have it and enjoy the moment. Then get into the nitty-gritty of accepting your offer after you have revisited your financial offer and made sure you and your family are okay with the expenses coming your way.

Find out about housing applications and sign up for the “Admitted Student Event” at your soon-to-be new home (see dates below).

Most importantly, submit your SIR (Statement of Intent to Register). The SIR including the SIR deposit of $250 is due by May 1st at 11:59 pm!

Freshman admitted student events:

UC Berkeley:  April 23 (In-person)
UC Davis: April 9 (In-person)
UC Irvine: April 16 (In-person)
UCLA: April 1, 2, 8, and 9 (Hybrid)
UC Merced: April 23 (In-person); March 8 — April 28 (Virtual)
UC Riverside: April 9 (In-person)
UC San Diego: April 2 (In-person); March 28 — March 31 (Virtual)
UC Santa Barbara: April 9 (In-person)
UC Santa Cruz: April 16; Divisional Welcome Events April 18 — 22 (All virtual)

2 – You got waitlisted at one or more UC universities

If you got waitlisted, I hear you. You might go through a range of feelings from disappointment to frustration. But hey, there is still a chance of getting in to your favorite UC even though it means more weeks of agonizing waiting which can be, yes, nerve-racking.

Students will get accepted from the waitlist after regularly accepted students have submitted their SIR by May 1st. Depending on how many students will decline their admissions offer, spaces will free up for students on the waitlist.

To accept an offer for staying on a UC’s waitlist you need to make sure to opt-in, which is explained in the student’s web portal. While opting-in is all you need to do for some UCs, other campuses have an option to submit an additional statement.

UCLA, for example, gives a waitlisted student the option to write an additional statement. You seriously should consider this opportunity and provide some new and/or additional information about yourself.

Here are some suggestions of what to include in the waitlist statement:

Fall grades and Spring course load, if your grades are favorable.

Any updates on your extracurricular activities.  

Any new awards and recognitions that you couldn’t list in your initial application.

Explain why this particular UC is at the top of your list (special clubs, classes, or why you would be a perfect fit for this UC community).

Lastly, don’t forget to thank the admissions officer for giving your application another read!

3 – You got admitted to one of the UCs but you are waitlisted at your favorite UC.

You got accepted and that’s a great accomplishment. Give yourself a pat on the back. This is a moment of pride. Here are a couple of things for you to consider.

1 – You can accept an admissions offer from one UC while staying on the waitlist of another UC.

2 – Accept the waitlist offer if you really want to give your favorite UC a try. Then, put much effort in to your waitlist statement if you have the option of submitting one. (See above)

3 – Check out the UC(s) you got accepted to on their respective Accepted Student Event Day (see above). Experience the campus and its atmosphere. Get a feel for the vibe and evaluate how you would fit in. Check out courses they offer in your intended major and try to give that particular UC a real chance before making a decision of yes or no.

4 – Lastly, accept an offer to a university you were admitted to by May 1st, be it a UC or a different college. In case of a UC, submit your SIR plus the SIR deposit to the UC that accepted you while staying on the waitlist of your favorite UC. Don’t forget this important step! The UCs won’t start selecting students from the wailist until after May 1st so you will need to have a back-up plan and have commited to a university by then even though you may still be on the waitlist of another UC. Ideally, students should be notified of whether they got accepted from the waitlist by June 1st at the latest.

4- You didn’t get an admissions offer from any UC

You might feel more than disappointed but please don’t take it personally. It can be very upsetting but remember that, as stated at the beginning of this post, the UCs have received an overwhelming number of applications and, unfortunately, they cannot offer a place to every excellent student. I know, this sounds quite unfair and it’s certainly not easy if that student is you, of course.

If you have applied to colleges other than the UCs and got accepted, then there is much to celebrate! Take a closer look at those colleges and you will realize that they have so have much to offer, too.

You can, of course, also appeal the respective UC admission decision. Click here to read about the appeals process at UC Santa Barbara, for example.

If attending a UC is your ultimate goal, you might want to explore the Pathways+ program that UC offers in collaboration with California Community Colleges. Not only will you be able to transfer to and graduate in time from a UC but you can save a lot of money in the process. It might just be a wise option to go about getting your UC degree after all.


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