Transfer Waitlist FAQs

Transfer Waitlist Step-by-Step [PDF]

The Waitlist Option

Q: What is the waitlist?

A: The waitlist is for applicants who were not offered admission due to enrollment limitations but who are considered excellent candidates for admission should space become available in the current admission cycle. Being on the waitlist is not a guarantee of receiving an offer of admission at a later date.

Q: How will I know that I've been offered a place on the UCSC waitlist?

A: Your admission status on will indicate that you were denied admission for fall 2021, but that you may opt into the waitlist. You are not on the UCSC waitlist until you notify the campus that you want to be on the waitlist (May 15 deadline to respond).

Q: I had good grades and took a broad range of courses at my prior institution. Why wasn’t I admitted?

A: Far more students apply to UC Santa Cruz than we can possibly admit. This year, we received over 13,000 transfer applications. UC Santa Cruz is a selective campus and many qualified students are unable to be offered admission.

UCSC makes admission offers to students based on a comprehensive evaluation of their application, as set forth by the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, and our campus Academic Senate Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. Applicants for fall 2021 were selected following an extensive review process that evaluated the applicants' academic achievement, accomplishments, and other information contained in their undergraduate application. For further information, please see our Transfer Admission and Selection Guide.

Q: Can I appeal your decision?

A: If you have new or compelling information that pertains to your application, you may appeal the decision, whether or not you are on the waitlist. Appeal procedures can be found on UCSC's Appeal Information page. Please note that if there is nothing new or compelling, an appeal may not be appropriate.

If you plan to appeal your admission decision, you should still accept your place on the waitlist. If your appeal is approved, you will be offered admission. If your appeal is denied, you will remain on the waitlist, and you will have the same likelihood as before of eventually being offered admission. 

Q: How did you select students to be offered the waitlist option?

A: Students offered the waitlist option were selected as the best-qualified students who could not be offered admission because of enrollment limitations. All faculty-approved selection criteria were taken into account when making that determination.

Q: Are there restrictions on who can be on the waitlist?

A: Yes. The waitlist option is limited to applicants by invitation only. If invited, you must opt in by 11:59:59 p.m. (PDT), May 15, 2021.

Q: Am I on the waitlist automatically?

A: No. If you have received a waitlist offer from UCSC, that means that you were granted an option to be on the waitlist. You need to tell us if you want to be placed on the waitlist. Here's how to accept your waitlist option:

  • Under the menu in the MyUCSC portal, click on the Waitlist Option link.
  • Click the button indicating "I Accept My Waitlist Option."

Once you've completed that step, you should receive an immediate acknowledgment that you've accepted your Waitlist Option.

Remember, if you want to be on the waitlist, you MUST let us know by 11:59:59 p.m. (PDT) on May 15, 2021.

Q: If I am on the waitlist for UCSC, what are my chances of being admitted?

A: That’s impossible to predict, since it depends on how many admitted students accept UCSC's offer, and how many students opt in for the UCSC waitlist. Applicants will not know their standing on the waitlist. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions may not know until mid-to-late May at the earliest, how many applicants -- if any -- will be admitted off the waitlist.

Q: How will I find out if I get an offer of admission?

A: We will send you an email and you will also see your status on the portal change. You will be required to accept or decline the offer of admission through the portal within a week of your acceptance.

Q: How long will I have to accept the offer of admission?

A: Approximately one week. 

Q: What if I already accepted an offer to another UC campus?

A: If you accepted admission to another UC campus and are offered admission from the UC Santa Cruz waitlist, you can still accept our offer. You will need to accept your offer of admission at UCSC and cancel your acceptance at the other UC campus. The Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deposit to the first campus will not be refunded or transferred.

Q: Can I be on a waitlist for more than one UC campus?

A: Yes, you can be on more than one waitlist, if the option is offered to you by multiple campuses. If you subsequently receive offers of admission, you may accept only one. If you accept an admission offer from a campus after you have accepted admission to another, you must cancel your acceptance to the first campus. The SIR deposit paid to the first campus will not be refunded or transferred to the second campus.

Q: What if I am on the waitlist for UCSC, and I receive an offer from another university outside the University of California system?

A: We are advising wait-listed students to take an offer of admission if they receive it. Being on the waitlist at UCSC -- or any of the UCs -- does not guarantee admission.

If You Are Admitted -- Questions about College Assignments and Financial Aid

Q: If I’m admitted, will I still be eligible for financial aid?

A: Yes. If you applied for financial aid and submitted your FAFSA to UC Santa Cruz by the March 2 deadline, you will be able to receive information about your financial aid award prior to your acceptance deadline. For general information, your best resource is the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office website.

Q: If I’m admitted, will I get my first-choice college assignment?

A: Just as with any of our incoming transfer students, there is no guarantee of being assigned to your first-choice college, no matter when you are admitted. If admitted, you will receive your college assignment within approximately two weeks of accepting your offer of admission. 

Q: Can I change the college I was assigned to?

A: When you receive the information about which college you have been assigned to, you will also receive information about how you might appeal that assignment. Please note that very few college change appeals are granted.