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Waitlist FAQ PDF

Download the printer-friendly 2020 Waitlist FAQ.

Waitlist FAQ

Watch this brief tutorial explaining the fall 2020  waitlist.

Waitlist FAQ

General Waitlist Questions

What is the waitlist?
The waitlist is designed for UC Santa Barbara applicants who were not offered admission due to space limitations but who are considered excellent candidates for admission, should space become available.

I had good grades and test scores. Why wasn’t I admitted?
Admission to UCSB is very competitive, and spaces are limited. When a UC campus cannot admit all eligible applicants, as has been the case among many UC campuses in recent years (including UCSB), it uses standards to select students that are more demanding than the minimum requirements.

Should I file an appeal even though I am on the waitlist?
Applicants who do not receive an offer of admission may appeal, whether or not they are on the waitlist. The procedures for appeal are available on the Appeal Process page. Appeals are considered only if new or compelling evidence is presented. Applicants may not appeal to be placed on the waitlist. 

Is there any restriction about who can be on the waitlist?
Yes. The waitlist option is by invitation only. You must opt-in by the deadline:

  • Freshman deadline: April 15, 2020 at midnight
  • Transfer deadline: May 15, 2020 at midnight

How do I accept the waitlist option?
You need to tell us “Yes” if you want to be placed on the waitlist. Here’s how to opt in:

  • Log into the UCSB Applicant Portal.
  • Click on “Accept or Decline Waitlist Offer.”
  • Select the “Accept” or “Decline” message and click “Submit.”

If you accept the offer, you will see a new message on your Applicant Portal confirming that you are on the waitlist. Remember: if you want to be on the waitlist, you MUST say yes by midnight on April 15 (freshmen) or midnight on May 15 (transfers). The deadline will not be extended.

Can I be on a waitlist for more than one UC campus?
Yes. You may be on more than one waitlist if the option is offered to you. 

What are my chances of getting admitted to UCSB from the waitlist?

That is difficult to predict. It depends on how many admitted students accept UCSB’s offer of admission. Applicants who have chosen to be on our waitlist may or may not be offered admission.   

Will I know my place on the waitlist?

No. All students on the waitlist will be academically strong candidates.

If I’m admitted, will I also get the major or college I wanted?

As in the normal admission process, applicants on the waitlist are not guaranteed admission to a college or major. If students are admitted from the waitlist, they will see confirmation of their major in their letter of admission.

When and how will I find out if I get an offer of admission?

You will be notified of the decision on the UCSB Applicant Portal after May 1 and no later than June 30. Admitted students will also receive written notification of admission via U.S. mail. 

If I am admitted, how long will I have to accept the offer of admission?

You will have approximately one week. The deadline will be highlighted in your admission letter and posted on the UCSB Applicant Portal. The deadline date is fixed and no extensions will be granted. Note: After you accept, please wait 24 hours from the time you submit your SIR to submit your Housing contract.

What do I do if I already accepted an offer at another campus?
If you sent in your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to one campus and are offered admission to UCSB from our waitlist, you can still accept our offer of admission to UCSB. You will need to submit a SIR to UCSB and cancel the SIR you submitted to the other campus. The deposit to the first campus will not be refunded and cannot be transferred to another campus.

Housing and Financial Aid Questions

Even though I haven’t been admitted, am I still guaranteed housing?
Yes. UCSB guarantees university housing when all deadlines are met. If you are admitted from the waitlist and you return your SIR by the stated deadline, you will receive more information from Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Enterprises. Please wait 24 hours from the time you submit your SIR to submit your Housing contract.

If I’m admitted, am I still eligible for financial aid?

Yes. If you applied for financial aid and submitted your FAFSA to UCSB on time, you will be able to view your Unofficial Award Letter (UAL) by clicking on the link on your Applicant Portal. For general financial aid information, visit the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website.

If I am on the waitlist, will I qualify for the same financial aid as other students?

Yes. Being on the waitlist does not preclude you from getting the best possible financial aid package should you be admitted.

If I am admitted, what happens next? What do I need to do to receive financial aid?

If you are admitted, you will either receive a Request for Additional Documents (RAD) to verify the information you provided on the FAFSA or you will receive your Official Award Letter. You will be contacted via email by the Financial Aid Office.

If I am not admitted, is my Unofficial Award Letter from Financial Aid good at another college or university?

No, this unofficial financial aid information is an estimate of what it looks like you may be eligible for should you be admitted to UCSB, provided that the information you included on your 2020-2021 FAFSA is accurate.