If you have been offered a space on UCSB's waitlist, read our FAQ for answers to our most commonly asked questions about accepting your waitlist offer, when you can expect to be notified, and more.

Helpful Links

Waitlist FAQ PDF

Waitlist Overview Video

Watch an overview of the waitlist process at UC Santa Barbara.

General Questions

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.

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 that are more demanding than the minimum requirements to select students. Please also note that SAT and ACT exam scores, if submitted, were not a factor of consideration and will not be used should we admit students from the waitlist.

Applicants on the waitlist are not eligible to appeal. In addition, applicants may not appeal to be placed on the waitlist. If you are eligible to appeal, the “Appeal” tab will appear at the top of your UCSB Applicant Portal during the appeal submission period. If at the conclusion of the waitlist process you are not offered admission, the option to appeal will open but keep in mind, very few students are admitted based on appeals.

No, we do not use Letters of Continued Interest to select students from the waitlist. To express interest in the waitlist, you must simply opt in to the waitlist by the deadline (April 15 for freshmen and May 15 for transfers).

Yes. The waitlist is by invitation only. Applicants invited to join the UCSB waitlist will see a message in their Applicant Portal.

You need to opt in or accept a spot on the UCSB waitlist. Here’s how to opt in:

  • Log into the Applicant Portal.
  • Click on “Accept or Decline Waitlist Offer.”
  • Select the “Accept” or “Decline” message and click “Submit" by the deadline listed below:
    • You must opt in by 11:59pm, PT on the deadline:
      • Freshman deadline: April 15, 2024
      • Transfer deadline: May 15, 2024

If you accept the offer, you will see a new message on your Applicant Portal confirming that you are on the waitlist. You will not receive any email confirmation. Remember: if you want to be on the waitlist, you MUST opt-in by 11:59pm, PT on April 15 (freshmen) or 11:59pm, PT on May 15 (transfers). The deadline will not be extended.

Yes. You may be on more than one waitlist if the option is offered to you. 

That is difficult to predict. The number of students admitted from the waitlist varies greatly from year to year. Admission will depend 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. 

No. We do not rank students on the waitlist as we consider all of these students to be academically strong candidates.

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 Applicant Portal and letter of admission. Students who submit an SIR to UCSB may request a change of major for two weeks after they SIR.

Admissions decisions will be posted in the UCSB Applicant Portal. The Office of Admissions will send an email indicating that your final admissions decision is posted in the Applicant Portal. Freshman applicants will be notified starting in mid-May and possibly into July. Transfer applicants will be notified in June and possibly into late-July.

You will have approximately one week. The deadline will be highlighted in your admission letter and posted on the Applicant Portal. The deadline date is fixed and no extensions will be granted. 

  • Note: After you accept an offer of admission, please wait 24 hours from the time you submit your SIR to submit your Housing application.

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 UCSB.

Housing & Financial Aid

Yes. If you are admitted from the waitlist and you return your SIR by the stated deadline, you will receive instructions from UCSB Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Enterprises.

Yes. If you applied for financial aid and submitted your FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application) to UCSB by the priority deadline, you will be able to view your Financial Aid Offer by clicking on the link in your Applicant Portal. For general financial aid information, the best resource is the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

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

If you are admitted and you enroll, you will either receive a Request for Additional Documents (RAD) to verify the information you provided on the FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application), or you will receive your Official Award Letter. You will be contacted via email by the Financial Aid Office should a request for additional documents be needed.

No, UCSB financial aid information is an estimate of costs based on the information you provided on the 2024-25 FAFSA (or California Dream Act application). It is not indicative of awards at other campuses.