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

Downloadable FAQ

Waitlist FAQ PDF

Waitlist Tutorial Video

Watch this 3-minute overview of the waitlist 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 with your application, were not a factor of consideration for the class of 2021.

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.

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. You must opt-in by the deadline: 

  • Freshman deadline: April 15, 2021 at midnight PST.
  • Transfer deadline: May 15, 2021 at midnight PST.

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.

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. All students on the waitlist will 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 letter of admission.

Freshman applicants will be notified of the decision on the UCSB Applicant Portal after May 1 and no later than June 30. Transfer applicants will be notified after June 1 and no later than July 30. 

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, 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 another campus.

Housing & Financial Aid

Yes. If you are admitted from the waitlist and you return your SIR by the stated deadline, you will receive more information from UCSB Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Enterprises. Please wait 24 hours from the time you submit your SIR to submit your Housing application online.

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. Please allow 2-4 business days for an offer to be posted. 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, 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. 

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 2021-2022 FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application) is accurate.