UC Davis Freshman Class of 2026 Waitlist/Appeal Discussion

Since UCD’s decisions will be out soon, I have started a discussion thread for Waitlisted students and also for appeals.

Here is a link to the Waitlist FAQ’s: Freshman Waitlist

Last year, there were no postings of anyone being accepted off the waitlist but I cannot confirm the information since UCD did not post their CDS for 2021. Mostly likely very few admitted based on the waitlist information from the other UC campuses.
2021 Counselor Conference Information:
Number of qualified applicants offered a place on the waitlist: 12141
Nothing listed for admitted waitlisted students

CDS 2019-20
Number of qualified applicants offered a place on the waitlist: 10,639
Number Accepting the waitlist: 3,458
Number Admitted: 1,953

Number of qualified applicants offered a place on waiting list: 9213
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 3207
Number of wait-listed students admitted: 24

Link in regards to appeals: Freshman Applicants: Other Paths to Admission

1 Like

Yes, UCD seems to be stingy about posting the Common Data Set.

I couldn’t find anything for 2021-2022, but here is a link to the CDS for 2020-2021: https://aggiedata.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk1841/files/media/documents/CDS_2020-2021_Davis.pdf

CDS 2020-2021
Number of qualified applicants offered a place on waiting list: 13,092
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 4,960
Number of wait-listed students admitted: 3,919

Also, here is a link to a post from last year with UCD historical waitlist data going back as far as 2012: UC Davis Waitlist 2025 - #32 by 20172021


Does it matter when you submit the waitlist essay? Or is it earlier the better?

Does not matter when you submit your waitlist essay. Nothing is reviewed until after the deadline.


Is the waitlist binding? I’m not sure yet where I want to go but Davis has always been in my top choices. I’d like to join the waitlist just in case but I don’t necessarily want it to be binding.

No the waitlist is not binding. You are free to decline if you are admitted off the waitlist.

1 Like

how competitive was the college of biological sciences? i had a GPA above the 75th percentile overall and fairly strong essays/ECs and was waitlisted. also, might be a bit out there, but was yield protection a possible factor?

Biological sciences is the #2 most competitive and popular major at UCD. Having a GPA of above the 75th percentile does not guarantee admissions. The UC’s use 13 areas of criteria and no one knows how each of these areas are weighted by UCD.

UCD has over 94,000 applicants and most highly qualified so the issue is that there are more students than spots available (impaction).

My advice is that if UCD is a top choice, submit your waitlist essay and explain to them why you would be an asset to the UCD campus community. What do you have to offer that would make you want to attend.

Regarding Yield Protection. UCD does not take an applicants level of interest into consideration as part of the application review so they do not know that they may be an applicants top choice. The waitlist essay can be a way to show you are interested in attending.

All schools do some kind of Yield Management, they have to so they can avoid over enrollment problems.

Several factors and variables can influence selection. What is most important to know is that selection looks different at every campus!

• Selection can even look different from year to year for the same campus.

• Things like enrollment capacity (campus size impacts how many students can enroll) and enrollment targets for each campus are factored into selection.

• Campuses use multiple factors when selecting students and the way campuses select students varies.

• It is to the student’s advantage to include as much information as possible on the application.

• Every student is considered in the context of their own environment which includes, but is not limited to, school, family and geographic region.

• Students are also considered within the context of the applicant pool for each campus.

• Each campus will complete their own individual review of the application independently of one another, which means that they’re going to review the information in the application and select students without asking what the other campuses have decided.

• Each campus selects students independentl

My daughter got waitlisted. They ask her to write an essay if it is means something, or they ask everyone to write an Essay?

They ask all waitlisted applicants to write an essay.


Would it be appropriate to mention your SAT score in the waitlist essay? Spring Class Grades?

SAT scores are not considered in the UC’s admission review. It will not tip the scales so I would not report them. What UCD wants is why you want to attend UCD and how you will be an asset to the college community. Pin point specifics about the university in the essay that make you want to attend.

1 Like

I’m sorry if I missed this! I’m not fully understanding. For the waitlist, do they start off on equal footing or are they already ranked on waitlist based on their initial app? Or, are they reevaluated again based on their overall app, which now includes the writing sample? Or, are they admitting them by college (or major) as spots open up? Thank you.

UCD will rely heavily on the waitlist essay but will also re-evaluate the UC application information. I am sure there is some type of hierarchy to the waitlist but will be unknown to the students on the waitlist. They will fill spots based on their institutional need.

  • Are students on the waitlist ranked?
  • No, students on the waitlist are not ranked. If any spaces are available for our entering class after the May 1 Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deadline, we will review our waitlist and admit those students who are best qualified for each academic area.
1 Like

I posted this last year and although it was originally posted on the Georgia Tech Blog site, message is universal and appropriate a year later.

Georgia Tech Admission Blog – 23 Mar 21

The Waitlist. Why?!

Listen to “The Waitlist…Why?! – Rick Clark” on Spreaker. The only thing more annoying than a four-year old incessantly asking you why is a twelve-year-old, impersonating a four-ye…

1 Like

It’s probably more important what you say in the waitlist essay.

I am just curious how the Wait Lost works across the UCs. If one of the UC waitlists is clear and you pay the deposit, does it mean you have to give up all the WLs at another UC campus?

You can be on multiple waitlists throughout the UC, CSU and private school systems.

You will need to commit to one university and pay the enrollment deposit, if you have not heard from the waitlisted schools by May 1.

If you are admitted off the waitlist, you have a choice: accept the new school and lose the enrollment deposit at the original school or decline the waitlist. If you accept the admit, then You need to deposit at the new school so it can get expensive if you do change your mind as the waitlist admits are being posted.

I would probably narrow my choices down to at least 2-3 waitlist schools (if there are that many).

Having said that and knowing that people may hold multiple spots by paying the multiple deposits while they wait for their “dream” school. It is possible that schools may not know they actually enroll until those students show up in class. Can waitlist be clear as late as the first day of class? Is there a defnite deadline for the waitlist to become a reject?

If a student is admitted off the waitlist, they usually have 5-7 days to accept or decline. If they accept, they will enroll and pay the deposit so the school will know.

During Covid, a couple of UC’s kept their Waitlist open until August (UCB is one of them) however most will close the waitlist by June/July.