UC Santa Cruz Freshman Class of 2026 Waitlist/Appeal Discussion

Since UCSC has started posting their decisions, I have started the Waitlist/Appeal discussion.

Remember that for the Waitlist, the # admitted varies from year to year.

Once all waitlist activities have concluded, students not offered admission from the waitlist will receive a final decision and may submit an appeal at that time. In addition, there is no appeal to be invited to join or be admitted from the waitlist.

Number of applicants offered waitlist: 19170
Number of applicants opting into the waitlist: 12541
Number admitted: 6633

Number of applicants offered waitlist: 16484
Number of applicants opting into the waitlist: 10370
Number admitted: 8870

Number of qualified applicants offered a place on waiting list: 12,859
Number accepting a place on the waiting list: 7,576
Number of wait-listed students admitted: 4,676

Appeal information; Appeal of Denial of Admission | University of California Santa Cruz


Our student will be applying to UCSC next year - of those commenting here on the waitlist thread - I’m wondering if they would mind posting their UC GPA? We’ve heard that a 4.0 is ‘good’ but not great for this school. TIA

It really depends upon intended major. The most competitive majors will be in the College of Engineering. Also the UC’s use 13 areas of criteria in their application review so GPA is not evaluated in a vacuum but considered Very Important.

Here is the 2021 GPA admit data: GPA of middle 25%-75% students
High School GPA 3.81 - 4.20 Capped Weighted UC GPA

2021 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.40-3.79 capped weighted and not major specific:
UCSC: 46%

2021 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 3.80-4.19 capped weighted and not major specific:
UCSC: 81%

2021 Freshman admit rates for UC GPA of 4.20 or above capped weighted and not major specific:
UCSC: 91%

Thank you! That’s very helpful!

CA resident
UC GPA 4.0
Uncapped GPA 4.3
AP courses: 5
Dual Enrollment semester courses: 5
Strong ECs including international level competitive activity, community service


Electrical Engineering
UW GPA: 3.5
UC Capped GPA: 3.65
Lots of EC
100+ Service Hours
2 Dual Enrollment Classes
7 AP Classes total

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My daughter has 3.84 UW and 4.07 weighted , She is waitlisted at UCSC, Major: Business Management Economics. She made it to UC Riverside and Merced though. Hope this helps.

Its crazy amount of competition, I would say 4.2 is safe but kids really get stressed if you tell them. Its sad.


I had a 4.16 UC GPA but somehow they gave me a waitlist offer. I had many good extracurriculars as well. I applied to a biology major. Could be yield protection.

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Yield Protection would involve an applicant showing demonstrated interest such as ED/EA/ED2/REA which the UC’s do not offer or consider in their application review. All schools have historical data of what type of students will enroll so they all do some kind of Yield Management to make sure they reach their target enrollment and do not over enroll. If they under enroll, then they utilize the waitlist.

Again, all UC’s act independently so that is why they can be considered unpredictable in their decisions.

Why did I not get admitted

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 independently.

91% of 4.2 hire are accepted - ouch I have a 4.4 . I know every year is different and is a holistic review but it’s hard not to feel like they must have really disliked my essays.

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My son was waitlisted today and he is devastated…He has a 4.19 weighted GPA and even took a computer science class at UCSC last summer and got an A but he did apply for one of the most competitive majors. Now he feels like he isn’t going to get in any of the other schools he applied to. He has been accepted to some but not ones he wants to go to. This is a painful process.


Since I have been on CC 2012, all the UC’s continue to get more competitive each year. That is why I always say, they are unpredictable and apply widely to schools you are willing to attend no matter what.


My daughter was waitlisted a few years ago. She was offered a spot within a month.


The waitlist is the end of the story. My daughter got into Cal 3 years ago off the waitlist and most of her friends got off the waitlist. Hang in there.


not the end!!!


Why can’t I edit my post Not the end!!!


You do not have the paper/pencil icon on the bottom of your post to edit?

Same here had a 4.25 UC gpa and was waitlisted. Wishing you the best with the rest of your decisions!


waitlisted for CS. 4.25 UC gpa

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