Waitlist standing is not based on how early you submit the waitlist essay.
Q: What is the wait list?
A: The wait list is for freshman applicants who were not offered admission due to space limitations but who are considered excellent candidates for admission should space become available in the current admissions cycle. Being on the wait list is not a guarantee of receiving an offer of admission at a later date. Because there is no guarantee, it is important that you consider other offers of admission, and accept an offer at another university, prior to the national decision day of May 1, 2021.
Q: I had good grades and test scores. Why wasn’t I admitted?
A: Each year, over the last decade, UC Berkeley has experienced significant increases in the number of applications received. Because the number of freshman enrollment spaces has remained relatively constant, admission to Berkeley has become much more competitive. This year was no exception. For Fall 2021, we received more than 112,000 freshman applications.
Q: Can I challenge the admission decision?
A: Appeals may only be filed by students who are denied admission. Since the wait list offer is not a final admission decision, the appeals process is not available. In order to express your interest in our campus and to share more information for consideration, you may opt into the wait list, by April 15, 2021.
Q: Is there any restriction about who can be on the wait list?
A: Yes. The wait list option is limited to freshman applicants by invitation only. If invited, you must opt in by midnight, April 15, 2021.
Q: Am I on the wait list automatically?
A: No, you received an offer for space on the wait list, but you need to tell us if you want to remain on the wait list. Please go to MAP@Berkeley and follow the instructions to remain on the wait list (opt in). Remember, if you want to remain on the wait list, you MUST let us know by 11:59 PM, April 15, 2021 Pacific Time.
Q: What is the wait list Essay?
A: Students who choose to opt-in to the wait list may choose to complete this optional written statement. While this is not a requirement, the essay may serve to provide further information to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Berkeley.
Wait list Essay
Share, in 500 words or less - anything we may not have already learned about you through your application.
Topics to use for the statement may include: Awards and recognition obtained since the point of application, Explanation of any course changes, challenges faced since the point of application. Please remember there is no right or wrong answer, simply the opportunity to share additional information.
Q: May I send in 7th semester grades?
A: Sending most recent grades is optional. Students will be able to list courses and grades OR upload an unofficial copy of latest progress report/transcript. There is no need to ask school officials to send this information. All information must be submitted through the online form, and no other types of submission will be accepted.
Q: What are my chances of being admitted to UC Berkeley after being on the wait list?
A: Because we will not know until early May whether any spaces will become available and because the wait list is not ranked, our staff will not be able to forecast any student’s chances of being admitted. Should spaces become available, our review will focus primarily on your original application. The percent of students admitted from the wait list depends on the number of enrollment spaces we have available and the number of students who opt-in to the wait list. Wait list admit rates in recent years have ranged between 20% to 60% depending on circumstances.
Q: Does visiting the campus increase my chances of being admitted from the wait list?
A: No. Our office will make decisions based on the original application and the information in the wait list opt-in form, only. Additionally, Admissions will not be able to provide interviews or personal appointments for students on the wait list.
Q: How will I find out if I get an offer of admission?
A: The review of candidates and available spaces will continue through the month of May. You will receive an email directing you to MAP@Berkeley and will have seven days from the time of notification to accept the offer by accepting your offer of admission. To check your status, please login to MAP@Berkeley.
Q: Can I opt to be on a wait list for more than one UC campus?
A: Yes, you can opt to be included on more than one wait list, if the option is offered to you by multiple campuses. (Each campus maintains its own wait list.) If you subsequently receive offers of admission, you may accept only one. If you accept an admission offer from a campus after you have accepted an offer to another, you must rescind your acceptance to the first campus. The deposit paid to the first campus will not be refunded or applied to the second campus.
Wait list Process
Q: What do I do if I am admitted?
A: Wait listed students who receive offers of admission from UC Berkeley must accept your offer of admission, through CalCentral. You will be notified of the deadline to accept your offer of admission, if you are admitted. The guide for how to accept your offer can be found in CalCentral.
It is important that you complete all other required documentation, including accepting your Conditions of Admission, by all specified deadlines.
Q: What Can I Expect if I Receive an Offer of Admission?
A: Depending on space available, students selected from the wait list may have limited enrollment pathways, which may be different from a student offered admission earlier in the admissions cycle. For example, applicants to the College of Letters and Science may receive an offer that comes in the form of an offer to join Fall Program for Freshmen to start their Berkeley career. Depending upon available space, one or both of these programs may be your only enrollment pathway option(s) if you are admitted from the wait list. Before you opt-in, be sure to visit the websites for these unique programs to learn more and determine if they are a good fit. Should space be available, both programs are great ways to commence your Berkeley experience.
Q: How long will I have to accept the offer of admission?
A: Approximately one week. You will have seven days from the time of notification to accept the offer by accepting your offer of admission, including the day you are notified. Your individual deadline date will be fixed; no extensions will be granted.
Q: What if I already accepted an offer to another campus?
A: If you are offered admission to UC Berkeley and have already accepted an offer of admission to another college or university, you can still accept your offer. You will need to accept your offer to UC Berkeley and rescind your acceptance at the other campus. The deposit to the first campus will not be refunded.
Housing and Financial Aid
Q: If I’m admitted off the wait list, will I still be eligible for financial aid?
A: Yes. If you applied for financial aid and submitted your FAFSA to UC Berkeley on time, you will be able to see an estimate of your financial aid at MAP@Berkeley.
Q: If I am admitted off the wait list, do I still receive the housing priority?
A: Yes, wait-listed admitted students will receive a housing offer, IF you complete the housing application by the deadline to accept your offer of admission and you indicate “any room, any location” as one of your preferences. Housing priority can be jeopardized if you do not meet your deadline to accept your offer of admission. Please check MAP@Berkeley for more information.