FAQs from Denied Freshman Applicants

Here are the most common questions we get from freshman applicants who were not admitted to UCLA.

Q: Can you tell me why I was denied?

A: Every application receives a minimum of two reviews, which balance academic and extracurricular information, combined with information we learn from the personal statement. Because this process is not based on a formula, there rarely is a single reason (such as one low test score or grade, etc.) that we can point to as to why an individual applicant is not admitted.

Generally speaking, the primary reason that we must turn away so many qualified students is simply that of competition. For Fall Quarter 2018, UCLA received more than 113,000 freshman applications for a class of just over 6,000 new freshmen. We had to deny more than 97,000 applicants. Among these were some of the brightest and highest achieving high school seniors in the state. Almost all of them were UC eligible. Most students denied by UCLA are eligible to gain admission to at least one of the other UC campuses. We strongly encourage you to focus on the options you have.

Here are some statistics showing the GPAs, courses, and ACT/SAT scores at the 25th and 75th percentile mark within the 2017 admitted class.

  Fully-Weighted GPA
extra grade point for honors
Composite Score

a-g course honors
grades 10–12*

75th percentile 4.64
25th percentile 4.29
75th percentile 34
25th percentile 30
75th percentile 28
25th percentile 18
Unweighted GPA
no extra grade point for honors
*These figures are for domestic applicants only.
75th percentile 4.00
25th percentile 3.88

(more statistics on freshman class)

Q: Can I be placed on your waitlist?

A: Unfortunately, no. Applicants invited to be on UCLA's waitlist are identified prior to the release of decisions, as part of our overall freshman admission selection process; applicants themselves cannot request to be placed on the waitlist.

Q: I would like to appeal my decision. What should I include in my appeal?

A: Because all applicants are examined so thoroughly in multiple reviews, admission decisions are rarely overturned. Requests for reconsideration are most likely to be persuasive only when students present new information. By "new" we mean information not already presented in the original application (e.g. missing ACT/SAT scores, classes that were not listed as AP/Honors that should have been, additional course work, etc.); information that clearly shows you to have a stronger academic record than had been earlier evidenced. Additional extracurricular activities or fall term grades are not a basis for a reversal of the decision since decisions are based on academic information that was available at the time of application.

In rare cases, students may find it necessary to be in Los Angeles due to a personal hardship. In itself, this is not necessarily grounds for reversal of an admission decision since there are several other colleges in the Los Angeles area. Academic qualifications combined with the particular hardship listed would allow for an additional review of an applicant. If you base your appeal on an emergency or sudden-need situation, please be prepared to document your circumstances.

(more on the appeal process)


Q: Was I considered for my alternate major also?

A: Within the College of Letters and Science, the major an applicant chooses is not a factor in the review process at the freshman level. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applicants each term, UCLA does not normally review applicants who applied to Arts, Music, Engineering, or Theater/Film/TV majors for their alternate choices.


Q: I was ELC Eligible, why was I not admitted to UCLA?

A: ELC students are guaranteed a spot at one of the nine UC Undergraduate campuses, though not necessarily at their campus or program of choice.

Q: I would still like to attend UCLA. What are my options?

A: Entering UCLA as a freshman is not your only option. We also accept applications from students who have completed their first two years of college at another institution.

While we accept applications from students from other 4-year institutions, we give priority to students transferring from other UC Campuses and California community colleges. Many of these schools have special programs that help students prepare to transfer to UCLA or other 4-year institutions.

(more on transfer admission)


Q: I was denied for Fall quarter, can I apply for winter quarter?

A: No. UCLA only accepts new freshman students for the fall quarter.


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