01 Mar

How to Appeal a UCSD Rejection Letter


A successful UCSD appeal letter limits you to 250 words and forces you to prioritize just two to three issues upon which your entire case for reconsideration rests. 


The UCSD Appeal Process:

The good news? Appealing your UC San Diego (UCSD) rejection letter (which is submitted through your online portal) has no negative effect on your chances of being accepted in a future admissions cycle. So why not appeal, right? The less-than-desirable news? Appeals generally have a low success rate of about 2% and UCSD appeals give you only 250 words to state your case. 

There's no beating around the bush here: UCSD appeals are deceptively hard. So, first, let's explore what makes their editing difficult. Then, we'll suggest a counter-intuitive strategy for making their development easier.

What Counts as New and Compelling Information?

A page of UCSD's public website narrowly defines new information as academic information. Meanwhile, UCSD's applicant portal, where you'll submit your appeal, explains that academic information isn't the only type of new information that UCSD is seeking.

In your UCSD applicant portal, you'll have to select one of 4 choices when categorizing your UCSD appeal statement:

  • Error in original UC application
  • Newly documented medical issues
  • Extraordinary special achievement/recognition, since your original application
  • Personal challenges not previously disclosed

Which choice you make is largely immaterial; however, as your appeal can (hint: should) compellingly address multiple issues, not just one. So, while you are only be able to select one theme, the strongest appeals address multiple deficiencies in your UC original application, in addition to introducing any new information from after you applied.

Lots of Quality Thought, But Even More Editing:

Many people scoff when we explain that it takes us longer to help a student develop a compelling 250 word UCSD appeal than it does to develop a two page UCLA appeal. Shorter seems easier, naturally, but it's exponentially more difficult to try and pack the same punch of a 1,000 word appeal in only 250 words. Achieving perfection requires fidgeting with your sentence sequencing (a lot).

To Make Things Easier, Avoid This Trap:

In trying to brainstorm for a response that is 250 words, your brain will naturally want to eliminate non-essential ideas that come to mind. This interrupts your creative flow, preventing you from meandering your way to your best ideas. To avoid devolving into a mental tailspin, it's actually better if you put the UCSD appeal aside and outline an appeal letter for another UC campus first. All of the other UCs afford you more page space and once you perfect a longer appeal you can whittle its two to three most powerful concepts down into a 250 word version.

Ultimately, your best appeal argument for one UC campus is the same best argument for all UC campuses. They all received the same UC application. Case in point:


We'd Love to Help You:

Because we know the editing shortcuts, tricks, and methods that will reduce your word count while minimizing loss of detail, our appeals counselor can walk you through the UCSD appeal process step-by-step and help you develop your strongest appeal letter. During the first session, we'll analyze your UC application to determine the most important focus points and the second session focuses on polishing. Most students need no more than two sessions to perfect their appeal letter and can submit their appeal within days.

The first appeal session is sold as a 1.5-hour meeting (costing $525 for the 1.5-hour session as our rate is $350 per hour). However, if a portfolio was required for your major, we'd need 15 extra minutes to include a review of your portfolio (bringing the total cost of the session to $612.50).

By the end of Meeting #1, you’ll have a finished outline. Anticipate another 1.5 hours for meeting 2, as 1.5 hours is nearly always needed for students who feel they need a polishing meeting, but the second meeting can vary in length. After Meeting #2, students who are decent writers will generally have a submit-ready letter. Contact us to learn more.

P.S. Your UCSD appeal letter can be re-used for your other UCs. It just needs to be expanded to fill each college's different word limit for appeal letters.

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