MERCED — UC Merced will not join seven other University of California campuses forming waiting lists for potential freshmen.
UCLA also decided against the list; UC Berkeley is still looking into whether it will adopt a wait list.
This is the first time the UC system will use the process because of budget-related enrollment cuts.
In the fall, the UC system will slash freshman enrollment by 1,500, and it will accept 500 community college transfer students.
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The system has 15,000 unfunded students attending its schools, said Ricardo Vazquez, a spokesman for the UC Office of the President.
The waiting list is a management tool so no seat goes empty.
High school students should start getting their UC school acceptance letters late this month and in March, said Laureen Cardoza, the Merced Union High School District college coordinator. Students will find out then if they've been put on a waiting list.
May 1 is the deadline for students to submit their Statement of Intent to Register to schools, along with a $100 nonrefundable fee, Vazquez said.
Students put on a waiting list for their top-choice school should then submit the SIR to the school they were accepted to, then wait until late May or June to find out if they were accepted to their first choice, Vazquez said.
Families classified as low income can apply for a fee waiver for the SIR.
Cardoza said she anticipates that the waiting list may make it harder for high school students to plan for college.
"Everything will be later, like housing, so I think it will make things confusing for them," Cardoza said.
Acceptance offers from a student's wait-listed school will be sent by June 1, according to UC officials.
The California State University system recommended that its schools also implement a waiting list, said Clara Potes-Fellow, a spokeswoman for the CSU system.