Frequently Asked Questions

 

Current Scholars

What are the requirements to maintain Scholar eligibility?

Scholar requirements are designed to foster an inclusive community of Scholars, build a personal support network for college success, and develop knowledge and skills for lifelong success. By fulfilling specific requirements and striving toward supplemental expectations, Scholars will maintain annual eligibility for financial and programmatic support.

To view cohort specific requirements, please visit Scholar Requirements 2018-19 and/or Scholar Requirements 2019-20. Please note that requirements may change each academic year.
 

Am I required to live in the Cal Poly Scholars living-learning community?

For Scholars who entered as first-year students (non-transfer students), residing in the Scholar communities during the first two years of enrollment is a requirement of maintaining eligibility for the scholarship.

Scholars who enroll at Cal Poly as Transfer Scholars are not required to reside on campus.

To view cohort specific requirements and see limited exceptions to this requirement, please visit Scholar Requirements 2018-19 and/or Scholar Requirements 2019-20. Please note that requirements may change each academic year.
 

What happens if I don’t meet the GPA requirement?

Bummer – sorry to hear you had a rough quarter or year. Since each Scholar’s circumstances are unique, the first thing you need to do is meet with an academic advisor to discuss your specific situation. Together, you will determine an academic plan moving forward and may be asked to connect with other resources such as the Office of Financial Aid to see if/how your financial award may be affected.

Please note that even if you are not eligible to receive the financial award for a brief time, you are still welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Scholars program to receive community and academic support.
 

Will I still be a Cal Poly Scholar if I change my major?

In short, yes, you will remain a Cal Poly Scholar and enjoy the community, academic and education aspects of the program. However, the amount or source of your financial award may change. If considering changing your major, you are encouraged to meet with a:
  • Career counselor in Career Services to explore career goals and possible majors to help you pursue your career aspirations
  • Academic advisor in the college advising center of the major you’d like to pursue to learn more about the change of major process
  • Financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid to discuss the possible changes to your financial aid package and Cal Poly Scholars award
 

May I use the financial award to study abroad?

Most study abroad experiences associated with Cal Poly are eligible for financial assistance in the form of financial aid and scholarships, including your Cal Poly Scholars financial award. To learn more about study abroad funding eligibility and opportunities, visit Study Abroad Financial Planning, and meet with a financial aid counselor.

Additionally, the decision to study abroad should be discussed with your academic college. Topics to discuss include how the courses abroad align with your academic progress, how course sequencing at Cal Poly may be affected and if your experience abroad may lengthen your time at Cal Poly.
 

I won’t be enrolled at Cal Poly for a quarter or longer – can I still be a Cal Poly Scholar when I return?

Occasionally, Scholars need to leave campus for various reasons (ex. co-ops/internships, medical, financial, academic, etc.). We encourage you to take the time and opportunities away from campus that will lead to your success at Cal Poly and beyond. When possible, we encourage you to connect with your academic advisor and financial aid counselor before departing to discuss potential policies and procedures that could affect your enrollment and funding.

Please complete this form to help our team better support you through the process.

In general, Scholars are welcomed back into the community and program, and will continue to receive funding as long they maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Upon returning to campus, it is your responsibility to inform the Cal Poly Scholars’ office that you have returned to campus so your financial award can be reinstated (if eligible).

Please note that even if you are not eligible to receive the financial award for a brief time, you are still welcomed and encouraged to participate in the Scholars program to receive community and academic support.
 

Will I receive the Cal Poly Scholars award during summer quarter?

Unfortunately, the Cal Poly Scholars award is only available during fall, winter and spring quarters. The total amount you are awarded is divided equally among the three primary quarters (whether you are enrolled in all three or not).
 

When will the Cal Poly Scholars award be posted as part of my financial aid offerings?

Eligible quarters for awards are fall, winter, and spring. For each of these quarters, 1/3 of your total annual financial award will be distributed. Approximate award distribution timelines for Scholars are as follows*:
  • Fall quarter awards - mid-summer / late-July
  • Winter quarter awards - one week before winter classes begin
  • Spring quarter awards - one week before spring classes begin
*If you have fewer than 12 units when the first round of award distribution occurs, your award will come shortly after you have enrolled in 12 units. If you are in your final 1-2 quarters before graduating and will fall short of 12 units, please contact the Cal Poly Scholars office to discuss your situation and see if you are eligible for the financial award.

Incoming Year 1 Scholars

What qualifications do I need to be eligible for the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Scholars are high-achieving, low-income students who graduated from California high schools. Undergraduate students admitted to Cal Poly are automatically considered for the Cal Poly Scholars program when they apply for financial aid via the FAFSA or California Dream Application. Scholars are selected at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. There is no additional application to be completed.
 

When will students be notified about being part of the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Cal Poly Scholars offers are part of the financial aid process. When you receive your financial aid package, typically between mid-March and late May, it may include a Cal Poly Scholars award. Be sure to check your email and the Cal Poly Portal regularly for notifications.
 

My financial aid award says I was chosen as a Cal Poly Scholar, what does that mean?

Congratulations! Being offered a Cal Poly Scholars award means that you have an opportunity to receive additional financial, community and academic support as an undergraduate student at Cal Poly. To learn more, visit Why Be a Scholar? and Scholar Requirements 2019-20.
 

What are the requirements for being a Scholar?

Scholar requirements are designed to foster an inclusive community of Scholars, build a personal support network for college success, and develop knowledge and skills for lifelong success. By fulfilling specific requirements and striving toward supplemental expectations, Scholars will maintain annual eligibility for financial and programmatic support.

To view cohort-specific requirements, please visit Scholar Requirements 2019-20. Please note that requirements may change each academic year.
 

Am I required to live in the Cal Poly Scholars living-learning community?

For Scholars entering as first-year students (non-transfer students), residing in the Scholar communities during the first two years of enrollment is a requirement of maintaining eligibility for the scholarship.

To view cohort-specific requirements and see limited exceptions to this requirement, please visit Scholar Requirements 2019-20. Please note that requirements may change each academic year.
 

Why can't I see the Scholar living-learning community when I complete my housing application?

The Scholar Community is invite-only and as such, Scholars and their roommate (if you choose a roommate who is not a Scholar) will be automatically placed to live in the Scholar Community.
 

Can I choose a roommate who is not a Scholar?

Yes! Just know, the roommate you select will be joining you in the Scholar Community. The more, the merrier!
 

How can I use the $900 technology credit?

An exciting part of your financial aid package is that you have a $900 technology credit at Cal Poly’s University Store (a.k.a. the bookstore). Here is some important information to know:
 
  • The credit is only applicable toward the purchase of a laptop or tablet sold through the University Store. Warranty packages and cases for the purchased devices may also be purchased with the tech credit.
  • The credit is good during the academic year you receive it, beginning once you've checked-in for Week of Welcome (WOW) and valid until the final day of spring quarter.
  • The credit cannot be applied to an online purchase; however, you can view the products online to determine what option is best for you. We also encourage you to talk with the University Store tech staff to discuss which decide will support your academic needs.
  • If you selected, ordered and paid for the device, the device should be available for pick up from the University Store once you move in and check in for WOW in September.
  • If the cost of the device is greater than $900, you will be responsible for paying the difference before the device is ordered. The difference must be paid in person, not online or over the phone, so we encourage you to order and pay for your device while on campus for SLO Days.
  • If you do not order and pay for your device before September, the University Store cannot guarantee the specific brand or type of computer you want will be in stock upon your arrival to campus. However, the tech staff at the University Store will be happy to help you order the device and have it delivered shortly after the start of the quarter.

I am an incoming Scholar and I paid my orientation fees (SLO Days and WOW). How can I be refunded?

Thanks for taking care of orientation, sorry to hear the process was confusing. To be refunded, please complete this google form called the Orientation Request Form.

In the reason requesting a refunding, inform the Orientation department that you are a Cal Poly Scholar. According to the Orientation department website, it can take up to 5 - 7 business days for a refund direct to the credit card. Please refer to the Orientation department website for further questions regarding refunds.
 

Incoming Transfer Scholars

What qualifications do I need to be eligible for the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Scholars are high-achieving, low-income students who are California residents. Undergraduate students admitted to Cal Poly are automatically considered for the Cal Poly Scholars program when they apply for financial aid via the FAFSA or California Dream Application. Scholars are selected at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. There is no additional application to be completed.
 

When will students be notified about being part of the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Cal Poly Scholars offers are part of the financial aid process. When you receive your financial aid package, typically between mid-March and late May, it may include a Cal Poly Scholars award. Be sure to check your email and the Cal Poly Portal regularly for notifications.
 

My financial aid award says I was chosen as a Cal Poly Scholar, what does that mean?

Congratulations! Being offered a Cal Poly Scholars award means that you have an opportunity to receive additional financial, community and academic support as an undergraduate student at Cal Poly. To learn more, visit Why Be a Scholar? and Scholar Requirements 2019-20.
 

What are the requirements to maintain Scholar eligibility?

Scholar requirements are designed to foster an inclusive community of Scholars, build a personal support network for college success, and develop knowledge and skills for lifelong success. By fulfilling specific requirements and striving toward supplemental expectations, Scholars will maintain annual eligibility for financial and programmatic support.

To view cohort specific requirements, please visit Scholar Requirements 2019-20. Please note that requirements may change each academic year.
 

Am I required to live in the Cal Poly Scholars living-learning community?

Scholars who enroll at Cal Poly as Transfer Scholars are not required to reside on campus. However, if you choose to reside on campus during your first year at Cal Poly, you will be placed in a living-learning community with other transfer students, which will likely include other Scholars. During your second year at Cal Poly, you are welcome to reside in the Year 2+ Scholar living-learning community.

To view cohort specific requirements and see limited exceptions to this requirement, please visit Scholar Requirements 2019-20. Please note that requirements may change each academic year.
 

How can I meet other transfer students?

The Cal Poly Scholars program will host a few gatherings specifically for Transfer Scholars, so we encourage you to come mix and mingle! Additionally, Cal Poly offers Transfer SLO Days and hosts Transfer Week; both are excellent opportunities to engage with the transfer community and learn about resources relevant to you.
 

How can I use the $900 technology credit?

An exciting part of your financial aid package is that you have a $900 technology credit at Cal Poly’s University Store (a.k.a. the bookstore). Here is some important information to know:
 
  • The credit is only applicable toward the purchase of a laptop or tablet sold through the University Store. Warranty packages and cases for the purchased devices may also be purchased with the tech credit.
  • The credit is good during the academic year you receive it, beginning once you've checked-in for Week of Welcome (WOW) and valid until the final day of spring quarter.
  • The credit cannot be applied to an online purchase; however, you can view the products online to determine what option is best for you. We also encourage you to talk with the University Store tech staff to discuss which decide will support your academic needs.
  • If you selected, ordered and paid for the device, the device should be available for pick up from the University Store once you move in and check in for WOW in September.
  • If the cost of the device is greater than $900, you will be responsible for paying the difference before the device is ordered. The difference must be paid in person, not online or over the phone, so we encourage you to order and pay for your device while on campus for SLO Days.
  • If you do not order and pay for your device before September, the University Store cannot guarantee the specific brand or type of computer you want will be in stock upon your arrival to campus. However, the tech staff at the University Store will be happy to help you order the device and have it delivered shortly after the start of the quarter.

I am an incoming Scholar and I paid my orientation fees (SLO Days and WOW). How can I be refunded?

Thanks for taking care of orientation, sorry to hear the process was confusing. To be refunded, please complete this google form called the Orientation Request Form.

In the reason requesting a refunding, inform the Orientation department that you are a Cal Poly Scholar. According to the Orientation department website, it can take up to 5 - 7 business days for a refund direct to the credit card. Please refer to the Orientation department website for further questions regarding refunds.
 
 
Scholar Definitions
Year 1 Scholars New Cal Poly Scholars who are enrolled in their first academic year at Cal Poly as non-transfer students
Year 2 Scholars Returning Cal Poly Scholars who are enrolled in their second academic year at Cal Poly as non-transfer students
Year 3 Scholars Returning Cal Poly Scholars who are enrolled in their third academic year at Cal Poly as non-transfer students
Year 4+ Scholars Returning Cal Poly Scholars who are enrolled in their fourth, fifth or sixth academic year at Cal Poly as non-transfer students
New Transfer Scholars New Cal Poly Scholars who are enrolled in their first academic year at Cal Poly as transfer students
Returning Transfer Scholars Returning Cal Poly Scholars who have completed at least one academic year at Cal Poly as a transfer student
Cohort or Scholar Cohort A group of Cal Poly Scholars who enrolled, for the first-time, at Cal Poly in the same academic year as either Year 1 Scholars or New Transfer Scholars (ex. Scholars who entered during the 2017-18 academic year are in the 2017 Cohort)

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