How do I apply for the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Cal Poly Scholars is a financial aid award that also includes programming and support. In order to apply to be a Cal Poly Scholar, you must apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA or CA Dream Application. If you apply for Financial Aid, you will automatically be considered for the Cal Poly Scholars program.

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

In order to be eligible for the Cal Poly Scholars program, you must:
  • Graduation from a California high school
  • Admission to the University and enrollment in a college/major that offers Cal Poly Scholars awards
  • Completion of a financial aid application, either the FAFSA or California Dream Application
  • A qualifying maximum and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the financial aid application

For more information, visit Eligibility & Selection.

When will applicants be notified about admission to the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Cal Poly Scholars awards are part of the financial aid process. When you receive your financial aid package, usually in March before your freshman year, it may include the Cal Poly Scholars award.

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 the opportunity to receive an annual scholarship award, a technology package, and programming and support as a student at Cal Poly. You should read the Cal Poly Scholars Student Agreement for the upcoming academic year and decide if the program is right for you before choosing to accept the Cal Poly Scholars award.

I was offered a Cal Poly Scholars award, but I don’t want to live in the Cal Poly Scholars housing or participate in the program.

We understand that the program is not for everyone. The most important thing is that you have the college experience that is right for you. If being a Cal Poly Scholar does not fit with your college goals, please decline the award using the online financial aid system.

Am I required to live in the Cal Poly Scholars housing?

All Cal Poly Scholars are required to live on campus for their first two years of enrollment. First year Cal Poly Scholars are assigned housing together, in order to build a living-learning community. The housing facility that is chosen for first year Cal Poly Scholars changes from year to year, depending on the number of students enrolled in the program.

Second year Cal Poly Scholars are assigned to University Housing with other upperclassman students.

I have concerns about living in Cal Poly Scholars housing. Who can I contact to learn more?

Please contact us at the Cal Poly Scholars Program at 805-756-7164 or cpscholars@calpoly.edu. You may also contact University Housing directly at 805-756-1226.

How many students are currently enrolled in the Scholars program?

The Cal Poly Scholars program grows each year. Currently, the program includes 200-250 scholars.

What are the benefits of the Cal Poly Scholars program?

Cal Poly Scholars is both a financial aid award and a living-learning community that offers programming and support. As a Cal Poly Scholar, you will receive an annual financial aid award to help you with your college expenses, as well as a technology package that may include an iPad or laptop. More importantly, though, Cal Poly Scholars have access to programs, workshops, industry networking events, and a core team of advisors who get to know the students and support them from year to year.

What events or workshops am I required to attend as a Cal Poly Scholar?

Cal Poly Scholars are asked to attend a certain number of events and workshops each year. We invite you to choose, however, which offered events and workshops are most meaningful for you. Examples of events and workshops include:

  • Scholars Welcome Reception
  • Scholar Community Hour
  • Identity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Making the Most of Your Winter Break
  • PASS Workshop (academic planning and registration)
  • Financial Aid: Beyond the Basics
  • End of the Year Celebration 
  • Cal Poly Scholars outing to a Cal Poly athletic event
  • + more!

Please refer to this year’s Program Expectations Agreement for details about how many workshops you might be expected to attend.

Are there GPA requirements for Scholar students?

Cal Poly Scholars students are expected to maintain Good Academic Standing and demonstrate a personal commitment to academic excellence and scholarship. Scholars students must follow financial aid policies regarding academic achievement in order to stay eligible for financial aid awards. Additionally, the Cal Poly Scholars program has a personal goal of an average 2.75 GPA. Cal Poly Scholars students are expected to demonstrate their best efforts toward that goal.

Will Cal Poly Scholars add more challenges or stress to my college experience?

Being a Scholar is an honor and a privilege. We expect Cal Poly Scholars to uphold the ideals of a scholar and to demonstrate personal responsibility and commitment to scholarship. That being said, we want this program to support you to be successful, not to add more stress or requirements to your college experience. We’ve designed workshops and events that we believe (and research shows) will help Scholars students to succeed academically and socially.

If at any time the Cal Poly Scholars feels like it is not supporting your needs, you are encouraged to contact the Cal Poly Scholars Coordinator at 805-756-7164 or cpscholars@calpoly.edu.

Will I be able to study abroad if I am a Scholars student?

The decision to study abroad should be discussed with your academic college. Remember that choosing to study abroad may lengthen your time of study at Cal Poly beyond four years, and could increase the overall cost of your degree.

What industry and career opportunities are available to Cal Poly Scholars?

Cal Poly Scholars in Years 3 & 4 of the program become more involved in opportunities and events through their individual academic colleges. The colleges attempt to plan workshops around leadership, career skills, networking, volunteerism, and internship opportunities relevant to your field of study. For more information about these opportunities, please contact the advisor in your academic college who is assigned to work with Cal Poly Scholars students.

How can I get more information about the Scholars program?

Please feel free to call us (805-756-7164) or e-mail us (cpscholars@calpoly.edu) with questions or requests for additional information. 

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