Overview & History


The Cal Poly Scholars program is aimed at recruiting and retaining high achieving students from California Partner High Schools. The program includes an annual scholarship award, a technology package (iPad or laptop), and programmatic support to see these promising students through to graduation. As a university-wide program, the Cal Poly Scholars program is a unique rallying point, bringing together Admissions, Housing, the Office of Financial Aid, Student Academic Services, the Mustang Success Center, and collaborators from each academic college.


The Cal Poly Scholars Program began in Fall of 2012 under President Jeffrey Armstrong’s mission to diversify the incoming Cal Poly population. The first cohort of fourteen students was selected within the College of Engineering. The students received an iPad and academic assistance from the Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP). In its second year, the Cal Poly Scholars program accepted 55 new freshman and increased its programming to include collaboration between MEP, Housing, the Mustang Success Center (MSC), and Student Academic Services (SAS).

In 2014-15, the program added 95 Cohort 3 students from the College of Engineering and the Orfalea College of Business. In 2015-16, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design accepted its first cohort of scholars. For the 2016-17 academic year, scholars will also be accepted in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The program continues to grow each year and will be available in more colleges in the future.

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