Why Be a Scholar?

We believe programming and financial support enhances the success of promising students on their academic journey to graduation.

Read what Scholars have to say about their experience! 


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  Financial Assistance

Cal Poly Scholars receive a scholarship that is automatically renewed on an annual basis during their time as an undergraduate student. Scholarship renewal is dependent on academic standing/status, completion of program agreements, and compliance with University conduct standards.

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  Personal Support Network

As a result of participating in the Scholars program, Scholars will be able to identify, select, and access personally relevant campus resources and develop a personal support network.

Specific departments the program collaborates with to support Scholar success include:

Examples of the support network in action include:

  • College Connections – These college-specific events bring together Scholars, staff, faculty, and administrators from their respective college to get to know one another as well as opportunities within the college.
  • Proactive Advising – Working closely with the Mustang Success Center, proactive and intentional academic advising is provided to all Year 1 & Year 2 Scholars and continued college-specific advising is offered and encouraged by the college advising centers for all Transfer Scholars and Year 3+ Scholars.
  • Peer to Peer Connections – Whether you are a Year 1 Scholars or a New Transfer Scholar you have the opportunity to connect with other scholars through intentional and supportive peer to peer relationships. Scholar Mentors for Year 1 Scholars and Academic Coaches for New Transfer Scholars are available to help you navigate Cal Poly and be your biggest supporter! 


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  Inclusive Community of Scholars

As a result of participating in the Scholars program, Scholars will be able to develop a sense of belonging as member of a community of Scholars.

This is accomplished through several components including:

  • Residential Learning Communities - The Cal Poly Scholars Year 1 and Year 2+ residential learning communities foster inclusive spaces where Scholars can socialize, learn, and feel at home. Educational, academic, and cultural events are offered throughout the communities with the support of student-led residential councils, Coordinators of Student Development (CSDs), Residential Advisors (RAs), faculty-in-residence, and professional staff.
  • Social Gatherings - Whether you enjoy bowling, playing board games, or conversing over a cup of hot tea, meet others like you at events that encourage interaction and taking a break from the rigors of classwork.


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  Knowledge and Skills for Lifelong Success

As a result of participating in the Scholars program, Scholars will develop knowledge, skills, and competencies for lifelong personal and professional success.

Several ways continued development is encouraged are:

  • Career Development Workshops - Working closely with Career Services and other profession-focused partners, several career-based workshops are offered throughout the year. Some highlights have been Interview with Confidence, Establishing Your Professional Brand, What Are Your Transferable Skills? and a panel of Scholars providing tips at How I Landed My Internship.
  • Life Skills Workshops - Through collaborations with multiple offices, workshops such as Leading with Your Values, Exploring Identity & Allyship, and Financial Planning 101 are examples of workshops that encourage Scholars to reflect and take meaningful action.


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  How do I become a Scholar?

Students are automatically considered for the Cal Poly Scholars program when they apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA or a California Dream Application. Scholars are selected at the discretion of the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. There is no additional application to be completed.  

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