Why Be a Scholar?

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

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  Financial Assistance

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

Additionally, there is a one-time $900 technology  credit available for use during the first year enrolled at Cal Poly (beginning fall 2018 for incoming cohorts). The process for utilizing this credit is still being determined. 

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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 collaborate with to support Scholar success include

  • All academic colleges and their advising centers
  • Career Services
  • Mustang Success Center
  • Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Student Academic Services
  • University Housing

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 the specific 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.


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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:

  • Living-Learning Communities - The Cal Poly Scholars’ Year 1 and Year 2 living-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. Many of these events are hosted by Scholar Mentors, which is another avenue for Scholars to get involved in the planning and implementation of social opportunities.


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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 encourages are:

  • Career Development Workshops - Working closely with Career Services and other professionally-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 Transferrable 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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