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 at the Cal Poly University Store that may be applied towards the purchase of a desktop, laptop or tablet during the first year enrolled at Cal Poly (beginning fall 2018 for incoming cohorts). 

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  Personal Support Network

As a result of participating in the Scholars program, Scholars will 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 Scholars on the Scholar Programming & Advisory Council, 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 the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. There is no additional application to be completed.  

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