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  • Erika Johnson

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  • Erika Johnson

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CASP students at UC San Diego

The Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program began in 2013 and has since grown to include over 600 freshman and transfer scholars. Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications.

UC San Diego Scholarship Program Expands Statewide

Over 100 schools and organizations that assist underserved students to take part

Lizbeth Roman

Chancellor’s Associates Scholar Lizbeth Roman.

As a freshman at Lincoln High School, Lizbeth Roman knew that she wanted to achieve more than a high school diploma. She participated in a college readiness program and worked hard to maintain top grades with the goal of becoming the first in her family to attend a university. When she applied to UC San Diego and was accepted, she was thrilled to be named a Chancellor’s Associates Scholar, an award that would support her entire undergraduate degree.

“Coming from a low-income family, I knew I wasn’t going to have the money to go to college,” explained Roman, now a sophomore at UC San Diego studying public health. “The scholarship has been very helpful. I don’t have to worry about how to pay for tuition or books.”

For many students, scholarship support changes everything. The Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program began in 2013 as a partnership with three local high schools and an inaugural cohort of 43 scholars, and has since grown to include more than 600 freshman and transfer scholars. This year, the scholarship opportunity is expanding to eligible students from over 100 high schools, community colleges and community-based organizations across the state—with a goal of reaching 800 scholars.

“When I established the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program, I envisioned it as a pathway for high-achieving students from all backgrounds to achieve their educational aspirations at UC San Diego,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are excited to expand the program to provide greater access to this life-changing opportunity for students and families in San Diego, Imperial Valley and across California.”

Chancellor Khosla with students

Chancellor Khosla envisioned the program as a pathway for high-achieving students from all backgrounds to achieve their educational aspirations.

The scholarship provides freshmen with a four-year award up to $40,000, and transfer students with a two-year award up to $20,000. When combined with other university, state, and federal aid, the award effectively provides a full scholarship for many students.

More than just a scholarship, the program supports students—many of whom are the first in their families to attend college—starting from the summer before their first quarter through graduation by providing a wide range of resources and opportunities to help them succeed academically at UC San Diego. The program includes a summer transition program, leadership and communication seminars, graduate school advising, peer and faculty mentoring, and more.

With the expansion comes a nomination process, which will open annually between November and January. Each of the new participating schools and organizations have the chance to nominate two students per year. To be eligible, prospective scholars must meet the minimum requirements of being a California resident, earn acceptance to UC San Diego and meet the University of California’s Blue + Gold Opportunity Plan eligibility that requires family income of less than $80,000 a year. In addition, nominated scholars must meet two of 10 criteria, which include identifying as first generation, a student veteran, foster youth and more.

“I am excited that we are expanding access and opportunities for students across California,” said Belinda Zamacona, program manager for the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program. “We are honored to continue working with our current school partnerships, Native American communities and Reality Changers. Our collaboration has been the cornerstone of building a strong scholar community on campus, and we’re thrilled to expand it with more students from throughout the state.”

CASP students at gathering

More than just a scholarship, the program provides academic resources and leadership development for scholars, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college.

The new expansion will extend opportunity to more students from high schools, community colleges and community-based organizations in San Diego and Imperial counties and across the state. These schools and organizations assist underserved populations and embrace UC San Diego’s commitment to diversity and access to higher education.

The program will continue to serve local partners, which include students from Lincoln High School, Gompers Preparatory Academy, The Preuss School UC San Diego, e3 Civic High and Hoover High School. Students from Reality Changers—a local program that helps youth from underserved communities become the first in their families to attend college—and California students enrolled in federally recognized tribes are also eligible. In addition, eligible transfer students from San Diego City College, Southwestern College and Imperial Valley College take part.

The Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program is funded in part by donations from Chancellor’s Associates, a loyal network of UC San Diego friends, alumni and parents who make a minimum annual investment of $2,500 each. The pool of funds gives the Chancellor the flexibility to respond to the university’s most urgent needs and critical priorities—including ensuring access and accessibility to UC San Diego for deserving students.

To learn more about the program, and to offer support, visit the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars website. Support for the program contributes to the Campaign for UC San Diego, a $2 billion comprehensive fundraising effort to transform the student experience, our campus, and ultimately the world.

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