At UC San Diego, all former foster youth are included in the Guardian Scholars Program, even if the student is not receiving funding for a Guardian Scholarship. This is an inclusive program where all former foster youth are invited to participate and enjoy the special privileges offered by the campus to welcome and support former foster youth.
Special privileges include:
- Orientation to university life
- Access to on-campus housing all year round, including the summer before your first fall term
- Priority enrollment, beginning second term of attendance at UCSD
- Student employment opportunities
- Assistance with financial aid applications
- Life skills counseling
- Career planning
- A recognition event for scholars and program supporters
Other Guardian Scholar benefits:
The program provides more than scholarship funds — it's designed to help ensure your academic success, to offer support services and experiences that encourage active participation in campus life, and to provide career-development skills for life after graduation. Take advantage of opportunities for year round on-campus housing, including the summer before your first fall term.
Friendly and informal meetings with your Guardian Scholarship mentor focus on problem-solving, life counseling, and encouragement. Workshops covering special topics like financial literacy, wellness, and locating an internship will be offered quarterly.
See the Guardian Scholars Program brochure (PDF).
Eligibility requirements for Guardian Scholars funding:
- Former foster youth
- A full-time undergraduate student (at least 12 units per quarter)
- Considered "independent" under federal financial aid guidelines
- California resident, and United States citizen or permanent resident
- At least a 2.0 GPA in coursework
- Completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to apply for financial aid by the priority filing date
The Guardian Scholarship can be received each year as long as you maintain eligibility by:
- Fully participating in all aspects of the program (meetings, events, mentoring, career mapping, academic advising)
- Maintaining an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher
- Staying continuously enrolled at UC San Diego, unless granted a formal leave of absence
- Maintaining full-time enrollment status (at least 12 units per quarter)
- Abiding by all University of California standards for appropriate conduct and community behavior
- Reapplying for the Promises2Kids Guardian Scholars Program each year
How to apply for Guardian Scholars funding:
- Download your Guardian Scholars application from Promises2Kids in January, and file it online with your responses and other requested documentation by the March 2 deadline.
- Also complete these related applications:
- Chaffee Grant Application: File the completed application with the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) by the March 2 deadline. Read more about the Chaffee Grant for Foster Youth.
- FAFSA: File by March 2 to demonstrate financial need. Read more about FAFSA, which establishes your financial need.
- Cal Grant GPA Verification Form: Ask your school to submit a certified GPA verification to CSAC by March 2.
- Promises2Kids selects and notifies the recipients of Guardian Scholarships.
- When Promises2Kids notifies UC San Diego of your award, it's added to your financial aid package.
Awards for Guardian Scholars:
Promises2Kids awards eligible students up to $5,000 per academic year. If you're a first-time recipient who earns a 2.5 or better GPA as a full-time student during your first quarter, you may be eligible for an increased amount.
Additional undergraduate scholarships for former foster youth:
George Parker Memorial Scholarship
- Awarded to: Entering freshman or transfer students with financial need who were orphaned for at least 3 years prior to the age of 18, and/or to students who were raised in foster care for at least 3 years immediately prior to the age of 18.
- For freshmen, a 4-year award up to $8,000 paid at up to $2,000 per year. The scholarship is renewable each year, provided you continue your full-time undergraduate enrollment at UCSD and remain in good academic standing.
- For transfers, a 2-year award up to $4,000, paid at up to $2,000 per year. The scholarship is renewable each year, provided you continue your full-time undergraduate enrollment at UCSD and remain in good academic standing.
- Eligibility: Your UC admission application is considered your scholarship application. If selected, you must show evidence of financial need by submitting a FAFSA, and evidence of orphan or foster care status.
Guardian Scholars Grant
Awarded to: Undergraduate students who are former foster youth and are active participants in the UCSD Guardian Scholars Program receive an annual Guardian Scholars Grant to help with their education costs during the year and during periods of summer enrollment.
The Guardian Scholarship Program is a collaborative effort among key campus departments and Promises2Kids.
For general program information and questions:
- Contact Vonda Garcia, (858) 534-3800.
For admissions information and questions:
- Incoming freshmen, contact Joanne Higgins, (858) 534-0891
- Incoming transfer students, contact Timothy Borch, (858) 822-0348
For financial aid information and questions:
- Incoming and current students, contact Teresa Stanley, (858) 534-0539 or Yvonne Borrego, (858) 534-1669
For information about making a gift to the scholarship fund to support UC San Diego’s Guardian Scholars (former foster youth):