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Guardian Scholars Program

The Guardian Scholars Program supports former foster youth by awarding scholarships up to $5,000 per academic year to eligible UC San Diego undergraduate students.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Also complete these related applications:
  3. Promises2Kids selects and notifies the recipients of Guardian Scholarships.
  4. 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.
    • Award:
      • For freshmen, a 4-year award up to $8,00,0 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.
  • Sony Computer Scholarship

    • Awarded to: Five UCSD undergraduate students who are former foster youth.
    • Award: Selected students will receive a new Sony VAIO notebook with an Intel Centrino 2 Processor, Webbie high-definition camera with 16-gigabyte memory card, and Walkman® MP3 player, which can be used to listen to electronically recorded lectures.

      The technology packages are part of a nationwide scholarship program established by Sony, with Intel's collaboration, to give students the tools they need to continue to achieve academic excellence.

    • Eligibility: Each fall, former foster youth at UC San Diego are invited to submit an application to be considered for the Sony "Computer" Scholarship.
    • Other: Questions about this scholarship can be directed to UC San Diego Financial Aid Office Foster Youth Counselors Teresa Stanley, (858) 534-0539 or Yvonne Borrego, (858) 534-1669.



Contact information:

The Guardian Scholarship Program is a collaborative effort among key campus departments and Promises2Kids.

For general program information and questions:

Contact Edward Abeyta, (858) 534-3402, or Ann Klein, (858) 534-3898.

For admissions information and questions:

For financial aid information and questions:

For information about making a gift to the scholarship fund to support UC San Diego’s Guardian Scholars (former foster youth):