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Important Updates

Scholarships FAQs

This information is subject to change. Please check back often for updates. 

  • How do I apply for scholarships?
  • Continuing Students: Complete the Undergraduate Scholarship Application online available beginning on October 1. Fill out the application and ensure you submit at least one letter of recommendation by January 11, 2021. 
    Entering Students: The UC Application for Admission and Scholarships serves as your application for campus-based scholarships at UC Davis. A minimum 3.25 GPA is required for all applicants for our UC Davis-based scholarships. Unless specifically requested of you, no additional information is needed for you to be considered for scholarships.
  • Do I have to have financial need to apply for scholarships?
  • No, UC Davis scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and future promise. Donors can choose to establish additional restrictive requirements and these could include demonstrating financial need. However, most UC Davis scholarships do not have this requirement.
  • Will receiving a scholarship affect my financial aid?
  • It is possible that by receiving a scholarship, your financial aid package could be affected, though it is good to note that many times we can award scholarships without your aid being affected. However, this is highly individual to your specific aid package so please reach out to us directly so we can review your account.
  • Who is eligible to apply for scholarships?
  • All undergraduate students – national, international, undocumented, AB540 – are eligible for scholarships as long as they have at least a 3.25 UC cumulative GPA. Students do not have to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application in order to be considered. A small number of merit scholarships have a financial need consideration. Financial need is only determined through the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application. As a result, we recommend that students apply for financial aid, if possible, to maximize educational funding options.
  • Does the letter of recommendation for the Undergraduate Scholarship Application have to come from a UC Davis professor?
  • No, your letter can be from any individual who you feel knows you best, and can write about your academics, work experience, or any other qualities. Letters can be written by professors, teachers, teaching assistants from your high school or community college, or non-academic individuals, such as employers, coaches, and community leaders who can write about significant contributions to society you are making outside of the classroom. Letters should not be written by family members, relatives, or friends.
  • How many letters of recommendation for the Undergraduate Scholarship Application do I need?
  • You only need one letter of recommendation. You have the option to request two letters, a primary and a secondary, to increase your chances of getting a letter in by the scholarship application deadline. Letters from a secondary recommender will only be read if we do not receive a letter from your primary recommender.
  • How does my recommender submit the letter of recommendation?
  • The letter of recommendation is submitted online by your recommender. After you enter your recommender’s contact information on the application, your recommender will receive an email with a link to the letter of recommendation online form and directions about how to submit the letter.
  • What are my chances of getting a scholarship award?
  • There are many different factors that go into awarding scholarships, so there is no way to give an accurate estimate. Scholarships are awarded on a merit basis, but we also look at things like participation in extracurricular activities; specific college or major; career interests; geographic origin; high school or community college attended; parentage; perseverance; and many other personal characteristics. Of course, if you don’t apply, your chances are zero.
  • I received a scholarship this year. Do I have to fill out this application to get the scholarship again?
  • Yes, you need to complete the Undergraduate Scholarship Application in order to receive a scholarship again.
  • How will freshman scholarships be awarded since SAT/ACT scores will no longer be used?
  • In previous years, the SAT/ACT scores were used as one part of our evaluation process in addition to a complete review of the admissions application. This year we will remove the test scores from our method, and instead move to solely using a holistic evaluation of the admissions application.
  • When will scholarship awards be announced?
  • A handful of scholarships, such as the Regents Scholarship and Provost Award, are announced at the time of Admission. The vast majority of scholarships are awarded over the summer. However, we award scholarships throughout the academic year as money becomes available. So, there is a chance you will receive a scholarship at any time during the academic year.
  • What can I do if I’ve missed the scholarship deadline?
  • If you have missed the deadline, sign up for our listerv to receive information about upcoming deadlines for outside scholarships. Additionally, take a look at the outside scholarship section of our website, and ask your department, club, and organization leaders to see if other opportunities are available.  You may also want to consider applying to the various prestigious scholarships that are available.
  • Why didn't I get a scholarship?
  • There are many factors that go into answering this question. Our scholarships are competitive and, unfortunately, we have a limited amount of money to award. That means there are far more outstanding students than there are awards available.  So, receiving a scholarship is not guaranteed. Also, keep in mind that the applicant pool changes from year to year, and you have the option to update your scholarship application each cycle, so we recommend applying annually.
  • I’ve changed my major. Will that affect my eligibility for scholarships?
  • Possibly, so we advise students to report major changes directly to the Scholarships Office. If you are offered a scholarship with a restrictive requirement that you no longer meet, please contact the Scholarships Office directly.
  • I’m going to be on Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) next quarter. How will that affect my scholarship?
  • The scholarship offer you received assumes that you will be attending all three quarters. If you attend only two quarters, your award will be reduced in a pro-rated fashion. Students attending only one quarter of an academic year are not eligible to receive a scholarship. Please note we will accept an appeal if there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the changes in enrollment.
  • What will happen to my scholarship if I go from full-time to part-time?
  • This depends based on your scholarship, and whether or not you have gone part-time officially with the Office of the Registrar. Please contact our office directly to confirm your eligibility. Please note we will accept an appeal if there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the changes in enrollment.
  • Do you offer any scholarships for study abroad?
  • We do not award any scholarships solely based on students choosing to study abroad. However, scholarships awarded by our office can be used towards UC-approved programs during the regular academic year. Beyond that, there are various other sources of funding regardless of the time of year you go abroad or which program you attend. Outside scholarships are a good option for all programs, our website has a specific list of scholarships awarded on the basis of study abroad and can easily be found by filtering by the study abroad category. The Study Abroad Office typically awards its own scholarships and may have recommendations for additional funding sources. Also, if you plan to attend a UCEAP program their website lists opportunities you may be interested in. UC Davis is also a top producer in the country of Gillman Scholarship recipients so we suggest you consider applying if you are a Pell Grant recipient. Visit their website to get more information about this scholarship and you can schedule a meeting with our Prestigious Scholarships Advisor for individual help on applying by emailing scholarships@ucdavis.edu