Congratulations for being selected as a University of California (UC) President’s Pre-College Scholar!
As a President’s Pre-College Scholar, you’re part of a select group of California high school students recognized for their academic achievements: strong grades, completion of “a-g” courses, and potential to take honors, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.
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As a Pre-College Scholar, we know you work hard and dream big. UC offers a transformative education and a community where you’ll thrive. If you want to be educated in the heart of where knowledge is created — medical discoveries that cure diseases, inventions that revolutionize how cars are powered and food is grown, new technologies that push the boundaries of media and music — then UC is right for you.
UC is a place where you'll find a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose, surrounded by a community of people who are just like you: curious, hardworking, determined to make a difference, and excited to be at the best public university in the world.
The University of California community stands ready to help you learn more about what a UC education can offer, and how the University can help you achieve your educational goals.
You belong at UC. We’re here to help you learn more about preparing for, applying to and affording a UC education. See below for tips, tools and strategies for Pre-College Scholars.
UC is accessible, affordable and welcoming for all students. Find out more at Achieve UC.
Get prepared now to apply to UC. A Guide for Preparing for the University of California and the UC Preparation Calendar include all the steps you need to take to get to UC.
For Spanish versions, see Una guía de preparación para la Universidad de California and Calendario de preparación para la UC.
Visit the UC Admissions website for a comprehensive guide on applying to UC.
As part of the UC application, you’ll answer four personal insight questions about yourself. Get some practice in sharing your experiences, interests, ambitions and inspirations at the freshman personal insight questions website.
Watch this personal insight questions video, which provides tips for students from underrepresented backgrounds who are the first in their families to apply for college, or whose schools have limited counseling resources.
You can afford UC. In fact, more than half of UC’s California undergraduates pay no tuition. Learn about financing your education at the Paying for UC website.
If you are a California resident whose total family income is less than $80,000 a year and you qualify for financial aid, you will not have to pay UC’s systemwide tuition and fees out of your own pocket. Learn more about the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan.
For additional resources, visit the UC Office of Diversity and Engagement website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the UC President’s Pre-College Scholars program?
The President’s Pre-College Scholars program was created by University of California President Janet Napolitano to recognize and support high-achieving students across the state of California.
As a public university, UC actively seeks talented students from diverse backgrounds to join its campus communities. The university is committed to helping students achieve their college goals, whether they include a UC campus or another university.
How are President’s Pre-College Scholars selected?
Pre-College Scholars are recommended by their counselors or through UC college-preparatory programs, such as EAOP, MESA and Puente. Students are selected to be Pre-College Scholars because they have distinguished themselves academically by taking challenging classes and earning good grades.
What are the benefits of being a Pre-College Scholar?
Pre-College Scholars will receive important information about UC in monthly newsletters and the group’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. UC will invite scholars to attend special events at their high schools and at the UC campus nearest them. Through these online resources and events, students will get information about the UC system, guidance on academic preparation, and resources for exploring and weighing college options.
Pre-College Scholars have the opportunity to experience the academic and cultural life of UC; engaging with college students and faculty members, touring campuses and participating in other college activities. Seniors receive support with college applications and have access to a financial aid advisor who can help them understand financial aid options, complete financial aid applications and prepare to pay for college.
What do I have to do to participate in this program?
All students selected to be Pre-College Scholars will automatically receive online resources and invitations to events. Scholars are invited to register on the Pre-College Scholars website to confirm their contact information — and to receive a gift! Scholars and their families can opt out of communication at any time.
Will being a Pre-College Scholar help on the UC application?
Pre-College Scholars will not be given any automatic advantage, but the program does provide guidance on how to become a strong, competitive applicant to UC. The Pre-College Scholars team is eager to support students on their journey to college. As with any form of achievement, it will be up to the student to take advantage of the resources offered by the program.