The Promise Scholar program at UC Santa Barbara empowers high-achieving, first generation students from low-income households. The Promise Scholar program offers $120,000 in grants and scholarships to first year students over four years and $60,000 to transfer students over two years. 

Selection Process

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a California resident or eligible for AB 540, as determined by the Office of the Registrar
  • Fill out a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application and provide all requested documents by the priority deadline each year of attendance
  • Qualify for Cal Grant and Pell Grant, as determined by the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application
  • Have sufficient financial need as determined by the UCSB Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

In addition, GPA, and extra-curricular excellence are taken into consideration through students' Admission’s application.

Promise Scholar Responsibility Policy

Promise Scholars are required to meet certain requirements throughout the duration of their undergraduate academic career in order to remain in good standing with the program.  Students who fail to meet these requirements will experience partial fee remissions and possible dismissal from the program.

These requirements are as follows:

  • Promise Scholars, Transfer Student Promise Scholars, and ICA Promise Scholars must maintain a quarterly minimum 2.75 GPA.
  • Judith Stapelmann Promise Scholars must maintain a quarterly minimum 3.0 GPA.

Students will have one quarter to improve their performance and must follow the requirements of the ten-week time management program in order to raise their GPA to an acceptable level. Students who do not attend the ten-week program while below the GPA requirement will lose funding and will be in danger of expulsion from the program.


Students must file a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application by the priority deadline each academic year (March 2nd). Students must also submit any required documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by the established deadline. 

Students must attend designated Promise Scholar courses:

  • Promise Scholars must attend INT 95A, 95B, and 95C and attend at least two workshops per quarter to remain in good standing with the program.
  • Transfer Student Promise Scholars must attend ED 118*
  • ICA Promise Scholars must attend INT 10*

Tracking our students is imperative to the continued funding and success of this program. Promise Scholars must agree to participate in all surveys throughout their college career and agree to participate in survey tracking for a maximum of five years after graduating from UCSB.