Scholarships FAQs

Qualifying for a Scholarship

What is the Alumni Scholars Program?
The Alumni Scholars Program is the umbrella under which all Cal Alumni Association scholarships and programing for scholars falls. Whether you are a scholarship applicant or recipient, the Alumni Scholars Program is the entity to which you can direct your scholarship-related questions.The Alumni Scholars Program currently awards over $2.2 million dollars annually to Cal undergraduates and has been providing scholarships to UC Berkeley undergraduate students since 1934.
What scholarships do you offer to current Cal undergraduate students?
Learn more about: The Leadership Award, The Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship, and The Cal Pride Scholarship
What scholarships do you offer to community college transfer students applying to UC Berkeley (i.e. prospective junior transfer Cal students)?
We offer The Achievement Award Program, The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program, and The Leadership Award for community college transfer students applying to UC Berkeley. Please note: Transfer students may submit their applications prior to receiving their UC Berkeley letter of acceptance.
What scholarships do you offer to current Cal graduate students?
Unfortunately, we only have scholarships for undergraduate students. Visit the UC Berkeley Scholarship Connection for funding resources available to graduate students.
What does “prospective Cal student” mean?
You are a “prospective Cal student” if you are a high school senior or a junior transfer applying to UC Berkeley.
What does “incoming Cal student” mean?
You are an “incoming Cal student” if you are a newly admitted student who has accepted your offer of admission and will begin your first semester at UC Berkeley in the fall (e.g. incoming freshman Cal student or incoming junior transfer Cal student). You can only receive our scholarship if you register and enroll at UC Berkeley.
How do I qualify for your scholarships?
You must be registered and enrolled at UC Berkeley in order to receive one of our scholarships. Learn the eligibility requirements for: The Achievement Award Program, The Leadership Award, The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program., The Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship, and The Cal Pride Scholarship
What scholarships do you offer to high school seniors applying to UC Berkeley (i.e. prospective freshmen Cal students)?
The Achievement Award Program, The Leadership Award and The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program are available for newly admitted UC Berkeley students to apply
Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen or permanent U.S. resident to apply?
  • The Achievement Award Program & The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program

    No. You must have completed high-school, GED or community college transfer requirements in California, please note this is regardless of immigration status.

  • The Leadership Award

    No. There are no residency requirements for this award. Any Cal undergraduate is eligible to receive the award.

  • Cal Pride

    No. There are no residency requirements for this award.

  • Mildred Jordan Sharp

    No. There are no residency requirements for this award.

Applying for a Scholarship

When can I apply?
Applications for the The Achievement Award Program and The Leadership Award open in the spring. Applications for the The Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship and The Cal Pride Scholarship open in the Fall. The link to apply will show up on the respective scholarship page when the scholarship application becomes available.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
You must create a login to our scholarships portal to begin the application process. You will be instructed to complete and submit the “General Application” before you are able to submit completed applications for any of our scholarship opportunities
I submitted my General Application, what scholarships am I eligible for?
You are eligible to apply to scholarships you qualify for and that appear on the recommended page.

*Please note: the General Application is NOT the complete application. You must submit individual recommended scholarship opportunities to be considered for each respective scholarship.

What email address should I use?
Applicants should use an email address they have access to throughout the calendar year. Applicants should NOT use an email address that is part of their high school or community college that may be deactivated once they graduate. Finalist and recipients will receive information about their application status to this email throughout the selection process.

**Please note: once you create an account using an email, you will no longer be able to change it.

Do I need to create a new account every time I want to apply to a scholarship?
No, once you have created an account in our scholarship portal you will be able to access multiple scholarship opportunities. You may use this account to apply for scholarships you are eligible for throughout your time at Cal.
Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
Yes. You must submit a separate application for each scholarship you qualify for. The application for The Achievement Award Program and The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program are the same, you will be considered for both scholarships if you are eligible.
Can I receive more than one scholarship?
Yes, partly and provided you meet the eligibility and program requirements for each scholarship. If you meet the eligibility and program requirements for The Achievement Award Program, Kruttschnitt Apsire Scholarship Program, and the African American Initiative Scholarship you can only receive ONE of these three. Students can receive The Leadership Award AND either The Achievement Award, the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship or the African American Initiative Scholarship. If you meet the eligibility for the Mildred Jordan Sharp and/or Cal Pride scholarships, you may also receive these in addition to The Leadership Award and either one of the three scholarships.

**Please note: In the event that your total amount of aid exceeds your gross financial need, as a result of you receiving our scholarship(s), your need is considered overmet. Certain federal programs require the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office to adjust awards to eliminate overmet need. For more information contact the Financial Aid office.

Do I have to provide my UC Application ID?
This is a required field for incoming freshmen and transfer students only. If this number is incorrect or missing, we will be unable to consider your application because we will be unable to confirm you have registered.

Please note: if you are a current UC Berkeley student, you do not have to provide this number.

Do I have to provide my UC Berkeley Student ID (SID)?
This is a required field for all registered students with a student ID. For current Cal undergrads, if this number is incorrect or missing, we will be unable to confirm your student status in order for you to continue in the selection process or pay out your award should you be selected as a recipient.
What income should I include in the application for The Achievement Award Program and the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program?
The income you report on your application should match what you reported on your FAFSA. If you are not eligible to complete a FAFSA, please report your total income as stated on your UC application:
  • If you are a dependent student, enter the sum of your gross income and that of your parent(s) gross income. Use the gross income reported for the previous tax year.
  • If you are an independent student, enter the sum of your gross income and your spouse’s gross income. Use the gross income reported for the previous tax year.

If there are any changes to your income, please notify the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office as soon as possible.

How do I determine if I’m a dependent or independent student?
Use the FAFSA Dependency Status Worksheet.
I am applying for The Leadership Award, and I am an international student. I do not live in the U.S., Hong Kong, or London. Will I have to travel to one of these areas if I am selected for an interview?
International students who are invited to interview for The Leadership Award will either have an in-person interview with a panel of alums in their city or a Virtual interview will be arranged.
Should I include letters of recommendation?
No. We cannot consider any additional materials (e.g. letters of recommendation, transcripts, resumes, videos, etc.).
When are applications due?
The following deadlines are final. There are absolutely no exceptions. See deadlines for: The Achievement Award Program, The Leadership Award, The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program, The Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship, and The Cal Pride Scholarship.
I forgot my password — how can I log in to my account?
Be sure that you are using the email address that you used when you initially setup the account. To reset your password, click “Reset my password” and enter your email address. If you do not receive an email to reset your password within 30 minutes, please email scholarships@alumni.berkeley.edu.
I noticed a mistake on my application after submitting — can I resubmit?
Once submitted, all applications are considered final, and we cannot accept changes. In the event that identifying information such as your name, UC ID, SID, or birthdate is incorrect, please contact us at scholarships@alumni.berkeley.edu to correct the issue.

Submitting an Online Application

Why am I having trouble submitting my online application?
Many students are applying to our scholarships simultaneously. Our best advice is that you submit your application early to avoid service disruptions due to high traffic. You may consider submitting your application in the early morning or late evening to avoid periods of high web traffic. Please note that there are no exceptions to the application deadline.
What’s my UC Application ID number and how do I find it?
Your UC Application ID is a 7-digit number that uniquely identifies you within the UC applicant system. Unfortunately, Berkeley cannot provide application ID numbers. However, there are three ways for you to find your Application ID:
  1. View your PATHWAYS receipt: If you submitted your application via the University of California website, you should have seen a screen displaying this information.
  2. View Undergraduate Application Acknowledgment: This information can be found in the upper right-hand side of the UC acknowledgement letter you received in the mail.
  3. Contact UC Application Processing Center
    In California 800.207.1710
    Outside California 310.513.2715
    Email ucinfo@applyucsupport.net

Scholarship Selection

Will I receive a application status update notification even if I don’t move forward in the process?
Yes, all applicants receive an application status update in the email they used to apply for CAA scholarships. Please check your emails regularly for any updates or time-sensitive requests from our office.
When will I hear back with updates about my application?
Please review the All Opportunities page for a general timeline for each of our scholarships.
Why wasn’t I moved forward and/or why didn’t I receive a scholarship?
Applications are anonymously read and scored by multiple alumni volunteers, usually 5 alumni. Based on those scores, finalists are then invited to an interview with a panel of alumni volunteers. Applicants that best meet the selection criteria are then selected to receive the scholarship. CAA Scholarships Staff have no say in the results and cannot provide insight into what each reviewer or interviewer was thinking.
Can I appeal a scholarship decision?
No, we receive a high volume of scholarship applications for only a select number of awards. In addition, our selection process relies on our alumni volunteers and CAA staff have no say in the results and cannot provide insight into individual applications. All scholarship decisions are final, no exceptions will be made.
Can you provide me with feedback about my application and/or interview?
No, applications are anonymously read and scored by multiple alumni volunteers. Finalists are then invited to an interview with a panel of alumni volunteers. Applicants that best meet the selection criteria are then selected to receive the scholarship. CAA Scholarships Staff have no say in the results and cannot provide feedback to any applicant.

Receiving a Scholarship

How are students selected for your scholarships?
Applications are anonymously read and scored by multiple alumni volunteers. Finalists are then invited to an interview with a panel of alumni volunteers. Applicants that best fulfill the selection criteria are then selected to receive the scholarship. CAA Scholarships Staff have no say in the results.

Please note: if you are selected as an Auto-Recipient you do not have to complete an interview to receive the scholarship. This means you were among the top scorers based on your written application and skipped the interview round.

What other benefits will I get as a scholar?
Learn more about benefits of being a scholar: The Achievement Award Program, The Leadership Award and The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program.
What happened to the Equity Scholarship?
The Equity Scholarship has transformed into a bigger and more impactful scholarship program named The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program (KASP) in recognition of a legacy commitment made by Cal alumnus, local business and community leader, Theodore (Ted) H. Kruttschnitt ’64. Learn more about: The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program
Do I need to report my scholarship to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office?
  • The Achievement Award Program and The Leadership Award

    No. We report your award information directly to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will send you an updated Financial Aid Package and you may need to “accept” the award through your online financial aid account.

  • The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program

    No. We report your award information directly to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The Cal Alumni Association will contact you with further details regarding your award disbursement.

Can I apply my award to summer school tuition?
CAA Alumni Scholarship recipients do not receive funding for summer school.
What if I plan to study abroad?
If you plan to study abroad through EAP, your award will be submitted to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and then be applied to your account. If you plan to study abroad through a non-EAP program, you will need to sign a consortium agreement with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and notify CAA Alumni Scholarships of your plans. We can only disburse your funds through the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office in accordance with their policies.
What if I need to take a medical leave of absence?
You will need to notify the CAA Alumni Scholars office of your withdrawal. Your scholarship will be deferred in accordance with the policies and expectations of the Office of the Registrar and the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.
What if I graduate early? What if I am not enrolled for the full academic year?
Forfeiture of Awards: In order to receive all scholarship award funds, students must be enrolled during the applicable academic year. If a student fails to enroll for the fall or spring semester by the first day of classes of that semester, his/her scholarship funds for that semester are forfeited and will be given to another qualifying scholarship applicant, unless they communicate to us ahead of award disbursement. If the student graduates early, they must communicate to us that they are doing so immediately in order to correctly disburse their award. If a student withdraws for a semester, the award funds for that semester can only be deferred if the student’s withdrawal was University-approved (e.g. medical reason) but needs to communicate to us as soon as possible and prior to our disbursement. If a student chooses to study abroad through the University of California Education Abroad Program (EAP), funds will be disbursed as usual through CalCentral. If a student chooses to study abroad with a non-UC-affiliated program, the terms of the scholarship are subject to the campus Consortium Study Agreement Program.
When will I be notified if I was selected to receive your scholarships?
Learn about the application process for: The Achievement Award Program, The Leadership Award, Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program, Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship, and Cal Pride Scholarship.
How much aid is awarded for a scholarship?
Scholarship amounts vary by scholarship. Learn how much aid is awarded for: The Achievement Award Program, The Leadership Award, Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program, Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship, and Cal Pride Scholarship.
If I am not chosen to receive your scholarship, can I re-apply next year?
  • The Achievement Award Program

    No. The Achievement Award Program only accepts applications from incoming Cal students.

  • The Leadership Award

    Yes. You can apply for the Leadership Award the next academic year as a current Cal student.

  • Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program

    No. The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program only accepts applications from incoming Cal students.

  • Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship

    No. The Mildred Jordan Sharp scholarship only accepts applications from Cal females of junior standing.

  • Cal Pride Scholarship

    Yes. You can apply for the Cal Pride scholarship the next academic year as a current Cal student but previous recipients of the Cal Pride Scholarship are not eligible to re-apply.

Do your scholarships renew?
  • The Achievement Award Program is renewable, provided recipients meet the program requirements.
  • The Leadership Award is not renewable. Students must apply for the scholarship every academic year.
  • The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program is renewable, provided recipients meet the program requirements.
  • The Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship is a one time non-renewable scholarship.
  • The Cal Pride Scholarship is a one time non-renewable scholarship.
Why did the name of my scholarship change in CalCentral? Am I still a recipient of The Leadership Award/The Achievement Award Program/Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program?
The Leadership Award, The Achievement Award Program, and Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program are comprised of various funds that in some cases have particular restrictions. When your scholarship becomes a named award in CalCentral that means it has gone through our scholarship matching program and based on certain criteria you were eligible for that particular fund, the name of which you now see in your financial aid profile. Regardless of the name of the scholarship displayed in CalCentral, you are still considered a CAA Alumni Scholar with all the benefits.
What if I need to defer my award?
If a student withdraws for a semester(s), the award funds can only be deferred if the student’s withdrawal is University-approved (e.g. medical reason); in such cases, the scholarship will be deferred in accordance with the policies and expectations of the Office of the Registrar. Please contact scholarships@alumni.berkeley.edu if you choose to withdraw for a semester.
How are awards paid during the year?

The Achievement Award Program will be disbursed in two installments - half for the Fall semester and half for the Spring semester through CalCentral Finances around August and January.

The Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program will be disbursed in two installments - half for the Fall semester and half for the Spring semester through the Cal Alumni Association around August and January.

The Leadership Award will be disbursed in two installments - $1,000 in the Fall semester and $1,000 in the Spring semester through CalCentral Finances around November/December (Fall payment) and January (Spring payment). How the award is disbursed may vary, please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about your scholarship disbursement.

Supporting a Scholarship

I am a Cal alum. What volunteer opportunities are available?
Learn about volunteering for our scholarships programs »
I am a Cal alum. How do I make a gift?
Learn how to make a gift »