The Achievement Award Program: 2016-2017 Scholarship Annual Report

I. Program Description and Services

The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) was created by the Cal Alumni Association (CAA) in 1998 to support the University of California, Berkeley’s public mission to attract and ensure access for California students from very low-income families. TAAP helps to provide a quality higher education to a diverse pool of college freshmen and junior transfer students who have significant financial need, face substantial barriers to a college education, and are driven to create a positive impact on their community.

The 2016–2017 academic year is the eighteenth year that CAA brings a cohort of TAAP Scholars to campus. Since the first cohort of TAAP Scholars arrived on campus in fall 1999, this successful scholarship program has attracted, enrolled, and retained more than 445 high-achieving, financially-deserving students of different backgrounds and perspectives.

By providing more than financial support, TAAP ensures that scholars make the most of their Cal experience and graduate from UC Berkeley. Scholars receive a suite of supportive programs and services to encourage their success at Cal that include:

  • Networking with UC Berkeley faculty and alumni
  • Leadership opportunities and training
  • Workshops in business etiquette, job skills, and resume building
  • Training in financial literacy
  • Guidance, support, and encouragement from program staff and peers
  • Campus resource referrals and visits from crucial campus offices (Education Abroad Program, Financial Aid, Undergraduate Research, etc.)
  • 10% discount at the Cal student store

The number of distributed awards is determined by the total funds available each year. CAA aims to bring approximately 25 new TAAP Scholars to the Cal campus annually.

II. The 2016–2017 Award

TAAP closes the gap between what a student is expected to personally contribute to the cost of their education and the package offered from financial aid. CAA provides up to $6,000 per year of a student’s “self-help” contribution of their financial aid package (the actual award amount will be determined after the applicant’s student need has been processed by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office). Twenty-five incoming freshmen and transfer students received the award for the 2016–2017 academic year. In addition to the monetary award, each incoming TAAP Scholar is provided an iPad upon his or her matriculation to campus to aid in his or her studies.

When a TAAP Scholar fulfills his or her responsibilities and remains in good academic standing, scholarships are automatically renewed for a total of eight semesters for freshmen and four semesters for junior transfers. In addition to 25 incoming TAAP Scholars, there are 63 returning scholars on campus this year, for a total of 88 TAAP Scholars served for the 2016–2017 academic year.

2016–2017 Incoming Applicant and Scholar Demographics

While the incoming class of TAAP Scholars are drawn from diverse backgrounds, 92 percent of the 2016–2017 cohorts are first-generation college students and all come from low-income households. The information below illustrates an accurate and thorough description of the applicant pool and incoming scholars for the 2016–2017 academic year.

Total Applicants:
4721
Eligible Applicants:
4721
Admitted to UC Berkeley:
1375
Applicants invited to interview:
114
Awarded TAAP Scholars:
25
First Generation College Students:
2914 (62%)
From families in which neither parent graduated from high school:
1172 (25%)
Incoming Freshman Applicants:
3170
Admitted to UC Berkeley:
751 (24%)
Freshman Scholars:
18
Incoming Junior Transfer Applicants:
1151
Admitted to UC Berkeley:
624 (40%)
Transfer Scholars:
7
Total Incoming TAAP Scholars:
25
Female students:
18 (72%)
Male students:
7 (28%)
From Northern CA:
13 (52%)
From Southern CA:
12 (48%)
First generation college students:
23 (92%)
From families in which neither parent graduated from high school:
18 (72%)
Students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds:
9 (36%)
Average household income
$21,702
The table below gives a detailed breakdown of the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the incoming TAAP scholars.
Count of Self-identified Ethnicity

Ethnicity
Caucasian
Chinese
East Indian/Pakistani
Filipino
Korean
Mexican*
Other Spanish*
Palestinian
Vietnamese
Yemeni
Total

Incoming Scholars
1
8
1
1
1
7
2
1
2
1
25

Percentage
4%
32%
4%
4%
4%
28%
8%
4%
8%
4%
100%

* Ethnic group considered underrepresented minority

Conclusion

The Cal Alumni Association will distribute up to $519,000 to 88 deserving TAAP Scholars in the 2016–2017 academic year. With drive and determination, TAAP Scholars have overcome significant barriers, including extreme financial hardship, to gain admittance to the best public university in the world.

The Cal Alumni Association is consistently challenged to increase funding to The Achievement Award Program. As the cost of education continues to increase, the student demand for substantial financial aid packages also rises. Without TAAP, UC Berkeley will lose some of the best and brightest students from the state of California because they simply cannot afford to attend.

 
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