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Get the answers to your scholarship questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about what scholarships are available, how to apply, and if your financial aid will be affected.

  • There are two types of scholarships at UCI: UCI Distinguished Scholarships and UCI Campus-wide Scholarships.


    The UCI Distinguished Scholarships are the Regents’ Scholarship, Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship, and Directors’ Scholarship. No application is needed for these three scholarships, as the UCI Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships in collaboration with the UCI Admissions Office automatically considers all prospective students based on their UC common application. Only incoming first-year or transfer students are eligible for the Distinguished Scholarships.


    The UCI Campus-wide Scholarships are separated into four categories: Community Leadership category, Innovation category, Academic Excellence category, and Anteater category. Each category is comprised of many campus-wide and school-specific scholarships. The campus-wide scholarships will be awarded to prospective students including entering students based on their UCI scholarship applications and recipients will be notified prior to the SIR (Statement of Intent to Register) deadline (May 1 for prospective freshman students and June 1st for prospective transfer students. The school-specific scholarships will be awarded to entering students based on their UCI scholarship applications and recipients will be notified after the SIR (Statement of Intent to Register) deadline.

  • Continuing students may apply online for campus-wide scholarships and most departmental scholarships during the application period from beginning of November to the end of December for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. Although the majority of UCI scholarships are on the centralized scholarship platform, we encourage students to ask their department advisors about any additional scholarships that may still host be hosted in their department.

  • Prospective students are considered for all campus-wide scholarships as long as they complete the online scholarship application. The scholarship application period is open from the beginning of January to the end of February. Once the evaluation is complete, the recipients of campus-wide scholarships will be notified prior to the SIR deadline and the recipients of school-specific scholarships will be notified after the SIR deadline, sometime in July.

  • Continuing students are considered for all available UCI scholarships by completing the online scholarship application. The application period is from the beginning of November to the end of December. Once the evaluation is complete, recipients will be notified in late June.

  • Visit our website to access the application. Fill out each of the five forms. As you fill out the application, make sure to save your progress. If you have submitted the first five forms on the application individually, your application is considered complete and will be reviewed.

  • Yes, you would not qualify for need-based scholarships, but you may still apply for merit-based scholarships.

  • Some scholarships may require a certain residency or immigration status for applicants to be considered eligible. However, UCI has multiple scholarships available for most residency and immigration statuses, including U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-citizens.

  • International students who possess F1 student visa or H2 visa can apply for scholarships as well. These students do not qualify for need-based scholarships but they may still qualify for merit-based scholarships. International students should disregard the FAFSA/DREAM Act requirement for applying to scholarships.

  • Prospective and continuing students who are seeking master degree programs may apply for scholarships. There are also scholarships available for graduate students in many master degree programs. Graduate PHD students and post-doctorate students need to contact their own departments for any scholarship opportunities.

  • The currently available scholarships are intended for students attending UCI for the 2021-2022 academic year as full-time students. You may inquire with your department to see if they have any available scholarships for graduating seniors.

  • A few scholarships may require the submission of a Letter of Recommendation. If a scholarship requires a Letter of Recommendation, it will be explicitly requested from you. Most of our project-based scholarships require a reference instead. Reference requests are emailed to a supervisor/mentor from the scholarship application, and it allows them to confirm that you have indeed worked with them on a project. Letters of recommendation are NOT necessary to complete a reference. Your reference is only required to sign their name confirming that they have worked with you.

  • No, you may apply to all scholarships with the same online application. The UCI scholarship application has eleven short answer questions that address multiple different scholarships. You only need to answer the questions that are pertinent to you. Some additional questions may be presented if you qualify for certain additional scholarships.

  • You should not answer any questions that do not apply to you. It will not affect your chances of receiving a scholarship if you leave a question blank.

  • This does not affect your application. You may leave the additional scholarship forms blank. Your application will be submitted so long as you have completed the first five sections.

  • Timestamp issues will not affect your scholarship application, as our reviewers do not take the timestamps into consideration. Your application has been received and is considered on time if forms 2 through 5 on your portal are showing a green checkmark.

  • If you have made a mistake on any of the forms, please send an email to scholarships@uci.edu with your name, student or application ID, and an explanation of what you would like to change. Please note that we will not accept changes made to either the short answer questions or the employment and academic experience form after the application deadline has passed.
  • The minimum GPA requirement varies by scholarship. The absolute minimum GPA to qualify for scholarships is 2.5.
  • Scholarship awards are considered financial assistance toward the cost of attendance. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships typically reduces an offered need-based loan or a work study offer to accommodate a scholarship in a student’s budget. When it is not possible to reduce work study or an offered loan in a student’s budget, an adjustment to the grants in the financial aid package may be considered.
  • Scholarship awards are like any other items in the financial aid package. They are disbursed and distributed equally each quarter into a student’s account. These awards reduce your student account charges for the tuition and/or room and board. If there are any credits remaining in your student account, it will be disbursed to you via mailed check or direct deposit into your bank account depending on how you have set it up.
  • Most scholarships require students to be enrolled full-time at UCI and maintain a minimum number of units and/or a minimum GPA to stay eligible. In cases of withdrawal, scholarship recipients must submit an appeal to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. The Scholarships Appeal Committee will review and evaluate student appeals on a case by case basis. Email a dated and signed appeal letter to scholarships@uci.edu explaining your situation and include any relevant documentation. The appeal committee will review your appeal and inform you of its decision.
  • Distinguished Scholarships are automatically renewed based on the scholarship tenure so long as the student maintains the eligibility requirements of the scholarship. Please check your award letter for details.
  • No, UCI scholarships will only be awarded to students enrolled full-time at UCI. You will not be able to take a scholarship with you if you transfer to a new campus.
  • No, the scholarship application is reviewed independently of your admissions application.
  • All external scholarships received by students need to be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The Fiscal Operation group within the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships puts all received external scholarship packages in a queue and processes them in late August and early September. Recipients of external outside agency scholarships should take the following steps to report such scholarships to UCI:

    1. Log in to your "My Aid" account and submit the scholarship information under "Report My Changes."

    2. The agency granting you the scholarship should make the scholarship check payable to "UC Regents" and mail it to:

    University of California, Irvine

    Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

    Attention: Fiscal Operation Group

    102 Aldrich Hall

    Irvine, CA 92697

    The agency should note your name and student ID number or date of birth on the check so that we can apply it to your account.

    Should the agency have specific conditions for disbursement, they should include those directions in a letter accompanying the check.

    For any status on the received external scholarships, recipients should directly contact the Fiscal Operation group at fafiscal@uci.edu.

  • The total of your financial aid awards, including your external outside agency awards, cannot exceed your cost of attendance. Your financial aid offer will be revised to include the external scholarship(s). When revising your financial aid your need-based loans and work-study offers will be reduced first. If the amount of your external outside agency awards exceeds the amount of need-based loans and work-study in your package, then other gift aid will be reduced.

    Any delay in reporting this information to the Financial Aid and Scholarships office may result in you receiving financial aid in excess of your eligibility, which will necessitate that you be billed for funds already received.