Scholarship FAQs

You asked, we answered. Search our FAQs for all our scholarship questions, and contact our office if you have a question that isn't answered below.

These are the most common questions from UCI students

All your scholarship questions, all in one place.

Q. What scholarships are available at UCI for entering students?

A. There are two types of scholarships at UCI: UCI Distinguished Scholarships and UCI Campuswide Scholarships.

The UCI Distinguished Scholarships are the Regents’ Scholarship and Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship. No application is needed for these scholarships, as the UCI Admissions Office automatically considers all new students based on their UC common application.

The UCI Campuswide Scholarships are separated into four categories: Community Leadership Scholarships, Innovation Scholarships, Academic Scholarships, and Anteater Scholarships. These will be awarded to students based on their UCI scholarship applications.

Q. What scholarships are available at UCI for continuing students?

A. Continuing students may apply online for some departmental and Campuswide Scholarships during the open application period from January to the end of February for the upcoming academic year. Although there are many scholarships available on our platform, we encourage students to ask their department advisors about any additional scholarships that may not be on our platform.

Q. How do I apply to scholarships as an entering student?

A. Entering students are considered for all campuswide scholarships as long as they complete the online scholarship application. Once the evaluation is complete, recipients will be notified.

Q. How do I apply to scholarships as a continuing student?

A. Continuing students are considered for scholarships by completing the online scholarship application. Once the evaluation is complete, recipients will be notified from June to July.

Q. How do I submit my application?

A. If you have submitted the first five forms on the application individually, your application is considered complete and will be reviewed.

Q. Can I still apply for scholarships if I don’t submit a FAFSA or CA Dream Act application?

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

Q. Do I need to be a U.S. citizen or a California resident to apply to scholarships?

A. 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.

Q. I am an international student, do I qualify for scholarships?

A. International students may still apply for scholarships. They do not qualify for need-based aid, but they may still qualify for merit-based scholarships. International students should disregard the FAFSA/CA Dream Act requirement.

Q. I am a graduate student, do I qualify for scholarships?

A. Masters Students may apply for scholarships. There are also scholarships for students in the Nursing and Business programs. No other graduate students are eligible at this time.

Q. I’m a graduating senior, may I still apply for scholarships?

A. Unfortunately, our scholarships are intended for students attending UCI for the 2020-2021 academic year full-time. You may inquire with your department to see if they have any available scholarships for graduating seniors.

Q. Do I need to submit a Letter of Recommendation?

A. 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 in confirmation that they have worked with you.

Q. Do I have to write a separate essay for each scholarship?

A. No, you may apply to all scholarships with the same online application. The UCI scholarship application has 12 short answer questions that address multiple different scholarships. You only need to answer the questions that are pertinent to you.

Q. If a scholarship question does not apply to me, do I still have to answer? Will it affect my chances of receiving a scholarship if I do not?

A. 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.

Q. If I accidentally clicked “yes” on additional scholarships but don’t want to fill it out, does that affect my scholarships/admissions application?

A. 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.

Q. The timestamp displayed on my portal is inaccurate, will this affect my application?

A. 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.

Q. I made a mistake on my application and I would like to correct it.

A. If you have made a mistake on any of the forms, please send an email to 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.

Q. What is the minimum GPA required to be qualified for UCI scholarships?

A. The minimum GPA requirement varies by scholarship. The absolute minimum GPA to qualify for scholarships is 2.5.

Q. How do scholarships affect my financial aid package?

A. In order that outside (non-UCI) scholarships help a student as much as possible, it is our policy to replace a student's self-help (loan and work awards) first. If the amount of outside aid received exceeds the amount of loan and work in your package, grants are then reduced.  The following is the order in which aid will be reduced when receiving an outside (non-UCI) scholarship

  • Direct Loans (which meet need)
  • Campus-based loans (such as University and Hawk Loan)
  • Work study (unearned)
  • UCI Scholarship (need-based)
  • UC Irvine Grant 
  • Supplemental Opportunity Grant 
  • Cal Grants  

Q. How do I receive my scholarship award?

A. 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.

Q. What happens to my scholarship if I withdraw?

A. Most scholarships require students to be enrolled full-time at UCI and maintain a minimum number of units 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.

Q. What if I transfer from UCI to another UC campus, will I be able to take my scholarship with me to my new campus?

A. No. UCI scholarships will only be awarded to students enrolled full-time at UCI.

Q. Will my scholarship application affect my chances of getting admitted to UCI?

A. No, the scholarship application is reviewed independently of your admissions application.