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 scholarships designed to serve our diverse student population. These scholarships consider things such as: academic excellence, leadership experience, community service experience, overcoming adversity, and financial need. 

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 in January 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?

A. Students can apply to scholarships on our online platform, ScholarshipUniverse. On ScholarshipUniverse, students will create a profile that will match them to eligible scholarships they can apply to. 

Q. How will I know if I received a scholarship?

A. Students who receive a scholarship will be notified sometime in mid August through email. 


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. There are scholarships available for students in the Nursing program on ScholarshipUniverse. Students from professional schools should check with their departments and other graduate students should check with Graduate Division. For more information on graduate funding, please visit the Graduate Division website:

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

A. Currently, the School of Biological Sciences offers scholarships for graduating seniors through our platform. Graduating seniors from other departments may find external scholarships on our platform or may inquire with their department to see if they have any available scholarships.

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, most scholarships do not require an essay. Scholarships that do require an essay will have it stated as a requirement prior to the student starting the application. 

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. 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 benefit a student as much as possible, it is our policy to replace a student's self-help (loan and work awards) first.

  • FOR PELL-ELIGIBLE AND CADAA APPLICANT STUDENTS - The following is the order in which aid will be reduced when receiving an outside (non-UCI) scholarship:
    • Work study (if a study is not employed and has not earned)
    • Campus-based loans (University, Hawk and Dream Loan programs)
    • Need Based Federal Direct Loans
    • Cal Grants 

NOTE: If the total amount of gift aid you are receiving from all sources exceeds your Cost of Attendance, then your UCI grant/scholarship eligibility will be reduced by the amount of the scholarship exceeding your Cost of Attendance

  • FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT PELL-ELIGIBLE NOR CADAA APPLICANTS -The following is the order in which aid will be reduced when receiving an outside (non-UCI) scholarship:
    • Work study (unearned)
    • Campus-based loans (University, Hawk and Dream Loan programs)
    • Need Based Federal Direct Loans
    • UCI Scholarship
    • UC Irvine 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.