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PATHS Scholars Program Application Form

Thank you for your interest in the PATHS Scholars Program at UC San Diego! Please note that in order to complete your application, you will also need to upload documents as well such as unofficial transcripts, admission letter from UCSD (if you received one already). For your reference, eligibility requirements have been listed below. If any issues or questions arise during the application process, please call our Program Coordinator at 858-246-3039.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the guidelines set forth by UC San Diego and state/federal officials, we will host our Scholar Interview and Selection Day on April 17 online. If you are invited to this, you should receive an invitation no later than April 13th.

Application Process

The PATHS Scholars Program is open to all high school seniors who demonstrate an interest in becoming leaders in advancing historically underrepresented populations in STEM-related fields. Students must be admitted to UC San Diego in a STEM-related field as an incoming freshman. Students from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply.

The first step is to complete and submit an application to UC San Diego. The application for the PATHS Scholars Program opens on March 1, 2021. Please make a special note of the application requirements as well as the required digital copies of unofficial transcripts and other material. Your application will undergo a holistic review process.

Application Requirements

  1. Complete the UC San Diego admission application
  2. Complete the online program application
  3. Complete the FAFSA/CA Dream Act application
  4. Provide the name and contact information of one individual (i.e. counselor, teacher, leader in the community) who will submit a letter of recommendation for you. (Submit recommendation contact here)
  5. Unofficial high school transcripts
  6. Responses to essay questions 
  7. Student must acknowledge that if they are admitted to the program, one of the requirements is mandatory on-campus housing for the first 2 years of their college experience (not required during the pandemic)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be admitted to a STEM major at UC San Diego as an incoming freshman
  • Demonstrate an interest in the advancement of historically underrepresented populations in the sciences and related fields
  • Students from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply
  • Demonstrate commitment to character, culture, and community
  • Must commit to living on campus for the first two years of the program

Application Timeline

  • March 1, 2021 P4 Application Opens
  • April 1, 2021 (11:59pm PST) P4 Scholar Online Application Deadline
  • April 1, 2021  Letters of Recommendation are due (Submit LOR requests here)
  • April 17, 2021  P4 Scholar Interview & Selection Day
  • April 20, 2021  Scholar Selection Notification and Agreements sent
  • May 1, 2021  University Acceptance of Admission Decision Deadline

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

Do I need to submit my SAT/ACT Scores? What if I did not take the test?
SAT and ACT scores are not required for admission or consideration for the PATHS Program. Applicants are invited to submit their scores if they wish to do so. It will not be held against you if you did not take the tests.

What if my school does not have a weighted GPA?

If your school does not weigh GPA, please put a “0” under weighted gpa.

What are the eligibility requirements to be considered for the PATHS Program?

  • Be admitted to a STEM major at UC San Diego as an incoming freshman
  • Demonstrate an interest in the advancement of historically underrepresented populations in the sciences and related fields
  • Students from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply
  • Demonstrate commitment to character, culture, and community
  • Must commit to living on campus for the first two years of the program (not required during the pandemic)

Can I apply to the PATHS Program if I'm not sure I am committing to UCSD?

Yes, you can still apply to the program even if you are unsure. We will let students know if they were accepted into the program before the deadline to submit your intent to register. Please keep in mind that we will also be interviewing final candidates on April 17th before we send out acceptances.

Can letters of recommendation be submitted after the deadline?

Unfortunately, our deadline for letters of recommendation remains April 1st. Our committee will begin reviewing applications as soon as possible, therefore an extension is not possible. If this certain recommender cannot send it in time, we would suggest reaching out to another contact to see if they can submit it. 

How long does it take to hear back once I apply?

Applicants will be notified the week of April 11th if they are invited to an interview, which will be held on April 16th and 17th virtually. We will notify accepted candidates on April 20th if they have been admitted into the program.

Will I know if I have been accepted into the PATHS Program before I need to SIR to UCSD? 

Yes, you will know if you’ve been accepted into the PATHS Program before the deadline to submit your intent to attend UCSD. Candidates who make it to the final round will be invited to be interviewed on April 16th and 17th. On April 20th, candidates who have been accepted into the PATHS Program will be notified. 

Do I have to live on campus if I get accepted into the PATHS Program? 

It is a requirement for students in our program to live on campus for their first two years, although this will not be required during the pandemic. 

Can the letter of recommendation be from a high school teacher?

Yes! Letters of recommendations can be from a teacher, counselor, or leader in the community who can provide a thorough analysis of your potential to succeed at UCSD.

I uploaded a document but I’m having difficulty deleting it. What do I do?

You can click the red minus (-) button to delete. If this doesn’t work try clicking "select files" again and see if you can upload another document to replace it. 

 

Financial Aid Questions

 

Will the scholarship amount cover our cost of tuition? If so, when and how will we be notified of the amount? Will the financial aid award from UCSD be updated after accepted applicants are notified of the amount?

Yes, each admitted student to the program will receive up to a $10,000/year and it may cover tuition expenses. We are not 100% sure how soon the financial aid award letter would be updated with our scholarship award, but we would do our best to notify the student as soon as possible. Financial aid packages are determined based on the family’s EFC. The scholarship meets the financial aid gap after all gift aid has been applied. So if a student’s cost of attendance is $32,000, and $27,000 is awarded through federal/state grants (free money), the PATHS Scholarship would cover the remaining balance which would be $5,000 in this case scenario.

If I was accepted into the program, would the program's additional aid lead to a reduction in institutional aid given to me by UCSD?

Yes, every institution has a policy against overawarding students. Meaning that if you receive free gift aid that fully covers your expenses as a student, the scholarship will only cover the remaining balance. In short, the scholarship should not reduce institutional aid, it will only cover the remaining gap/balance you may have on your student account and this can be up to $10,000.

If a student is given the chancellor’s scholarship would they still be given the scholarship money from the PATHS Program?

In short, no. The purpose of the PATHS scholarship is to help cover your cost of attendance. If you are a CASP Scholar (congratulations by the way!) then your cost of attendance will already be covered. Then, there are no additional costs for PATHS to cover. 

 

General Questions

 

Are there any other universities that also offer this PATHS program, or just UCSD?

Yes, the following schools provide a similar program: UC Berkeley, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Penn State, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and Howard University

Do you require a nomination in order to apply for the PATHS program?

A nomination is not required in order to apply. However, a nomination guarantees that you will receive a notification to apply. Nominations are suggested if you want a personal reminder, from PATHS, the day our application opens. Please note that self-nominations are also accepted. 

Does the PATHS Program also look for LGBTQ+ youth?

Yes! PATHS is committed to educational equity, and that includes increasing the number of LGBTQIA+ scholars on our campus, and in the STEM fields. In fact, we are honored to partner with the UC San Diego LGBT Resource Center to include two additional scholarships specifically for applicants who identify within the LGBTQIA+ community. We hope to see your application this year!


If we are accepted do we need to reapply each year?

No, if you are accepted as a PATHS Scholar in your first year, you are a part of the PATHS Family for your four years at UC San Diego. Even after graduation, you remain a member of the PATHS Family; you will join the ranks of distinguished PATHS Alumni!