UCSC scholarship flyer

The Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Program at UC Santa Cruz provides an award of up to $20,000 distributed over two years, mentoring and academic support, and assistance in finding paid or volunteer summer work experience.  

UC Santa Cruz established the Pister Leadership Opportunity Program to enable community college transfer students to complete their undergraduate studies at UC Santa Cruz. The program is for junior-level UC transfer-eligible students who: 

Eligibility Criteria  

  • Show exceptional achievement through academic and extracurricular accomplishments despite adverse socioeconomic conditions; 
  • Demonstrate an involvement in activities that assist and improve the lives of others.  
  • Exhibit outstanding leadership qualities that reflect the ideals of the Pister Leadership Opportunity Program; 
  • Because of financial need, would not otherwise be able to attend UC Santa Cruz; 

Qualify for Fall 2023 admission to UCSC as a new junior transfer student. 

IMPORTANT: Applicants must access the application using a google account. The google email account will be the email address that UC Santa Cruz will use for all application communication. 
Students who qualify for the California Dream Act continue to be eligible for this award, but students on a non-immigrant visa (such as F-1, J-1) are not eligible. 
How to Apply 

  • 1. Complete the online application and Personal Statement 
  • 2. Apply for fall 2023 admission to UC Santa Cruz by the extended deadline of January 6, 2023 by submitting the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships

  • 3. Apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application by March 2, 2023.  
  • 4. Collect two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a faculty member. The other letter should be from an individual who is able to comment on such areas as extracurricular activities, leadership skills, commitment, and dedication. Upload these letters to the online application. 
  • 5. Submit all college transcripts from all colleges attended (unofficial copies are acceptable)
  • 6. Submit all items in the online application by February 6, 2023. 

If you have any questions about the award, please feel free to contact Don Bard, UC Santa Cruz Coordinator of Undergraduate Honors and Research Opportunities, at

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pister-statement-questions-2023.pdf 53 KB 53 KB
UC Santa Cruz scholarship.pdf 96.37 KB 96.37 KB