Link: UCOP's e-newsletter

Stay Informed. Stay Connected.

UC program encourages low-income and underrepresented minority students

At the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, curator Ernesto Sandoval explains the behaviors of carnivorous plants to students Margaret Tobin, Vanessa Saldana and Kendyl Lowery. Credit: Robert Durell

Until recently, Center High School junior Erik Mendez of Antelope, California didn’t plan to go to a four-year college. Now, he has set his sights on UCLA — one of the most competitive universities in the country.

An unexpected package in the mail changed everything. It informed him that he was among a small group of California students invited to be UC Pre-College Scholars.

The mailing included a letter from President Napolitano, congratulating him on his high grades and the academic accomplishments that put him on track for UC admission. It also let him know about financial aid that would cover most of the cost of his education.

That aid — offered through UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan — covers full tuition and fees for students from families with incomes of less than $80,000 a year.

“That’s when I realized I could go to a UC,” said Mendez.

Since then, he’s pushed himself to keep up his grades, take challenging classes and research the campuses and disciplines that spark his interest.

“It was exciting,” Mendez said. “It was motivating, more than anything.”

Napolitano established the Pre-College Scholars Program in 2016 as part of a broader UC effort to encourage low-income and underrepresented minority students to pursue a UC education.

Read full article about the program.

Leave your comment here