If you have been admitted to UC Davis for or prior to Fall 2024 and would like to enroll in the Guardian Scholars Program, please complete the enrollment form.

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If you are interested in being in the Guardian Scholars Program and intend to apply to UC Davis for Fall 2025 or after, please complete the Prospect Student Inquiry form. 

Prospective Student Inquiry
Kelly Sheffield

Initial Eligibility Criteria

The UC Davis Guardian Scholars Program serves college students with current or prior involvement in foster care, which encompasses a wide variety of different placements, statuses, and/or family structures. 

Admitted and enrolled UC Davis students are eligible to participate regardless of the length of time they spent in care, age at entrance into or exit from care, or current age. They are also eligible to participate whether they were supervised by child welfare or probation youth, or whether they were placed in-home or out-of-home. This could include, but is not limited to those that are/have experienced the following: 

  • Placement in a relative or non-relative foster home
  • Placement in a group home or other institutional care setting
  • Placement in a transitional living arrangement (for example, THP-M, THPP, THP+FC/NMD, or THP+)
  • Dependent / Non-minor dependent or ward of the court
  • Probation youth as ward of court
  • Subject to a legal guardianship or voluntary placement agreement (“VPA”)
  • Extended foster care (also referred to as “AB12”)
  • Determined to be a dependent by a trial court of an Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization
  • Meet McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness

If you are unsure if your experience qualifies as “foster care,” contact our staff at guardianscholars@ucdavis.edu

Eligibility Requirements for Continuing Students:

Students in the Guardian Scholars Program must meet the below requirements on a quarterly basis in order to maintain priority registration each quarter and priority considerations for scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance that may become available to program. 

GSP Community Activity 

  • Attend at least one community activity hosted by GSP. These activities include workshops, discussions, and events aimed to build community, create learning opportunities, and network with campus resources.

Graduation Pathway

  • At the beginning of each quarter, students will submit 2-3 goals with action tasks to complete by the end of each quarter (1 must be focused on career/graduate school exploring and planning).

  • Check-In - Students will check-in to assess progress and address challenges. To do this, you can do 1 or both actions:

    • Attend at least one Cohort meetup. Cohort leaders will set up 2 - 3 meetups each quarter. It is a chance to check-in with your peers in your cohort about your goals and do a fun, social or learning activity together
    • Make an individual check-in. Students can make an individual appointment with their Cohort Leader during their office hours to discuss their goals, progress, and seek assistance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should I have been in foster care to qualify for this program?
  • Just 1 day in foster care qualifies you to be part of the program. All of our students have their own unique experiences in foster care and were placed for different lengths of time and at different ages. We want to honor and respect everyone’s experience because we understand that each person’s experience impacts people differently.
  • What if I was adopted or reunited with my family?
  • Experiences after foster care (e.g. remained in foster care, were adopted, were under guardianship or reunited with your family) are not factors for eligibility. 
  • Does my current age impact my eligibility?
  • No, your current age does not impact eligibility.  In fact, we appreciate that we have students from all different ages and experiences participating in the program. Our program includes students that come directly from high school, attend community college and are also reentry students (25 years or over or a student parent). 
  • Why type of benefits do I receive by participating?
  • Besides support to achieve your goals to graduate, students will also get priority registration through graduation by meeting minimum requirements each quarter. Also, we are connected to outside organizations and programs that provide some financial support to many of our students.  Only students that meet minimum requirements will receive priority consideration.
  • Is it time consuming to participate in GSP (Guardian Scholars Program)?
  • How much support and assistance a student receives is dependent on the amount of time they put into the program so it’s ultimately up to the individual student to determine how involved they want to be. Many of our students find that the more they are involved, the more support, guidance, and opportunities they get.  
  • Do I have to talk about my foster care experience?
  • No. Many students do not disclose their foster care experience to staff or to other students, but they are welcome to share their experience if and when they feel comfortable.