Black Scholars Matter

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Why Apply?

Black excellence is always our goal! By connecting students to essential resources, providing education, supplying career support, and promoting community engagement BSM is scaffolding the successes of scholars who embrace the Black experience.

Alongside quality education, we, the staff of BSM, are engaging and empowering the future of Black excellence by creating an ecosystem of holistic a.k.a. Mental, Intellectual, Physical, & Spiritual support through enriching activities and workshops to strengthen scholarly connections to the diversity pipeline.

Students applying to the Black Scholars Matter program can submit their Intent to Apply beginning October 2023.

After submitting an Intent to Apply to Black Scholars Matter, you will receive an email with an individual link to your application from the BSM team.


Before Applying

Make sure to:

  1. Be in the 2024 graduating class of one of our three partner schools in the Los Angeles area.
  2. Apply to CSUN (by January 31, 2024) and get admitted.
  3. Submit BSM Intent to Apply and the Formal Application (including Personal Portfolio & two letters of recommendation by February 19, 2024). 
  4. Submit the FAFSA Application (by March 1, 2024).

Scholars Chosen for BSM Must:

  1. Apply and gain admission to CSUN
  2. Maintain 15 units and full-time enrollment status at CSUN, while in the program
  3. Engage in campus and community activities within the BSM program 
  4. Attend and participate in BSM program meetings
  5. Perform required community engagement hours (10) each semester 
  6. Mentor future BSM students

Check Out These Interview Resources!

Steps to a Successful Black Scholars Matter Interview

The Black Scholars Matter team has assembled a few tips to get you interview-ready! Check out our interview resources below.

Review BSM's Application FAQ's!

Is the BSM an all-expenses paid award? 

No, the BSM award is a merit and financial-based college award that does not cover additional expenses beyond tuition fees and mandatory fees which will be covered by Black Scholars Matter. (This is based on results of the FAFSA, some students receive a University Grant, Cal Grant A/B, or a BSM Award).

What are mandatory fees?

Mandatory fees cover a wide range of expenses and costs the university must incur to maintain and operate its facilities and services. These are paid by all CSUN Students at the beginning of every semester. This is separate from tuition fees

Can I apply for multiple scholarships while I apply for BSM? 

Certainly! You are encouraged to apply for multiple scholarships while pursuing your degree. Receiving a BSM award does not preclude you from obtaining additional scholarships.

Are there any expenses or charges I should expect other than tuition? 

The additional anticipated costs will include transportation, textbooks, and if desired, housing and possibly a meal plan. 

How will BSM help me with student housing? 

BSM cannot provide financial aid to pay for student housing expenses, on or off campus. However, the Housing Department is a BSM partner and will provide updated information about housing opportunities. For additional housing information, you may click here

How will BSM help me with books? 

BSM does not offer financial aid specifically for covering the cost of books. However, the BSM team and CSUN campus partners are available to support you in sourcing digital textbooks, securing employment, and applying for scholarships to cover your book expenses promptly. 


Could I join BSM if I already graduated high school (and attended one of the three partner high schools)? 

Unfortunately, those who have already graduated from the high schools where we conduct presentations (our partner schools) are not eligible for enrollment in BSM. 

What will I receive from the Black Scholars Matter (BSM) Program as a scholar? 

As a scholar of the Black Scholars Matter (BSM) Program, you will receive: 

  • Tuition coverage for up to five years based on your FAFSA results (e.g., via University Grant, Cal Grant A/B Award, or BSM Award).  
  • Mandatory fee coverage (excluding housing, meal plans, transportation costs, and books) through a BSM Award.  
  • Priority registration each semester.  
  • Dedicated academic guidance in your first year, followed by coordinated advisement with your academic department in later years.  
  • Access to math and writing tutoring support.  
  • Resources for your Mental, Intellectual, Physical, and Spiritual (MIPS) well-being.  
  • Participation in a Black Excellence University 100 (Freshman Seminar) with fellow BSM Cohort students.  
  • Peer mentoring opportunities with the BSM Empowerment Squad and dedicated BSM Mentor. 
  • Career counseling and professional development support.  
  • Potential employment options within the BSM program, (e.g., becoming a BSM Empowerment Ambassador).  
  • Mentorship roles for future BSM scholars during your sophomore to senior years.  
  • Engagement in community activities benefiting the local community. 
  • Exclusive on-campus cultural study space with laptops and hotspots for BSM Scholars.  
  • Exciting BSM cultural events and field trips.  
  • Access to scholarship announcements and activities enhancing your college experience. 

How do I know if BSM is right for me?  

Our primary objective is to foster Black Excellence by establishing connections to vital resources, providing a holistic support network, and encouraging community service. We aspire to strengthen the community of college-bound students dedicated to advancing racial equity and celebrating Black culture at CSUN. 

What does BSM need from parents to ensure their child succeeds in the BSM Program? 

It is advised that parents offer guidance and support to their students, establish expectations, encourage the development of time management skills, and nurture independence and financial responsibility. 

How long can I stay at BSM before I graduate? 

Students must enroll in at least 15 units per semester to maintain a timely graduation timeline of 4-5 years.  

When are the BSM deadlines for the application? 

A few important application deadlines for BSM include the following: 

  • CSUN Formal Application due January 31st, 2024 
  • BSM Intent to Apply due January 31st, 2024 
  • BSM Formal Application due February 19th, 2024 
  • FAFSA deadline due March 15th, 2024 

When will I hear back from BSM after I apply 

You can expect to receive our final decision on your application in April. 

What should I do if I feel like I underperformed during my application? “How should I proceed if I believe I did not meet my expectations in the application?”

If you believe you have not performed your best during the application process, please do not worry. Your perseverance demonstrates your commitment to your application. You have multiple opportunities to do well in other aspects of your application such as formal application, portfolio, letters of recommendation, and virtual interview.