FINANCIAL AID

Northridge Scholarship Program Application Workshop

The Northridge Scholarship Program is intended for undergraduate students and is comprised of the Honors at Entrance Scholarship, the University Scholarship, and the Presidential Scholarship.

The University Scholarship is intended for, but not restricted to underclassmen who are interested in pursuing campus activities, leadership opportunities, or opportunities for academic development.

The Presidential Scholarship is intended for upperclassmen who are pursuing or interested in pursuing a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor or a community-based project in the upcoming academic year.

The Presidential and University Scholarships are merit based awards and do not require demonstrated financial need. You may apply for both scholarship opportunities, if selected you will only receive one – determined by the review committee.

Below you will find information regarding each scholarship opportunity. Reading each section will help you complete the required survey at the end of this page. Remember to click the submit button on your survey.

Honors at Entrance Scholarship

First-time freshmen who apply to GE Honors by the program deadline and meet the scholarship eligibility requirements are considered for the Honors at Entrance Scholarship. Scholarship recipients are identified through a separate competitive process.

University Scholarship

The University Scholarship is intended to support the scholarly development of current CSUN students and students transferring to the university in the prior Spring term. Scholarship recipients must be continuing CSUN undergraduates the year they receive the award.

University Scholars have the opportunity to deeply explore their fields of interest and develop mentoring relationships with faculty members. Ideally, University Scholars will utilize the award year to prepare for the Presidential Scholarship competition.

Scholarship Benefits:

  • $7,500 Scholarship
  • Textbook Discount at the Matador Bookstore (25%)
  • Priority Registration for classes
    • Priority Registration is helpful for getting the classes and professors that work best for you and your schedule
  • Reception at the University House where you will have the opportunity to meet President Harrison and the ability to network with key administrators and fellow scholars.
  • Opportunity to apply for a one-time scholarship renewal.
    • In order to renew the University Scholarship students must submit a renewal application detailing the scholarly project or activity they plan to pursue. The student should build on the experiences of the initial award year.
    • Renewal is not automatic. Renewal applications will be reviewed alongside new applicants.

Eligibility

  • You must be a current CSUN undergraduate student to apply.
  • Continuing students must complete at least 24 units by the end of the Spring term of the application year.
  • Transfer Students must complete at least 24 units at CSUN by the end of the Spring term of the application year.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA 3.25. (Which you must maintain during the award year)
  • Must be a full-time student (enrolled in 12+ units) during the Fall and Spring term of the award year.
  • Financial need is not required, this is a merit based scholarship.
  • International students are eligible to apply.
  • Second bachelor degree students, graduate students, credential students, students enrolled through Tseng College and those graduating before Spring of the next academic year are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

  • Submit a University Scholars application using the online scholarship application located online at myMatadorScholarships.  Please note that you will be required to complete the General Application before you can apply for the University Scholarship.
    • The General Application (profile) will allow the scholarship portal to match you to any scholarship opportunities you may be eligible for as they are added to the portal. Once new scholarships become available, you will receive an email notice notifying you of the new opportunities.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a Northridge faculty member. The faculty member must submit the recommendation through scholarship portal.
    • You will have the opportunity to input the name and email address of your recommender directly in the application. Once you save your application, an email notification indicating your reference letter request will be automatically sent to the individual you indicated.
    • Your recommender must log in to the scholarship portal to submit your reference. They can follow the link in the system generated email they receive.
  • Submit a Degree Progress Report (DPR) ;through the myMatador Scholarship portal. You can access your DPR on the myNorthridge Portal.
  • Submit a detailed academic plan signed by your academic department advisor. 
  • Respond to the following essay prompts:
    • Describe your academic and career goals: a) What motivates you to excel in your major? b) How will your experiences at California State University, Northridge guide you in your future endeavors?
    • Describe your scholarly development: What types of activities are you involved in, on and off campus? How have your experiences, accomplishments and/or obstacles in your life or in school influenced your academic and career path?
    • Please describe the scholarly activities you plan to pursue during the award year and how the University Scholarship will assist you in your pursuits? Ex. Internships, Lab Research, Organization/Club Leadership Positions, Conferences, etc.

Tips:

  • Your essays must highlight personal strengths, such as motivation, creativity, self-confidence, maturity, concern for others, and awareness of current issues. Applicants will be evaluated primarily on the quality of their essay responses. Grammar, structure, spelling and clarity will all be taken into account. Have someone else proofread your essay at the Learning Resource Center.
  • Be specific, succinct yet descriptive in your writing. Do not give generalizations, assume the reader does not know anything about you or your life story, experiences, goals, or motivation
  • Letters of recommendation that highlight classroom experience and extracurricular activities will be given the greatest weight.
    • Considering asking a professor you have taken multiple courses with.
    • Once you identify a potential reference provider, request to make an appointment to speak to the faculty member about a scholarship opportunity you are interested in (or the faculty member may suggest you come to an office hour). Let the professor know that you are interested in applying for the University Scholarship- let them know what the scholarship requirements are and why you think you are a good fit. Ask them if they will be able to support your application.
    • Prepare a brag sheet, resume, or CV to share with your intended reference provider so that they may familiarize themselves with your interest, background, and accomplishments – they can use this to write your letter of recommendation.

Responsibilities

If you are selected to be a University Scholar, you must commit to engaging with the campus community and pursuing scholarly development.

Examples of scholarly activities:

  • Additional coursework/ honors coursework
  • Internships
  • Research projects
  • Conference presentations.
  • Community work/Volunteer work
  • Develop a mentor/mentee relationship with a faculty member

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Submit a complete progress report at the end of Fall semester.
  • Maintain a 3.25 GPA each semester of the award year
  • Attend the Northridge Scholars Program reception.
  • Participate in two volunteer activities each term of the award year.
    • Volunteer experiences must be completed in order to remain in good standing for the scholarship award. Failure to participate in volunteer activities may result in a withdrawal of the scholarship award.
    • Volunteer activities will be provided to scholars at the beginning of each term. (U100, student panels, Honors Day, etc.)
    • Attend the Advancement to Graduate Studies conference in the Fall of the award year.

Presidential Scholarship

The Presidential Scholarship is intended to provide financial support for undergraduate students pursing a significant project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Presidential Scholars must develop, complete, and present their outlined project during the Annual Presidential Scholarship Exhibit at the end of the Spring semester of their award year.

The Presidential Scholarship is geared towards upperclassman who have ties to the campus community, an interest in a particular academic or career field, and the ability to commit to a yearlong project. This scholarship is not a one-time award, rather it is a yearlong commitment to your academic development.

By applying to be a Presidential Scholar, you are not only applying for financial support, but you are applying to join a community of scholars. This scholarship will give you the opportunity to meet other students who are on the same trajectory as you.

Scholarship Benefits:

  • $10,000 Scholarship
  • Textbook Discount at the Matador Bookstore (25%)
  • Priority Registration for classes
    • Priority Registration is helpful for getting the classes and professors that work best for you and your schedule
  • Reception at the University House where you will have the opportunity to meet President Harrison and the ability to network with key administrators and fellow scholars.
  • Opportunity to apply for a one-time scholarship renewal
    • In order to renew the Presidential Scholarship students must submit a new project or propose to build or continue to develop a new aspect of their initial project.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a current CSUN undergraduate student when applying.
  • Continuing students must complete at least 60 units by the end of the Spring term of the application year.
  • Transfer students must complete at least 24 units at CSUN by the end of Spring term of the application year (and have at least 60 total units)
  • Minimum cumulative GPA 3.50. (Which you must maintain during the award year)
  • Must be a full-time student (enrolled in 12+ units) during the Fall and Spring term of the award year.
  • Financial need is not required, this is a merit based scholarship.
  • International students are eligible to apply.
  • Second bachelor’s degree students, graduate students, credential students, students enrolled through Tseng College and those graduating before Spring of the next academic year are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

  1. Submit a Presidential Scholars application using the online scholarship application located online at myMatadorScholarships.
    • The General Application (profile) will allow the scholarship portal to match you to any scholarship opportunities you may be eligible for as they are added to the portal. Once new scholarships become available, you will receive an email notifying you of the new opportunities.
  2. As part of the online application process for the Presidential Scholarship, you will be required to:
    • Submit a scholarship essay detailing your project proposal
    • Have your Faculty Mentor submit a statement describing your project and the level of involvement they will have with you in order to complete the project.
      • You will have the opportunity to input the name and email address of your Faculty Mentor directly in the application. Once you save your application, a system generated email will be sent to your mentor requesting information about your project.
      • Your recommender must log-in to the scholarship portal to submit the required information. They can follow the link in the system generated email they receive.
    • Submit a Degree Progress Report (DPR).
    • Submit a detailed academic plan signed by your academic department advisor.
    • Submit a Gantt chart to outline your project benchmarks, completion dates and assessments. View a sample Gantt chart.

Faculty Mentor:

Your faculty mentor should be a full-time faculty member whose research work interests you and who you feel will support you through your own research/project development.

Your faculty mentor must have the ability (time and willingness) to commit to mentor you for the entirety of the award year. Your faculty mentor will be invited to attend the research exhibit where you will present your project results/research findings.

Please note that this scholarship does not require a traditional recommendation letter, rather, your faculty Mentor must be able to answer the following questions as part of your application:

  1. In what capacity have you known the student? How long have you known the student?
  2. Describe your involvement in this student’s project. How will you ensure the student’s success, including completion of the project within the scope of the scholarship year? In other words, how will you facilitate the student’s project?
  3. Please evaluate the student’s ability to undertake and complete this project.
  4. How well does this project fit the student’s academic preparation, and how will this project benefit the student’s future academic and career aspirations?

Tips:

  • Considering asking a professor you have taken multiple courses with or whose lab you have worked in to mentor you
  • Familiarize yourself with your intended mentor’s research interest to ensure you are a good match
  • Once you identify a potential mentor, request to make an appointment to speak to the faculty member about a scholarship opportunity you are interested in (or the faculty member may suggest you come to an office hour). Let the professor know that you are interested in applying for the Presidential Scholarship and it requires that you work on a yearlong scholarly project with a Faculty Mentor. If you have any ideas on a project, present them to the professor. Ask if they would be interested in working with you and willing to apply with you.
  • Prepare a brag sheet, resume, or CV to share with your intended mentor so that they may familiarize themselves with your interest, background, and accomplishments

Please Note: If you are not comfortable asking a faculty member to mentor you, or if this seems like more work than you can manage, this might not be the right scholarship at this time – perhaps look at the University Scholarship competition and “work your way” to being prepared to ask a faculty member to be your mentor.

Scholarship Essay (Proposal)

The Project Description is where we expect you to demonstrate why you should be selected as Presidential Scholars. You will be evaluated on the stated purpose, outcome, and significance, as well as the academic and extra-curricular experience that indicate your ability to accomplish the project.

Essay prompts:

  • Describe your proposed project for this award. Your project must be of size and scope to complete within one year. You should include the following in your description: 1) The purpose and significance of your project 2) How will this project benefit your professional development and others in the university and community 3) What methods you are going to use to accomplish your goals 4) How will you evaluate the completion and success of reaching your goal.
  • Describe your relevant experience (academic and extracurricular), and how it demonstrates your ability to complete this project. Briefly explain the role of your mentor in your project.

Tips:

  1. Your project must be of size and scope to complete within one year.
  2. You should include in your description the purpose and significance of your project, who will benefit from your project, what methods you are going to use to accomplish your goals, and how you will evaluate the completion and success of reaching your goal.
  3. Include information on how you expect your mentor to support you during the award year.
  4. Be specific in your writing. Do not give generalizations, assume the reader does not know anything about you or your life story, your training, experience, or your skillset.
  5. Be succinct yet descriptive.
  6. Have someone else proofread it at the Learning Resource Center. This person should check for grammar, but also for accessibility. Keep in mind that while the review committee is made up of faculty, they might not have experience in your field. You want to make sure your project proposal can be understood by a wide audience.
  7. How you present yourself is important because if you are selected as Presidential Scholars you become a representative of the CSUN community. So your proposal is not only important in terms of grammatical usage (make sure to edit before you submit), but it is also as a means of assessing your personal strengths such as motivation, creativity, self-confidence, maturity, concern for others, and awareness of current issues.

Gantt Chart

A Gantt Chart is a timeline that is used as a project management tool to illustrate how the project will run. The Gantt chart will help you assess how long a project should take, determine the resources needed, and plan the order in which you'll complete tasks. You will be evaluated on whether your Gantt Chart shows appropriate detail and on whether your timeline is appropriate to project and is credible to conclude within the award year.

A Gantt Chart should assist you in:

  • Maintaining Clarity - One of the biggest benefits of a Gantt chart is the tool's ability to boil down multiple tasks and timelines into a single document.
  • Time Management – Keep you on task and detail your project and tasks’ timeline.
  • Accountability – whether it’s you or your advisor this will be able to open the door to conversations about staying on task.

Example of Excerpts of Project Descriptions:

"I conducted a research study to examine and understand why there is a significant lack of students of color currently pursuing a career in Sign Language Interpreting."

"The purpose of my proposed project is to conduct a mixed methods (quantitative, qualitative) study to examine risk and protective factors on mental health and well-being of undocumented university students. The results will be compared to a sample of documented university students."

"The ultimate goal of this project is to determine the distribution and resistance genes of CRB in the environment to ultimately prevent potential outbreaks [of antibiotic resistant bacteria]."

"I am interested in creating an Aging and Falling film with the primary focus on increasing empathy towards older adults by decreasing ageism from college participants."

"The purpose of my project is to examine the level of attachment a participant develops toward a machine with which they interact, specifically in the context of the machine’s performance having consequences for the participant."

Project Example – Will Brooks, 2017-2018 Presidential Scholar

"My Presidential Scholarship project is to build a program to provide high quality individual singing lessons to local elementary and secondary students in the San Fernando Valley, for no cost to the students."

Follow this link to view his video outlining the year and the impact of the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jut02p8R4ws

Responsibilities

The Presidential Scholarship is a commitment. Students who are awarded the Scholarship must:

  • Work alongside their project faculty mentor throughout the duration of the award year.
  • Maintain a 3.50 GPA each semester of the award year
  • Attend the Northridge Scholars Program reception
  • Submit a complete progress report at the end of Fall semester.
  • Present their project during the Presidential Scholar Exhibit near the end of the Spring semester (Usually happens end of April/Early May) of your award year.
  • Present the research/project at CSUNPosium or a similar professional conference
  • Attend the Advancement to Graduate Studies conference in the Fall of the award year (or similar event hosted by the Graduate Studies Department).

Faculty Mentor Guidelines

If you are a faculty mentor, your time and commitment to the Northridge Scholarship Program is appreciated. The success of the program depends greatly on your guidance and encouragement.

Faculty Mentors to Presidential Scholars are encouraged to develop an acceptable mentoring plan that will meet the needs of the scholar while honoring the other commitments of the faculty member. Please note that faculty may only mentor one student per academic year; faculty are encouraged to consider this when accepting mentorship request from students.

There is no set requirement for the level of involvement between you and the scholar, but the student learning experience depends on the level of engagement you provide. The purpose of the program is to enhance the student's scholarly development and prepare the student for post-baccalaureate education or work.

Here are some suggested topics to discuss with the scholar prior to accepting a Faculty Mentorship request:

  • How often will you meet with the Scholar? Weekly, biweekly, daily, etc.
  • How long will each session last?  An hour, half hour, several hours, etc.
  • How closely do you plan to supervise the student's progress on the project? Close, direct supervision; oversight while the student works independently; periodic meetings to monitor progress; provide suggestions for next steps, guidance on resources; etc.

What kind of expectations will you set for the scholar and the project? What will the Scholar learn, what skills will be gained or enhanced, what the outcome of the project might be, etc.

Application Timeline

Application Timeline Table
  Presidential Scholarship University Scholarship
Application Available on my Matador Scholarship Portal November 14, 2019 November 14, 2019
Application Deadline Sunday, February 16, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020

Apply through the myMatador Scholarship Portal at csun.edu/scholarships

Award notices will be sent out approximately 8 weeks after the deadline however this depends on the committee and how many students apply.

Questions?

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact the Scholarship Office:

Office Hours: Monday – Friday from 10am – 3pm
Office Location: Bayramian Hall 130

Phone: (818) 677-4907
E-mail: scholarships@csun.edu
Information: http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/csun
Facebook: https://www.fb.com/csunfinaid/
Apply: https://csun.edu/scholarships

Information Workshop Survey

To finish this workshop, fill out the Information Workshop Survey. For questions, please contact the Scholarship Office.