Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds.

A former foster youth enters a door displaying a UCR Guardian Scholars sign

Former Foster Youth


You Belong at UCR!

Former foster youth receive dedicated support from the moment they apply to UCR. Get admission and enrollment assistance from our Guardian Scholars Program. Connect with an admissions counselor during the application process. Find out how you can afford a UCR degree with help from our Financial Aid office.

Guardian Scholars Program

Before you apply to UCR, connect with our Guardian Scholars Program. It provides a network of resources to students ages 16–25 who are transitioning from the foster care system to adulthood in order to facilitate their successful pursuit of higher education. Guardian Scholars serves nearly 150 current and former foster youth on campus, and operates under the Office of Foster Youth Support Services (OFYSS).

Services include:
  • Admission and enrollment assistance, such as tracking UCR applications and explaining any unique circumstances to admissions counselors (ex., lower grades during placements)
  • Financial aid help, scholarships, textbook assistance, and access to emergency funding
  • A material and emotional support network
  • Access to on-campus, year-round, and family housing
  • Mental and physical health resources
  • Mentoring and quarterly check-ins
  • Monthly social and team-building activities, including luncheons and cultural outings
  • Making sure every Guardian Scholar receives holiday and birthday gifts

Find out if you’re eligible for Guardian Scholars. Complete this form and email it to

Attend a university committed to your success. Apply to UCR today!


Several students share a laugh among blooming rose bushes on the UCR campus
“The first thing I really liked about the [Guardian Scholars] program was that everybody was treated like family.”


Byron Menjivar
Physics Major



“I just don’t know if I would have come this far without the support they’ve given me.”


Aisa Ballard-Dosty
Sociology Major

Applying to UCR

Though you will connect with Guardian Scholars before you apply, you will still go through the same basic application process as other prospective students.

Prospective first-year students can apply for fall admission to UCR, while prospective transfer students can apply for winter or fall admission. The winter application period is July 1–31 and the fall application period is Nov. 1–30.

Learn more about applying to UCR as a first-year student.

Learn more about applying to UCR as a transfer.

Financial Aid

Learn how affordable a UCR degree can be!

Nothing should stop you from accessing UCR’s world-class education — especially money. Our Financial Aid office can help you get the aid you need to afford your degree, and maybe even graduate debt-free! In fact, 87% of UCR undergraduate students who applied received some form of financial aid, and 98% of financial aid recipients received gift-aid (grants and/or scholarships). (Financial Aid Office, 2021–22)


You can pay for school (and graduate with less debt) thanks to easy-to-apply-for financial aid. To be considered for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Be sure to submit your FAFSA by March 2 in order to be considered for the maximum aid available. You can find out about your financial aid award on your MyUCR account at

Guardian Scholars Program Scholarships

The Guardian Scholars Program provides qualified program participants scholarship support of up to $5,000 a year.

Additional Scholarships

There are many scholarships, fellowships, internships, prizes, awards and loans available to qualifying UCR students, including National Prestigious Scholarships and Awards and UCR Foundation Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards.


Resources & Support

UCR offers dedicated programs and resources for former foster youth. Get guidance from faculty and student mentors. Excel in your courses with the help of a tutor or study group. Connect with a wellness department to take care of your physical, mental and emotional health. Develop as a leader in a campus organization.


  • Academic Success

    Ease into life at UCR with the guidance of faculty and student mentors through first-year and transfer student learning communities. Boost your academics with tutoring from the Academic Resource Center (ARC)

  • Admitted Students

    If you're admitted to UCR, you can ensure a smooth transition by following the next steps for admitted first-year students, fall transfers, and winter transfers.

  • Basic Needs

    Balance school, work, relationships, and more without having to worry about basic needs, like when and how you're going to eat. Campus resources, such as R’Pantry  and R’Garden , and community programs, such as CalFresh , are available to help you stay well-fed and healthy.

  • Campus Safety

    Safety is a top priority at UCR. We have a 24/7, on-campus police department, an emergency notification system that sends text alerts, a no-tolerance policy against sexual violence, and secure residence halls with video surveillance, restricted card access, and live-in staff. At night, our Community Service Officers patrol halls and parking lots, and Campus Safety Escorts  accompany students across campus.

  • Career Center

    Every quarter, the Career Center offers over 70 events, including career fairs, skill-building workshops, employer information sessions, and networking meet-ups with representatives from top companies. Take advantage of programming and resources, such as the Career Center's HandShake tool to search for jobs and internships on campus and off, and the R’Professional Career Closet  for professional attire. 

  • Ethnic & Gender Centers

    Discover community, find mentors, and develop as a leader with the eight offices that make up Ethnic & Gender Centers:


    Participate in service projects, educational initiatives, and campus celebrations by joining a cultural organization. 

  • Financial Wellness Program

    Learn how to make smart money management choices now and plan for the future with our Financial Wellness Program .  Take part in free workshops, and access online budgeting and credit resources.

  • For Student Parents

    From childcare to housing, transportation to legal services, nurture the development of your family with these campus programs and accommodations.

    Cub Club invites your child to cheer on the NCAA Division I Highlanders Athletics Program. The annual membership includes free admission to all regular season home athletic events, a birthday card from mascot Scotty, discounts, and more. 

    UCR’s Early Childhood Services (ECS) provides a warm and welcoming environment for children between the ages of two months and five years. Qualifying undergraduate students — primarily Pell Grant recipients — can have full daycare tuition and meals covered for their children.

    Oban Family Housing is a collection of one- and two-bedroom apartment homes directly adjacent to the UCR campus. UCR’s ECS and Riverside’s public and private schools are nearby. 

    Private lactation rooms are available on campus for breast-feeding mothers. Refrigerator, plush seating, and sanitary provisions are provided.

    R'Kids is a student organization that provides support for students, faculty, and staff who have children, are expecting children, or will have children. Parents can discuss experiences, learn from each other, and offer advice while their children are involved in activities and entertainment.

    Scotty Cubs and Parents is a student-parent run support group that creates a safe space for students with families. Discussion topics have included: birthing stories, balancing school, home and baby, parenthood, relationships, academic success, and student life at UCR. Scotty Cubs and Parents is sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and R'Kids .

    The SRC Child Care program lets you work out at the Student Recreation Center (SRC) while your child (infant through 15 years) plays in the safe and secure child care area. 

    The UCR Family Resource Guide , created by a student-parent group, lists campus and community resources available to student parents, including child care, housing, health, and nutrition.

    SRC Youth Programs take place during the summer, and introduce children (ages 5–14) to sports and educational instruction.

  • Health, Well-being & Safety

    UCR focuses on all facets of well-being. We offer many campus resources to help you meet all of your goals, such as support groups, tutoring, community service, employment, emergency food resources, sports, and health care — which is all included in your tuition.

  • Student Affairs Case Management

    Housed within the office of Student Affairs Case Management, case managers are the path-clearers and problem-solvers for UCR students dealing with mental health, academic, relationship, food insecurity, and other stressful crises. By providing resources, linkage, education, and expertise, they empower students to break down barriers, clarify needs, and navigate complex processes to get back on track to reach their goals.

  • Student Life

    Have fun and make friends! Student Life offers incredible social opportunities with concerts, music festivals, fun fairs, cultural celebrations, guest speakers, film series, theater productions, poets, performers, and 450+ student organizations!

  • Transportation

    For getting around the county, UCR students can ride RTA buses for free — just register for UPASS! Learn about campus parking, alternative transportation, accessible parking, and more from Transportation Services.

  • Undergraduate Education

    Undergraduate Education cultivates student success by providing academic support, experiential learning, and research opportunities. Challenge yourself in our rigorous University Honors program. Participate in research projects with our renowned faculty. Intern for a government agency or NGO in Sacramento or Washington, D.C. Create and facilitate your own 1-unit course with R'Courses. Ace your classes and prep for graduate school exams with help from the Academic Resource Center.

Learn more about the resources available at UCR to all first-year, transfer, out-of-state, and international students.