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Presidential Academic Excellence Scholars

The New PAES Program 

Beginning with the Fall 2021 semester, CSUSB transitioned its Presidential Academic Excellence Scholarship (PAES) to a new, fuller model. Historically open only to San Bernardino county high school graduates, the new CSUSB Academic Excellence Program is open to students from both San Bernardino and Riverside high schools who demonstrate academic excellence in high school and who are admitted to CSUSB.

The CSUSB Academic Excellence Program is a competitive program welcoming 20 new students annually. Initiations to apply to the program are made after students receive their CSUSB admission.

This exceptional community experience provides students with supplemental leadership, mentoring and engagement opportunities specific to the Academic Excellence Program. These opportunities are intentionally crafted to support a student’s career and educational goals beyond the bachelor’s degree while providing a way for students to give back to the CSUSB and Honors community.

The CSUSB Academic Excellence Program supports 4 years (8 semesters) of enrollment toward a bachelor’s degree. In the current proposal for the program Participants in the program would receive

  • A scholarship to support any unmet tuition and mandatory fees beyond what is covered by Federal and State grants, tuition waivers or any other tuition paying programs
  • An annual scholarship for additional educational expenses, including books and other needs
  • A one-time award to support a student’s participation in an unpaid leadership, academic or career related internship
  • A scholarship to cover the cost of a double occupancy room and a basic meal plan for students who live in the Honors Residential Scholars community during their first year at CSUSB

Criteria for consideration for the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program.

  • Planned graduation from a San Bernardino or Riverside County high school. Students who live in the counties, but who attend high schools out of county will be considered on a space available basis.
  • Completion of a CSUSB application as a first time freshmen by the priority application deadline (November 30)
  • Admission to CSUSB and the University Honors program
  • Submission of the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program application by March 1
  • Submission of a FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application by March 2
    • This is a requirement regardless of expected aid from Federal or State entities
  • Acceptance of the program, and confirmation of attendance to CSUSB by May 1
    • Confirmation of attendance is indicated by the payment of the CSUSB Enrollment Confirmation Deposit
    • Students admitted to the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program who do not commit to CSUSB by May 1 will lose their place in the program and students from the waitlist will be invited to join.

Students admitted to the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program must maintain eligibility for the University Honors program and complete a minimum of 30 units per academic year to continue to participate in the program and receive the scholarship.

PAES (through the Fall 2020 cohort)

The President’s Academic Excellence Scholars award recognizes students from San Bernardino County who graduate in the top 1% of their high school class. The PAES award was founded by former president Al Karnig and has recognized these most high-achieving students since 1999.

Students receiving the PAES award receive funding that covers unmet need related to tuition and fees associated with attending CSUSB. In other words, any tuition or fee costs not paid by state or federal aid will be paid by CSUSB. In addition, PAES scholars receive a supplemental award to cover the expense of living on the Residential Honors Scholars floor during their first year. Additionally, PAES recipients are automatically admitted to the University Honors Program with no application necessary.

To qualify for the PAES award, students must be in the top 1% of their high school class by the fall semester of their senior year in high school and complete six steps:
          Step 1: Apply to Cal State San Bernardino October 1 – November 30 at
          Step 2: Complete your FAFSA Application
          Step 3: Pay your enrollment confirmation deposit through your MyCoyote account
          Step 4: Send a final transcript to the Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment
          Step 5: Sign up for and attend orientation
          Step 6: Enroll and attend your first semester of classes