CSUSB Academic Excellence Program
Launched in 2002, the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program, formally known as the President's Academic Excellence Scholarship, award was founded by former CSUSB president Dr. Albert Karnig (1997 - 2012) and has recognized the most high-achieving students in San Bernardino County. It's inaugural class had only 6 PAES recipients and has now grown to over 400 alumni.
The program was a concerted and ambitious effort to draw the top 1 percent of all San Bernardino County high school graduates to CSUSB and, ideally, make their ties to the San Bernardino community strong enough to inspire them to stay in the region after earning their degrees. It offered full rides to these top students, some of whom would have a difficult time affording college without the scholarship.
The scholarship has changed to offer on-campus housing for the first year, but continues to be one of President Morales' initiatives and commitments to honor the legacy of President Karnig and President' Morales' continued commitment to our region and our students.
In 2020, the program underwent a huge transformation, CSUSB transitioned its Presidential Academic Excellence Scholarship (PAES) to the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program. Historically open only to San Bernardino county high school graduates, the new CSUSB Academic Excellence Program will be open to students from both San Bernardino and Riverside high schools who demonstrate academic excellence in high school and who are admitted to CSUSB and the University Honors program.
University Honors Program
Being a President’s Academic Excellence Scholar at CSUSB comes with a multitude of opportunities, including being automatically part of our University Honors Program. With an amazing Honors facility, including classrooms and program offices, and an Honors Living & Learning Community.
The Honors Program supports high-achieving students as they transition from high school into collegiate studies and provides a community of support throughout their time at CSUSB. Alongside their peers, Honors students participate and serve as officers in clubs, sororities, and fraternities, they conduct research in labs across campus, and they embark into the community to give back to the region that raised them.
Find out more about these Honors Coyotes at www.csusb.edu/honors-program.
The PAES Program is Undergoing a Transformation
Beginning with the Fall 2021 cohort, the PAES Scholarship program will take a different shape. Current high school seniors (Class of 2021) will be identified in a different process than has been used until this year.
Beginning with the Fall 2021 semester, CSUSB is transitioning its Presidential Academic Excellence Scholarship (PAES) to the CSUSB Academic Excellence Program. Historically open only to San Bernardino county high school graduates, the new CSUSB Academic Excellence Program will be open to students from both San Bernardino and Riverside high schools who demonstrate academic excellence in high school and who are admitted to CSUSB and the University Honors program.
The CSUSB Academic Excellence Program is a competitive program welcoming 20 new students annually. Invitations to apply to the program will be 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
These particular details may change as further work is completed to define the Academic Excellence Program, and this website will be updated accordingly.
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 stands for the President's Academic Excellence Scholarship.