Frequently Asked Questions


Please check this page for answers to your questions before using the contact form. 

I am interested in applying.

When will applications open for this year?

The application period for the UC Davis Young Scholars Program opens on January 15th and closes at 11:59 PM on March 15th. Students wishing to apply for the coming summer must create a user account before beginning the application process. User accounts may be created beginning on January 15th.

Do I have to be a resident of California to attend the Young Scholars Program?

No, you don’t have to be a resident of California to apply to and attend the Young Scholars Program. We accept out-of-state students who will be rising juniors or rising seniors during the summer program. International students should refer to the “International Students” page for additional information that applies to international students only. 

What is the cost of the program and what does the cost include?

The program fee covers room and board for six weeks, field trips, program activities, and five (5) units of university Group Study credit. The anticipated cost for the 2024 summer program is $6750, plus a fully refundable $200 security deposit.

Are scholarships available? If so, how much?

Significant fee reductions are available on a sliding scale based on need, the number of students requesting reductions, and the amount of money available. We cannot give estimates of possible fee reductions prior to the application deadline because there are too many variables.

To be considered for a fee reduction, you must submit your request for consideration at the time of application. These requests are not considered in the selection process and are only reviewed after the selections have been made.

To request a fee reduction, share a cover letter describing your family’s financial obligations to the Program Director by March 15th:

Megan Bettis, Director
UC Davis Young Scholars Program
School of Education
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

What is the application deadline?

Application deadline is March 15th at 11:59 PM. The online application must be submitted by the deadline, as well as any requests for fee reduction. Applicants will be notified of the review committee’s decisions on or before April 15th.

Can I participate if I won’t be 16 years old by the start of the program?

The UC Davis Young Scholars Program requires all participants to be at least 16 years of age by the first day of the program but not 18 years of age before the end of the program. No exceptions are made and inquiries regarding exceptions will not receive a reply.

How can I begin my application for the UC Davis Young Scholars Program?

To begin your online application, you must create a new account including a User Name and Password. Refer to the “Application” page to begin. Please be sure that cookies are enabled in your browser before beginning your application.

If I’m accepted when will I be notified what my project will be?

If accepted you will be notified of your project when you arrive on the first day of the program. The available research projects vary year-to-year but you can visit the “Research Projects” page to see overviews of projects students have worked on in the past. We anticipate projects that are similar in scope and subject area this year.

Can I go home on the weekends?

Program participation includes Saturday field trips, including one possible overnight field trip. Students are welcome to go home after returning from the weekend field trips if they are signed out by a parent or guardian and return by building curfew on Sunday evening.

Requests to be absent for Saturday field trips for special occasions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please use the Contact form to email the Director with special requests. 

What is your acceptance rate?

UC Davis Young Scholars Program has an acceptance rate of about 10-15%. We accept 40 students per year.

Can I have a counselor or previous research mentor fill out a recommendation for me?

Recommendation forms should be filled out by teachers. At least one of the recommendations must come from a science teacher. Recommendations completed by counselors are discouraged.

My teacher didn’t get the recommendation – what should I do?

Requests for recommendations are emailed to your teachers when you click the “Request Recommendation” button in the application. If you teacher did not receive a recommendation request:

  1. Check that you correctly entered your teachers’ email addresses
  2. Ask your teacher to check their SPAM or Junk mail folders for email from mmckenzie@ucdavis.edu
  3. Have teachers’ add the email address mmckenzie@ucdavis.edu
  4. Resend the recommendation request
  5. If teachers’ have still not received your request, contact the Director at mmckenzie@ucdavis.edu

Are students required to live in the dorms or can I live with a family member in Davis?

The UC Davis Young Scholars Program is a residential program. Participants are required to live in the dorm and can only be checked out of the dorms for extended periods of time on a temporary basis by a parent or guardian.

Do you accept supplemental application materials?

Supplemental application materials are not required and will not be reviewed by the application committee.

Do you use a rolling admissions process?

No, all applications are reviewed at the same time after the submission deadline.

Do citations in the essay questions count toward the total word count?


Can you tell me in advance how much of a fee reduction I can get?

No, we do not pre-determine the level of fee reductions any applicant might qualify for. What we can say is that every year the UC Davis Young Scholars Program awards up to $25,000 in fee reductions. In recent years we’ve been able to award even more fee reduction thanks to the generous support of the Boroditsky Family Fund. These reductions are provided to applicants who request consideration for the fee reduction at the time of application. The amount of the fee reduction is based on the family’s income, their specific financial circumstances, the number of students requesting fee reductions and the amount of funding available. 

I have submitted an application.

What is my Applicant ID #?

In the acceptance package forms, it asks for my Applicant ID #. Where can I find that number?

Your Applicant ID# is the same as your User ID#. You should be able to find that number in your application submission confirmation email. If you cannot find it there, simply insert your home zip code/postal code number in its place.

Will UCD-YSP notify me when my application is received?

Unfortunately due to the volume of applications we receive UCD-YSP is not able to confirm application submission beyond the email that is sent upon submission. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please check your Junk mail folder or your SPAM folder. 

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