Guardian Scholars


The SDSU Guardian Scholars Program is committed to supporting students who identify as emancipated foster youth, former dependents and wards of the court, unaccompanied homeless youth or under legal guardianship by providing a comprehensive, holistic support program to help them achieve the goal of a college degree.


SDSU Guadian Scholars Graduates



Foster Care Youth

There are approximately 6,500 youth in the foster care system in San Diego County. Each year 300 of these students leave the system when they turn 18 and their future prospects are grim. Fifty percent will end up unemployed, one-third will require public assistance, and one out of four will become incarcerated. The SDSU Guardian Scholars Program is a university-wide effort to turn these statistics around for former foster youth who have already overcome significant obstacles in order to pursue their dreams of a college education.


As a SDSU Guardian Scholar, support services available to you include:

  • Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Priority registration (every semester)
  • Year-round on campus housing (including holidays and breaks)
  • Housing stipend to assist with rent (on and/or off campus)
  • Opportunities for leadership development in our student organization, Guardian Scholars Student Advisory Board (GSSAB)

In addition to our program services, SDSU Guardian Scholars receive additional support from EOP such as:

  • New Student Orientation
  • BEST Summer Bridge Program or transfer Bridge Program
  • Dedicated EOP counselors and advising
  • Peer mentoring
  • Free tutoring

Guardian Scholars Group Picture



A portion of the SDSU Guardian Scholars will receive scholarships to supplement their financial aid and reduce the need for student loans. Donations have been made but additional benefactors are needed in order to expand the scholarship opportunities for Guardian Scholars attending SDSU. Unlike most college students, Guardian Scholars do not have families on whom they can rely for simple things that we all take for granted, like a basic wardrobe and a place to live during the summer. Without scholarship support, these students are faced with the choice of working too many hours or relying too heavily on student loans and credit cards.

Giving Students a Home

SDSU’s EOP provides a home base for the Guardian Scholars and serves to identify individual needs and get students the resources they need – whether health services, career planning, disability services or financial aid.


Who is Eligible for the SDSU Guardian Scholars Program?

SDSU is actively involved in outreach to seek applicants for the Guardian Scholars Program. If you think you might be eligible, or know someone who is, please see the contact information below.

Eligibility Requirements Include:

  1. Highly motivated former foster-care youth, students who are wards of the court, under legal guardianship or unaccompanied homeless youth
  2. Incoming freshmen or transfer students who meet SDSU’s eligibility criteria for admission (
  3. Admitted to the SDSU Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  4. Complete the SDSU Guardian Scholars Program – Prospective Student Application
  5. Considered “independent” under federal financial aid guidelines
  6. California resident
  7. U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  8. 2017-18 FAFSA financial aid application completed by the required filing date (

Application Process:

Step 1 Apply to SDSU by November 30,2016 using the CSU application at

Step 2 Mark “YES” when asked if you are interested in applying to EOP on section 11 of the CSU Mentor online application.

Step 3  Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at between October 1, 2016 and March 2, 2017.

Step 4 Complete the EOP online application via CSU Mentor at Be sure to fill out all parts of the EOP application.

Step 5  On the EOP application mark “YES” to question 30, section (F) which asks if you are or were a former foster youth.

Step 6  The Guardian Scholars Program staff will e-mail you an online link to the 2017-18 SDSU Guardian Scholar Program – Prospective Student Application.

Step 7  Once your Guardian application is completed and submitted, you will be notified by SDSU Guardian Scholars staff of your admissions status.

Total Cost of Attendance:  Calculated to include 12 months year-round housing and living expenses. Selected Guardian Scholars who live on campus will be provided with year-round on campus housing.

Students who exceed EOP income criteria:  Students who exceed the income eligibility requirements may write a letter of appeal stating that they are former foster youth along with appropriate documentation. Contact Bryan Spencer for more information at or (619) 594-0140.



For more information on eligibility, scholarship opportunities, how to apply to be an SDSU Guardian Scholar and any other issues related to the program, contact:

Bryan Spencer,M.A.
Assistant Director
(619) 594-0140

Simone Hidds-Narcisse, M.A.
Program Coordintaor



Main Phone

(619) 594-6298

Fax Number

(619) 594-4299

Office Location & Hours

San Deigo State University, Aztec Mesa, Room 109
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Permanent Mailing Adress

The Office of Education Opportunity Programs & Ethnic Affairs
Attn: SDSU Guardian Scholars Program
Student Services East 2109
500 Campanile San Diego, CA 92182-8222

(For PDF files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader if needed)


Guardian Scholar Group Photo



“It is not enough to teach our young people to be they can realize their ambitions, so they can earn good livings, so they can accumulate the material things that this society bestows. Those are worthwhile goals. But it is not enough to progress as individuals while our friends and neighbors are left behind.” —Cesar Chavez—