Support and Community for High-Achievers at UC Berkeley
The Fiat Lux Scholarship creates opportunities for resilient students with unique life experiences to make a profound impact at the University of California, Berkeley.
Established for high-achieving students from partner high schools in California, the scholarship provides monetary, community, and academic support to underrepresented and first-generation college students.
"The Fiat Lux Scholarship has given me the opportunity to focus on my academics without working or worrying about how to pay for an amazing education. Coming from a low income family I understand the feeling of not having enough money to pursue your dreams. This once in a lifetime scholarship has offered countless opportunities to network and gain a head start at the number one public university in the nation!"
Fiat Lux Scholar, Media Studies major
One of the highest academic honors offered to new students, the scholarship supports California’s best and brightest for the length of their undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. The scholarship provides opportunities to network with faculty, current scholars, and alumni, and create enduring relationships that support success and seed future endeavors.
All students who apply for financial aid at Berkeley are automatically considered (no extra application needed!). The monetary award meets full financial need (as determined by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office), up to the full cost of attendance.
Fiat Lux Scholarship recipients shine brightly at Berkeley. Discover a scholarship program offering a wealth of support, community, and enrichment that opens doors to a lifelong pursuit of excellence and service. “Let there be light!”
You can also download Berkeley’s Luminaries: Fiat Lux Scholarship (PDF) for information.
Fiat Lux: Prosperity Through Partnership
UC Berkeley's faculty established the Fiat Lux Scholarship in 2016 with the goal to attract high-achieving students from local high schools in California to UC Berkeley.
The Fiat Lux Scholarship program merges the Cal Opportunity (CalOp) Scholarship Program and Incentive Awards Program (IAP) to:
Create a robust scholarship program focused on supporting the Bay Area, Central Coast area (Salinas), San Jose, Sequoia, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.
Support low-income, first-generation college students with a focus on African American, Chicanx, Latinx, and Native American students.
Align with ongoing UC systemwide efforts to provide open and equitable access to opportunities for learning and development for all communities.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions trains scholars to do outreach in local partnering high schools with the support of Berkeley's Center for Educational Partnerships. This proven and highly successful program promotes "giving back” through the scholars. They become aspirational role models for the high school students and provide help during college information sessions at various events and partnering high schools.
Partner High Schools
Alameda County Office of Education
- Alameda High School
- Encinal High School
- Albany High School
Berkeley Unified School District
- Berkeley High School
East Side Union High School District
- Accel Middle College
- Andrew Hill High Shcool
- Evergreen Valley High School
- Independence High School
- James Lick High School
- Mt. Pleasant High School
- Oak Grove High School
- Piedmont Hill High School
- Santa Teresa High School
- Silver Creek High School
- W.C. Overfelt High School
- Yerba Buena High School
Emery Unified School District
- Emery High School
Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District
- Hoopa Valley High School
Los Angeles Unified School District
- Belmont High School
- Benjamin Franklin High School
- Canoga Park High School
- Carson High School
- Cleveland High School
- James A. Garfield High School
- James Monroe High School
- Phineas Banning High School
- San Fernando High School
- Theodore Roosevelt High School
- Woodrow Wilson High School
- David Starr Jordan Senior High
Oakland Unified School District
- Arise High School
- Aspire Lionel Wilson College Prep
- BayTech Bay Area Technology School
- Castlemont High School
- Envision Academy Arts & Technology
- Fremont High School
- Life Academy High School
- Lighthouse Community Charter
- McClymonds High School
- Oakland Charter High School
- Oakland High School
- Oakland Military Institution College Preparatory
- Oakland School for the Arts
- Oakland Technical High School
- Oakland Unity High School
- Skyline High School
Sacramento City Unified School District
- C.K. McClatchy High School
- Sacramento Charter High School
Salinas Union High School District
- Alisal High School
- Everett Alvarez High School
- North Salinas High School
- Salinas High School
San Francisco Unified School District
- Abraham Lincoln High School
- Academy of Arts and Sciences
- Balboa High School
- City Arts and Technology High School*
- Galileo Academy of Science and Technology
- Gateway High School*
- George Washington High School
- John O'Connell High School
- Lowell High School
- Leadership High School
- Mission High School
- Phillip and Sala Burton High School
- SF International Studies Academy
- Raoul Wallenberg Traditional
- Ruth Asawa School of the Arts
- Thurgood Marshall Academy
Sequoia School District
- Carlmont High School
- East Palo Alto Academy
- Menlo-Atherton High School
- Sequoia High School
- Woodside High School
- Eastside College Preparatory School
Siskiyou Union High School District
- Happy Camp High School
West Contra Costa Unified School District
- Aspire Richmond Cal Cpl Col and Prep Acad
- De Anza High School
- El Cerrito High School
- John F. Kennedy High School
- Leadership Public School Richmond
- Middle College High School
- Pinole Valley High School
- Richmond High School
Yreka Union High School District
- Yreka High School
* Charter high schools that currently operate independently within school district boundaries.
Fiat Lux Scholarship Benefits
Monetary Award and Scholarship Tenure: Scholars are awarded their full financial need up to the California resident student budget, as determined by the UC Berkeley Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Awards may be renewed annually for a maximum of eight semesters, provided the scholar maintains satisfactory academic progress and has continued financial need. Maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average is encouraged.
Faculty Mentor: Scholars are matched with a faculty mentor who provides guidance and encouragement on their long-term academic, personal, and professional growth. Each fall, the Chancellor hosts a reception to welcome entering Fiat Lux scholars. This reception is the first opportunity for scholars to meet their Faculty Mentors and to network with other incoming and continuing scholars. Mentors are volunteers from the Academic Senate Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships, Honors, and Financial Aid (CUSHFA) and the faculty at large.
Fiat Lux Scholars Association (FLSA): Scholars are automatic members of this student organization that sponsors academic and social activities, community service projects, and outreach events to Fiat Lux Partner schools. Sponsored activities will allow scholars to network with faculty, staff, and their peers in an informal environment.
Research Fellowship: Scholars have the opportunity to apply for a one-time $1,000 stipend to support research project expenses.
Financial Aid Advising: Scholars are paired with a dedicated scholarship adviser who provides support and information about scholarships, financial aid, academic advising, and other campus resources. The Undergraduate Scholarships, Prizes, and Honors Office acts as intermediary for Fiat Lux scholars with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office for financial aid issues.
Scholarship Candidates are:
- Admitted freshmen who graduated from one of the partner high schools and who attended a partner high school for at least three years
- From an underrepresented population or first-generation college students
- U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens (California Dream Act Application or hold a permanent resident card)
- California residents or eligible nonresidents (AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption)
- Eligible for need-based financial aid
Candidates are high-achieving eligible admitted freshmen who have attended one of the program’s partner high schools for at least three years.
Students are automatically considered by submitting their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application. Candidates are identified on the basis of information supplied in their application for admission and their FAFSA and California Dream Act Application. Only students with financial need are eligible. California residents, eligible nonresidents, U.S. citizens, and eligible noncitizens are considered.
As part of a holistic review process, candidates are invited to a one-on-one interview with a Berkeley faculty member in late March. Interviews are scheduled in early April. Berkeley faculty select scholarship recipients.
Scholars are notified before the May 1 deadline to accept their offer of admission. Scholarship awarding operates under the oversight of the Academic Senate Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships, Honors, and Financial Aid.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need to submit an application to be considered for the Fiat Lux Scholarship?
There is no separate or additional application for the Fiat Lux Scholarship. All students who apply to UC Berkeley are automatically considered for the scholarship if they are from one of the Fiat Lux partner schools. If you are not selected as a candidate, there are many other University scholarships you will still be considered for. Remember to apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and if you are eligible for any University scholarships, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will notify you in April. Students without financial need are ineligible.
2. I am a Fiat Lux Scholarship candidate. When and how will I be notified about receiving the award? How do I accept the award?
Notifications are sent to students around the third week of April. You will also see your scholarship award online under My Finances at CalCentral. To accept your Fiat Lux Scholarship, sign and upload your Scholarship Contract on CalCentral. You should have read the Fiat Lux Scholarship Contract Terms and Conditions which were made available for your review as a link on your award notification letter.
3. Will there be an adjustment to my Fiat Lux Scholarship if I receive any outside scholarships?
Yes. Outside agency awards are applied toward your gross financial need and may require the campus to reduce the amount of the Fiat Lux Scholarship.
4. Will I lose my Fiat Lux Scholarship if I need to take time away from school?
Fiat Lux scholars are eligible to take two semesters of leave from the scholarship. Scholars must attend one semester at UC Berkeley before requesting a leave of absence. Scholars cannot request a leave of absence for any semester in which they have already received the scholarship. You will need to complete a Leave of Absence form and return it to your assigned scholarship coordinator.
Looking to help move the Fiat Lux mission forward? You can do so by contributing to the Fiat Lux Scholarship Program. With each donation, you help the next generation of Berkeley students shine brighter and enrich our ever growing campus community. Donate today.