Educational Opportunity Program

Scholarships & Aid

All EOP students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA)  every year before March 2nd.

EOP grants will be awarded only as long as funds are available. You will have a better chance of receiving an EOP grant and other financial aid for which you are eligible if you apply before the deadline.

More resources are available on the Financial Aid website.


The typical scholarship "season" occurs between October 1st and March 31st every year. This is the application period for most scholarship programs that award scholarship money for the following academic year.

Scholarship Resources

Here are some recommended scholarships available every year:

Hispanic Scholarship Fund - Offers a wide variety of scholarships for students of Hispanic heritage.

EduMed - Offers a wide variety of scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in health care.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities - Offers scholarships to Hispanic students from a variety of donors.

Junior League of Monterey County - Offers scholarships to women who live in Monterey County.

CSUMB-specific scholarships can be found on the CSUMB Financial Aid website.

How to Write a Personal Statement

Writing a personal statement for a scholarship can be a challenging task but it is one worth putting that time into because it could bring you lots of money and you can usually use one personal statement and tailor it to many different scholarship applications to increase your chances.

A winning personal statement should allow the reader to have an inside glimpse to your life and accomplishments. Unsuccessful personal statements often resemble a laundry list of accomplishments, awards and activities. Although impressive, reading such materials often feels like reading a resume or a list of facts. Instead, your personal statement should read like a short story about your life that is straight forward and has a point!

Before you begin to write your personal statement, it is important to collect the information you need to write it. Below are a series of questions and general categories required by many scholarship programs.

You generally need to answer three questions about yourself in your personal statement:

Who are you?

  • Parents and family background
  • Motivation to go to college
  • First generation college student

Where are you going?

  • What are your educational and career goals?
  • Why do you want a college education?
  • What do you want to do after you graduate?

What have you done?

  • Have you received any academic honors or accomplishments?
  • Do you have any extra-curricular activities, currently work, volunteer or community service?

Other things to consider

Extracurricular activities

The extracurricular activities you choose to engage in can tell a scholarship board a great deal about you as a person. By focusing upon your extracurricular activities, you are able to illustrate your personal priorities and let the scholarship board know what you consider to be important.

If you did not have time for extra-curricular activities because you have other work or family commitments, then you should highlight these because they demonstrate financial need. Think hard and you are sure to find some relation between your activities and your chosen path of study and career goals.

Major accomplishments

If you were not involved in any extracurricular activities that are relevant to your future schooling, perhaps you can focus on what you consider to be your major accomplishment. This does not have to be school related, as long as it somehow illustrates how you are a talented, hard-working individual that deserves a scholarship.

Adversity you overcame

Illustrate to the scholarship committee that you are the type of person who will not fold when the going gets tough. Discuss any barriers you overcame to get to college and to keep going. This is where you can also talk about your motivation.

A good personal statement should be

  • Grammatically correct, neat and clean
  • Written according to the guidelines of the scholarship program.Example: If the application requires that you write a two-page personal statement, only write two pages and no more!
  • Written honestly about yourself/written from the heart. Be proud of who you are and be positive!
  • Discuss your financial need.
  • About things that are important to you. Tell your story.
  • Use words that describe and show action.


Don't let silly, sloppy mistakes lead the scholarship committee to believe that you are just "another one of those students who can't write as well as they should." Proofread your entire essay, multiple times.

Letters of Reference

Letters of reference provides the scholarship committee another perspective about your qualification for the scholarship. Here are some tips to ensure your letters of reference maximize their effect:

  1. Provide a copy of your personal statement to the persons writing a letter of reference for you.
  2. Give them plenty of time to write the letter. DO NOT put them in a time crunch.
  3. Ask for letters of reference that are pertinent to the scholarship and give the person writing the letter a deadline that is earlier than your actual due date to give yourself enough time to put the whole packet together.