The FAQ for the Young Scholar Program

What is YSP?

The Young Scholar Program (YSP) is coordinated through UCSB Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) and offers high-achieving, pre-college students in the local area an opportunity to begin university-level study at UCSB while still in high school. Enrollment for YSP is for fall, winter, and spring quarters. Summer quarter enrollment occurs through Summer Sessions (  

Who is Eligible for YSP?

Qualified high school students in the Santa Barbara area are nominated by their school guidance counselors or principals to participate in YSP. Students may NOT enroll directly in the program. To be considered for YSP, students must be mature, capable of handling university-level course work, be pursuing a rigorous college-preparatory study and be performing at an exceptionally high level. 

Strong candidates are students who have exhausted what is available in one or more subject areas at their school or who wish to study a subject not available at their high school. Qualified homeschooled students should contact the PaCE help desk for special directions and guidelines regarding nominations.

Which UCSB Courses Are Available to YSP Students?

Students can enroll in undergraduate courses on the UCSB campus. Enrollment is based on space availability. Once confirmed for YSP, students will follow the same enrollment procedures as students enrolled in UCSB PaCE's Open University program.

What is the Cost for YSP?

For the academic year 2019-20, students pay $281/unit for each undergraduate course in which they enroll.  No registration fees apply.

In Which High School Year Should a Student Apply for YSP?

Most students are nominated in their junior or senior year; however, it is not uncommon to have sophomores nominated.

Can a Student Participate in YSP After She/He Graduates from High School?

YSP is designed for high school students who are ready for university-level classes, and need academic credit. Graduation from high school marks the end of participation in YSP.   To discuss the procedure and implications for enrolling in UCSB courses after high school graduation, please contact the UCSB admissions office.

What is the Timeline and Process for YSP Approval?

High school guidance counselors and/or principals should submit nominations of students seeking to enter YSP during the early week of the prior quarter.  For Spring quarter enrollment, for example, nominations should be made during the early weeks of the Winter quarter.  Please consult UCSB academic calendar to know the quarter dates.  The following information should be submitted for each student nominated via email to the YSP Coordinator (  Be sure that each page includes the name of the student being nominated and please use the subject line Young  Scholar Program.

  • Nomination letter from guidance counselor or principal
  • Current high school transcript of the student
  • Copy of SAT, PSAT and/or AP scores

What should be Included in the nomination letter?

The Letter of Nomination is the introduction of the student to the YSP application Reviewing Committee. It  should include information such as:

  • A brief overview of the academic and social strengths of the student.
  • Identify outstanding course work and school participation, explain why you feel this student is outstanding.
  • Describe the maturity of the student. Is the student an independent thinker? Do you anticipate that the student will easily adjust to academics and life on campus?
  • List any academic or social concerns that you have about the student.

NOTE: Each page submitted should include the name of the student at the top of the page.

Once Nominations Are Submitted, What Are the Next Steps?

  • The nomination packets (letters, transcripts, test scores) are reviewed by the YSP Committee at PaCE.  The Committee will determine the eligibility of the student to attend the UCSB undergraduate courses.
  • If approved, the committee will confirm the students for YSP.
  • Guidance counselors and principals will be notified of the status of their submissions.

The YSP students will need to complete a course enrollment form.

If under 19 years of age, they will also need to submit a waiver and authorization forms before enrolling in the course(s).  Please make an appointment with YSP Program Manager Sofia Muller to begin the process. (


Last update: January 11, 2019

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