Presidential Scholar Award

President Ruben Armiñana and Presidential Scholar Bernice Wright

Ruben Armiñana presents Presidential Scholar Bernice Wright with a medallion signifying her excellent academic work.

Incoming freshmen with a 4.0 cumulative high school grade point average from their sophomore year in high school through the fall semester of their senior year are eligible for a Sonoma State University Presidential Scholar Award. The GPA computation is exclusive of physical education courses and allows for the weighted value of honors, advanced placement, or international baccalaureate courses according to the California State University’s admission policies. Eligible students will be identified by SSU’s Scholarship Coordinator, contacted and invited to confirm eligibility for the scholarship by mid-April each year.

Ruben Armiñana has established this scholarship to recognize high achieving students and to reward them for their diligence throughout their high school and earlier years of study. The $1,000 first-year scholarship is renewable each year under the following terms:

  • The Presidential Scholar Award is renewable and may be received for a total of eight semesters of undergraduate work at Sonoma State University.
  • The Presidential Scholar Award recipient must receive a grade of “A” and/or “A-“ in all coursework in order to be considered for renewal of the award.
  • The recipient of the Presidential Scholar Award must complete at least 24 units per academic year at Sonoma State University. A minimum of 12 of those 24 units must be graded (as opposed to credit/no credit). Special arrangements are available for majors in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies where core courses are only offered on a credit/no credit basis.

Benefits of being designated a Presidential Scholar

2012 Presidential ScholarsAll new and returning Presidential Scholars were welcomed to SSU at a fall reception with the president.

    • Students receive a scholarship for $1,000 for each year they are eligible to remain in the program.
    • Incoming students register for classes during Summer Orientation, a two-day, mandatory program for all first-time freshmen.
    • For each additional year that students remain eligible for the Presidential Scholar Award, student will have priority registration.
    • Presidential Scholars are invited to a group luncheon with President Armiñana each semester. They are also invited to a Welcome Reception at the beginning of the fall semester where they can meet the other Scholars, the President, as well as other important figures from campus.
    • Students who remain Presidential Scholars throughout their programs of study receive a presidential medallion to wear at Commencement and have a special designation listed by their name in the Commencement program.

    Gifts for Presidential ScholarsSweatshirts and notepads were among the gifts given to the scholars at the fall reception.

    The Scholarship Coordinator will determine continuing eligibility after the spring semester of each academic year and notify students who meet the above standards.

    Questions may be directed to Sara Golightly, Scholarship Coordinator at or by calling 707 664-2261.