The Cuesta Promise FAQs
The Cuesta College Promise is a scholarship program available to all San Luis Obispo County high school graduates. The Promise offers all local graduates, including undocumented students—who come straight to Cuesta following their graduation—two years of attendance fee-free (two consecutive fall and spring semesters). The Cuesta Promise will pay fees for students that are California residents or AB540 students.
The Promise covers these costs for the fall and spring semesters:
- Enrollment ($46 per unit)
- Health ($19)
- ASCC Student ID Card ($10)
- Student Center ($10)
- Student Rep ($2)
- Course Materials Fees (fees indicated in the course description on Class Finder; does not include books or items the instructor requires in his/her syllabus)
The Cuesta Promise will pay for all unit fees (The Cuesta Promise will pay fees for students that are a California Resident or AB540 student), whether a student is full or part-time.
All graduates from San Luis Obispo County high schools, who earned their diplomas between the dates of July 1, 2023–June 30, 2024, including students who receive their GED or are homeschooled, must begin using the Cuesta Promise during Cuesta College’s Fall 2024 semester.
If you attend in the Spring or Summer terms after you graduate high school, but before the Fall 2024 term, you would need to apply for financial aid separately for those terms.
Qualifying students must follow the application process and deadlines below:
- Submit your Cuesta College Fall 2023 admissions application: October 1, 2023 - August 1, 2024
- Submit your scholarship application (Apply by priority deadline, March 2, 2024 to be considered for additional scholarships): October 1, 2023 - August 1, 2024
- Complete the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application: October 1, 2023 - August 1, 2024
- Complete the Cuesta College online orientation: October 1, 2023 - August 1, 2024
- Register for your classes: May 2024 - August 1, 2024
- The Promise is yours! Check your email for announcements and updates
No, you must return to Cuesta College for the next consecutive year in order to qualify for the second-year fee-free.
You won’t be eligible for the Cuesta Promise Scholarship.
Yes, follow the steps and make sure you submit the California Dream Act Application.
Yes! The Cuesta College Foundation has established an ongoing fund so that the Promise will be around for future generations of SLO County high school students.
Just remember: after you graduate, you must attend Cuesta College the Fall semester immediately following your commencement to obtain the Promise Scholarship.
Yes. If you are a San Luis Obispo County resident and earned your GED, graduated from a home school, or received your CHSPE results between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024, and you indicated this on your Cuesta College admissions application, you qualify for the Promise, and must begin using the Cuesta Promise during Cuesta College’s Fall 2024 semester. If you attend in the Spring or Summer terms after you graduate high school, but before the Fall 2024 term, you would need to apply for financial aid separately for those terms.
*In most cases, home school students will need to submit a first year Cuesta Promise appeal when the school is not automatically recognized as eligible.
No. Just register for classes and your fees will be paid.
You will need to meet the following academic requirements to qualify for year two fee-free:
- Complete more than 50% of the units attempted in the Fall and Spring semesters
- Earn a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.00 or higher during the Fall and Spring semesters
- Renew the FAFSA or Dream Act before August 1 of the next academic year
If you meet these requirements, simply register for classes and your fees will be paid.
If you do not see your high school on the Cuesta College admissions application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that your high school or home school qualifies for the Cuesta Promise Scholarship and find out if you will need to submit a Promise Appeal.
Double-check that your residency status is correct with Admissions & Registration. If it is not, then you may need to fill out a Statement of Legal Residence or California Nonresident Tuition Exemption request. More information available at bit.ly/cuestapromiseresidency.
The Cuesta Promise will pay fees for students that are a California Resident or AB540 student.
You can check the status of your Promise application in the same place you check your financial aid status.
Cuesta begins awarding the Promise each year in May. When you’ve been awarded, you will receive an email in your myCuesta email account and be mailed a congratulatory letter to your home address. You can also double-check your account balance in myCuesta to see if the fees have been paid!
Find it in myCuesta: Student Self Service > Student Accounts > Account Detail for Term.
This page is maintained by Cuesta College Financial Aid.
Last updated: 09/27/2023