Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Students

STEP students group

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the STEP program. If you have any further questions that are not answered on these FAQs, please feel free to email us. Our contact information can be found here. 

Application and Eligibility

  • Who is eligible to participate in STEP?
  • STEP primarily serves first generation, low income first-year students. 
  • How can I apply to STEP?
  • STEP is by invitation only.
  • How do I know if I have been invited to apply to STEP?
  • The application will be found on your my admissions page’s checklist
  • When is the application deadline?
  • All materials including the STEP application, FAFSA/DREAM Act, etc is due on May 1st. 
  • What do I need to turn in to apply to STEP?
  • Please see STEP application requirements
  • When will I know if I have been accepted to STEP?
  • STEP decision will be sent out via email in late June
  • I got off the UC Davis waitlist, can I still apply to STEP?
  • Please contact the STEP office for more information
  • How much does STEP cost?
  • STEP is funded through a combination of Financial Aid and STEP funds, so there is no out of pocket cost for STEP participants.
  • Do I have to complete TWO FAFSA/Dream Act Applications?
  • Yes. Students must complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA/DREAM Act applications for the academic year prior to March 2nd and the 2019-2020 FAFSA/DREAM Act application for STEP before May 1st.
  • What if I have other questions about financial aid?
  • The Financial Aid Office has created a list of FAQs regarding financial aid for STEP students. If you have further questions, we recommend you reach out to Financial Aid directly. Contact info can be found on the Financial Aid website
  • Where do I take the Math Placement Exam?
  • The Math Placement Exam determines which math class you will be allowed to take. The exam and information about the exam can be found here.
  • Where can I take the Writing Placement Exam?
  • Similar to the Math Placement, the writing placement determines if you are ready to take on university level writing. The Writing Placement Exam and information on the exam can be found here:


  • Why should I consider applying to STEP?
  • STEP students get the opportunity to adjust to campus life six weeks before the academic year starts, receive six units of graded coursework, and build relationships with other students. Students also receive priority registration for the first four quarters of undergrad.
  • How long is STEP?
  • STEP is a TWO year program that begins with the summer residential portion. Students will be required to check in with Peer Advising Counselors during their first year in order to maintain priority registration.

Summer STEP

  • What are the dates of Summer STEP?
  • August 1st - September 12th, 2020
  • What should I bring?
  • The STEP Office will send out specific information once decisions are made. 
  • Can I go home during the weekends?
  • No. Students are required to take full advantage of the program, including attending weekend programming. 
  • Can I bring a car to STEP?
  • No. Unless otherwise given permission by the STEP Coordinator for extreme circumstances 
  • Can I work during STEP?
  • No. STEP will have a full schedule which will not allow enough time for students to work.
  • Will I have free time during STEP?
  • Yes. When there is no programming or classes to attend, student will be allowed to explore the campus and the City of Davis.
  • Can I have visitors during STEP?
  • Yes. Visitors are welcome, but only during non-scheduled activity times. Upon entering the program, you will receive a calendar of events which will outline free times. Only family members will be allowed to enter the residence halls and will need to check into the PAC office for a guest name tag. 
  • Can visitors spend the night?
  • No.