Riordan Scholars


As a Riordan Scholar, you will prepare to enter a top-tier university and find a clear path to leadership success.

Scholars Video

The Riordan Scholars Program left an indelible mark on my life, exposing me to the importance of strategically preparing for success, relationship building and launching my brand. These foundational skills have had a profound impact on my life. The program exposed me to the stock market as a sophomore in high school, which fundamentally changed my life trajectory. My involvement since 2001 is largely a testament to how important the program was and continues to be for me.”

George Bahamondes
Vice President, Deutsche Bank
Riordan Scholar 2004

About Riordan Scholars


Over eight monthly Saturday sessions, Riordan Scholars learn the skills and information needed to be admitted to a top university and stay on the path towards a successful career. The program consists of:

  • Mentorship by current UCLA Anderson MBA students
  • Stock Market Analyst Competition and Real Estate Competition
  • SAT prep workshops
  • Guest lectures from top leaders in corporate and academic communities
  • Personalized College Action Plan counseling
  • College application and financial aid workshops
  • Leadership development seminars
  • Site visits to companies such as Goldman Sachs, Google and Airbnb.

Why Apply?


Will you be the first in your family to go to college? Do you see yourself as a future leader in business or in the community? Every year, we elevate our students to the places they feel they are meant to be. This is the vision of our founders: nothing short of a transformational program.

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Applying to Riordan Scholars


Application Period

The 2020-2021 Riordan Scholars Program application is now live! The Riordan Scholars Program uses an online application process and application decisions will be sent via email. Please submit all required information prior to the June 12, 2020 application deadline.

Application Requirements

Deadline: June 12, 2020       Program Dates: September 2020–May 2021
Decisions: August 7, 2020

Online Application

Complete the Online Application.

Copy of unofficial transcript(s)

Upload a copy of your unofficial transcript to the online application. Your application is considered incomplete without the transcript.

Academic or community reference contact (1)

Submit contact information of one (1) teacher, counselor or community reference. Notify your listed reference that you have applied, as we may contact him or her directly.

2 required essays; 1 optional essay

Each essay must be in between 400-600 words long. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the Riordan Programs and describe how the Riordan Scholars Program can benefit you in pursuing your long-term career and/or academic goals.

  • Essay 1: The Riordan Scholars Program seeks applicants with a range of academic interests, personal perspectives and life experiences. Describe your personal background and the qualities and accomplishments you would bring to the Riordan Scholars Program.
  • Essay 2: Why are you interested in spending eight Saturdays as a participant in the Riordan Scholars Program? How can the program contribute to your future education and career goals?
  • Essay 3 (optional): Is there anything you would like us to know about you or your academic record that you have not had the opportunity to describe elsewhere in this application?
Learn more...


Prior experience in or knowledge of business is not required. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Rising sophomore, junior or senior in high school by the start of the program (limited space avaialble for seniors)
  • Be the first generation in their family to attend a four-year college
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and active involvement at school and in the community
  • Have a strong academic record (at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale)

Program Details


Program Schedule

2020–2021 Tentative Session Dates

Session Schedule
Orientation – September 19, 2020
Session 1 – October 17, 2020
Session 2 – November 14, 2020
Session 3 – December 12, 2019
Session 4 – January 23, 2021
Session 5 – February 20, 2021
Session 6 – March 20, 2021
Session 7 – April 17, 2021
Session 8 – May 1, 2021
SAT Prep Schedule
SAT Practice Test 1 – September 26, 2020
SAT Bootcamp 1 – October 31, 2020
SAT Practice 2 - December 5, 2020
SAT Bootcamp 2 – February 6, 2021
SAT Practice Test 3 – April 3, 2021

Session attendance is mandatory for all students. SAT test prep is also mandatory for all 10th and 11th grade students. All dates are subject to change.


Participation in the Riordan Scholars Program is granted on a tuition-free basis to those who are admitted. Supplies and materials are provided during the monthly Saturday sessions (September–May), along with continental breakfast and lunch.


While transportation to the monthly Saturday sessions at UCLA will be provided from selected schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District, alternative methods of transportation are encouraged. Choices include: being dropped off at the UCLA Anderson campus; carpooling with other Scholars; and taking public transportation. Bus tokens and parking will be provided on a case-by-case basis, and prior notice is required.


Admitted Riordan Scholars are required to attend all monthly Saturday sessions and all SAT test preparation (sophomores and juniors). Riordan Scholars are expected to exhibit a professional demeanor and actively participate in all session discussions, workshops and activities. Respect toward fellow Scholars, programming staff, mentors and session guests, including faculty members, professional speakers and volunteers, is obligatory. Appropriate professional attire is required at all Riordan Programs functions.


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Application Information

For more information about applying to the program, please review our website and the FAQ section.

Refer a Student

We are now accepting student referrals for the 2020–2021 program year.  Refer a student HERE.

Referrals are NOT nominations. They are NOT REQUIRED for a student to apply!  Your referral allows us to reach potential applicants directly. We will send them helpful information such as deadline reminders and general tips and updates to aid them with the Riordan Scholars application.