Content Skip to content.
San Diego State University

Compact for Success

Compact Scholars Program

Program overview

The Compact Scholars Program is the postsecondary component of the Compact for Success. The programis housed in SDSU's Division of Undergraduate Studies.

The Compact Scholars Program nurtures academic and social success in students by connecting them to the rich resources of the San Diego State University campus community. Compact Scholars actively engage in "high impact" educational experiences, most notably:

  • Study abroad
  • Service-learning
  • Undergraduate research
  • Leadership development

The goal of the Compact Scholars Program is to deepen student engagement and to promote higher graduation rates for Sweetwater District students who have become SDSU students.

Continued support after entering the university

Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) students who have completed the requirements become Compact Scholars once they are enrolled at San Diego State University, and they continue to receive advising throughout their undergraduate studies. Financial aid is available for eligible students, as well as study abroad and volunteer opportunities.

Sweetwater district students can rest assured that even in the wake of state budget cuts, the Compact for Success will remain in effect for the class of 2017 as it has done for the past decade. 

Read about our success:


Students speak up about CFS 

Sarah Mendoza, an SDSU junior double majoring in math (for the single subject teaching credential) and business management, graduated from Southwest High School in 2007 and has been a Compact Scholar since entering SDSU.

“Being in the Compact Scholars program allowed me to get more involved in school-related activities and introduced me to wonderful people,” she said. “There are also other aspects of the program where non-members can participate.”

Former Compact Scholar Elizabeth Aderholdt, who graduated from SDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, called the program a “ready made support system.”

Listen as Gabriella Campos, a junior at SDSU and a Compact for Success scholar, describes her experiences at SDSU and how the Sweetwater Union High School District's "Compact for Success" program has prepared her for the rigors of college academia:

jennifer abundez

Jennifer Abundez, Compact Scholar, Class of 2010

"During my 7th grade year, I remember sitting in the school auditorium listening to a presentation about a new program called 'Compact for Success.' As a 12-year-old, college seemed to be lifetimes away. Yet, the people giving the presentation were telling me that it was never too early to prepare for college.

That opened up my eyes to the possibilities that lay before me. In the latter part of that school year, I was fortunate enough to visit the SDSU campus with the Compact program. This was not my first time being on campus, but as I walked around, I realized that this campus was meant for me. It was my pathway to realizing my dreams.

"At that moment I knew that I needed to work hard because I was going to do what my parents did not have the opportunity to do: I was going to become a college graduate. That day on the SDSU campus was the beginning of my "college career."

I entered high school with the focus and determination to succeed. I not only worked hard in my classes, but I also joined many extra-curricular activities. I did not take for granted my guaranteed acceptance because it was too precious of a gift to lose. It was all worth it on the day I received my acceptance letter.

"When I entered this campus as a freshman, it was clear that I belonged here. It was wonderful to know that I had he usual services that students are entitled to: helpful professors, academic guidance, and so forth — but I was also able to receive help from the Compact Scholars program.

Through them, I found a staff member willing to guide me in my path to choosing a study abroad program, graduate students who were dedicated to helping others, and I found amazing mentors determined to help me succeed. I have given back to my community numerous times, and I have made lifelong friends." 

Marcela Meave, Compact Scholar, Class of 2011 

Growing up as the oldest of five children, Marcela Meave wasn’t sure that college was in her future. She wanted to go and her parents wanted her to go, but they didn’t know where to start.Marcela in her cap and gown

“As far back as I remember, I know my parents wanted me to go to college,” she said. “But in my household, they didn’t know how to go about it. My parents encouraged me, but there was a lack of experience to know what steps to take.”

Luckily for Marcela, when she became a 7th grader in the Sweetwater District, she joined the  first group of students (Class of 2006) to enlist in the Compact for Success.

She and her mother went to SDSU as part of the 7th grade visit and she was hooked. “That was my first Compact event and I knew that’s where I wanted to go to college,” she said. In 2006, Marcela graduated from Southwest High and enrolled in San Diego State as a Compact Scholar. Thanks to the Compact, she qualified for a 4-year, need-based scholarship.

At SDSU, Marcela majored in psychology with a double minor in Spanish and leadership development. She took advantage of every opportunity, signing up for two Study Abroad tours that took her to Spain and South Africa. She also became a Compact Mentor, serving as a role model for students in Sweetwater schools and introducing them to the benefits of the Compact.

“It makes a difference knowing that someone like you did it,” she said. “It’s reinforcing and motivating talking to a college student who’s done the same thing you want to do.” Marcela credits that kind of personal encouragement she received as part of the Compact—from her high school counselor and outreach from college students—with keeping her focused on the goal of going to college.

She achieved her dream in June 2011, graduating with distinction after earning a 3.8 grade point average. She is now earning her graduate degree in counseling at the University of San Diego.

“Working as a Compact Mentor made me realize this was what I am passionate about, helping students realize that it is possible to go to college,” said Marcela. “I did it, and they can, too.”

Back to top