About California Scholarship Federation

The California Scholarship Federation, was founded in 1916 by Principal Charles Seymour as a nonprofit organization whose mission is to recognize and encourage academic achievement and community service among secondary school students in California. CSF membership is awarded on a semester by semester basis. Students must meet certain academic requirements in order to earn membership in the CSF. Students earn membership in CSF if they apply and have earned 10 CSF points, calculated on the following scale:

  • A = 3 CSF points
  • B = 1 CSF point
  • C = 0 CSF points

Earning a D or F in any course, even if not counted for CSF, disqualifies the student from membership. An extra point is awarded for an A or a B in an AP, IB, or Honors-designated course. Courses taken must be on one of three CSF lists to qualify for consideration. Courses such as P.E., teacher assistant, office aide, or repeated courses do not earn any CSF points.

While academics encompass the majority of requirements for CSF membership, there is a service/citizenship component as well; poor citizenship or behavior may disqualify students from membership. Life Membership, also called Sealbearers, can be achieved by seniors who have been members for four of the last six semesters of high school.

The Awards

Seymour Memorial Awards

The Seymour Memorial Award, the highest CSF Scholarship given to high school students in the state of California,is available to a limited number of CSF Sealbearers. Candidates must be nominated by their CSF advisor. Each year, 50 finalists receive awards of $2,000 each, and five of these (one per region) each receive an additional $3,000 as the regional award recipient. Demonstrated excellence in both service and scholarship is key to a nominee’s selection.

Michelson Memorial Award

The Glenn Michelson Memorial Award was established in 2012.All senior CSF members may apply. Applicants must submit an essay describing how their participation in CSF exemplifies CSF’s motto of Scholars for Service. The winning applicant will receive $1,000.

Outstanding Sealbearer Awards

The Outstanding Sealbearer Award was established in 2015 to recognize graduating Life Members who demonstrate great potential but are overlooked in other awards, despite demonstrating financial need. Candidates must be nominated by their school’s CSF Advisors, and a committee of Board members selects one recipient for each region. That student will win $1,000. Nominees may not also be Seymour nominees, and must have already identified their post-secondary goals to qualify.