Middle Class Scholarship

On July 1, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation creating the Middle Class Scholarship program, aimed at making higher education more affordable to middle-income families.

For more information about the program, please visit the University of California Middle-Class Scholarship web page.

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Improving Access for Families

The Middle-Class Scholarship program is available for new, transfer, and returning undergraduate students, and students pursuing a teaching credential, with family income and assets up to $201,000 (subject to California State Budget Approval) for the 2022-23 academic year for those who attend a University of California campus.

To apply, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application by March 2. Also, we encourage you to submit GPA Verification Form to the California Student Aid Commission for Cal Grant consideration.

  • Scholarship award amounts will vary by student and by school. Award amounts will be based on the cost of attendance for the school of the student’s choice and the following program requirements: other available gift aid that the student is eligible for (i.e. federal, state, institutional, or scholarship aid), a self-help student contribution of $7,898 (applied to all students), and a parent contribution for dependent students with a household income of over $100,000. These three factors collectively, are referred to as a student’s “available resources.” These amounts are deducted from the student’s total cost of attendance to determine the MCS award. Under this formula, award amounts will vary widely among students, with each student’s award reflecting their costs and available resources.
  • The final award amount will be based on the number of students eligible for the MCS statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget.  Pursuant to Education Code section 70023, MCS award amounts may be reduced at any time during the academic year if is determined that the funds appropriated are insufficient to cover the cost of the projected MCS awards.
  • MCS awards are subject to change based on your enrollment level or changes in your cost of attendance and may be adjusted based on other aid offered.
  • The California Student Aid Commission requires that we adjust your Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS) based on your enrolled units as of the census date – which is the 5th week of instruction each semester.
    • Your term MCS award disburses in alignment with your enrolled units at the time of disbursement:
      50% of the award disburses for students enrolled between 6 – 8 units
      75% of the award disburses for students enrolled between 9-11 units
      100% of the award disburses for students enrolled in 12 or more units
    • At the fifth week of the term (census date) we are required to review your enrollment and adjust your MCS award to align with your enrolled units at that time.
      If your enrolled units increased after your MCS initially disbursed, you will see additional portions of your MCS disburse.
      If your enrolled units decreased after your MCS was initially disbursed, your MCS award will be reduced. This will result in an invoice for the reduced portion of your MCS award.
      Once your award has been aligned with your enrolled units, subsequent changes to enrolled units will not result in a change to your MCS award unless you withdraw or your enrollment is canceled.
    • We encourage you to consistently review the My Finances tab in CalCentral for updates to your financial aid and student billing account to review the changes and stay current on any adjustments to your MCS award that may result in an invoice for which you are responsible. You may also review and consider accepting other aid sources which will assist in resolving any invoices created by an adjustment to your MCS award.  You can also use the Award Comparison feature in CalCentral, which allows you to compare your current package to prior packages from the same award year by date, to identify changes to your current awards.
    • Note: MCS Award census adjustments may take up to 14 business days before your MCS award is updated in Webgrants and on your financial aid package.
  • If you submit a Family Contribution Appeal and there is an MCS award in your financial aid package, the scholarship is likely to be reduced 2-3 weeks after the Family Contribution Appeal is approved. This will result in a bill to you for the reduced scholarship. If you receive a refund from an approved Family Contribution Appeal, you will want to consider using part of the refund to cover the reduction in MCS.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding your MCS eligibility for the award year, please review your WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) account which provides secure and easy access to your awarding status.