Middle Class Scholarship Program

The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program provides funding to eligible undergraduates and to students pursuing a teaching credential who attend the University of California or a California State University.

How it works

Each year, the state of California allocates funding for the Middle Class Scholarship program. For UC students, this funding covers a portion of the cost of attending. To apply for the scholarship, you must:

  • Apply for financial aid. There are no separate forms required to apply for the Middle Class Scholarship Program, but you will need to apply for financial aid every year by the April 2 deadline.

Who’s eligible

New students, transfer students and returning undergraduate students at the University of California or California State University who meet the following requirements may be eligible:

  • California resident or have AB 540 status
  • Not in default on a student loan
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Have family income and asset levels, excluding equity in a primary residence and savings in retirement accounts, below the listed threshold for that year
  • File a FAFSA/California Dream Act Application by April 2nd. 

What to expect

The amount of your scholarship is based on your total available resources which are made up of the following:

  • Your “gift aid” amount (includes any federal, state or institutional grants and scholarships you receive).
  • Your “self-help” student contribution of $7,898 (for all students)
  • A parent contribution amount (for dependent students with a household income over $100,000).

The total amount of your available resources will be deducted from the cost of attendance to calculate the amount of your Middle Class Scholarship.

Award amounts can vary from student to student because each award is based on the student’s resources and their cost of attendance. If your family’s income and household assets are under the listed threshold and you qualify for this scholarship, the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and your UC campus financial aid office will let you know your scholarship amount.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Your award amount is calculated after you’ve been awarded any federal Pell Grant, Cal Grant and UC need-based grants.
  • Award amounts will vary by year based on available funding in the program.
  • Your award may change during the academic year if you receive other financial aid, such as scholarships.
  • You’ll be notified of your award by the campus.

Learn more about applying for financial aid »

Learn more about the Middle Class Scholarship program »