Ten Things you Need to Know About California's Middle Class Scholarship

  • The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, with family incomes and assets up to $156,000 a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.
  • Students must meet the following requirements: be a California resident attending a UC or CSU; be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have AB 540* student status; meet certain income/asset and other financial aid standards; maintain satisfactory academic progress; not be in default on a student loan; and, must not be incarcerated.
  • Eligibility for the MCS is limited to 4 years.
  • Beginning on October 1st, students may complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) at www.caldreamact.org. Use the California Dream Act Application if you do not have a Social Security number (SSN) or if you have a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) number. Make sure your email address is listed on your FAFSA or CADAA. The deadline to apply is March 2nd.
  • After you have submitted your FAFSA or CADAA establish a www.webgrants4students.org account to monitor your state financial aid.
  • Students whose families earn between $104,001 and $156,000 per year may be eligible for a scholarship of no less than 10 percent and no more than 40% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at the University of California and the California State University.
  • MCS scholarships are not set amounts and may vary by student and institution. The award is amount is determined after you are awarded any federal, state, and institutional need-based grants for which you are eligible. 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.
  • To get assistance completing the FAFSA or CADAA, attend a Cash for College workshop in your community beginning on October 1st but before the March 2nd application deadline. Students must reapply each year. Visit www.cash4college.org or download our mobile app at www.mobilegallery.ca.gov for workshop locations.
  • If you are selected to receive a MCS, you will be notified by the California Student Aid Commission.
  • If you need more information about this scholarship contact your UC or CSU campus Financial Aid Office or check your www.webgrants4students.org account.

*AB 540 students are subject to the following qualifications:
  • Attend a California high school for a minimum of 3 years or attain credits equivalent to 3 or more years of high school coursework and have a combination of 3 or more years at a California elementary or secondary school as set forth in AB 2000.
  • Graduate from a California high school or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED);
  • Enroll in an accredited and qualified California college or university; and,
  • If applicable, fill out an affidavit stating your intent to legalize your immigration status as soon as possible.
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