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

  1. The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS):
    • Is a program that provides undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000 and a maximum annual household asset amount of $150,000, a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.

  2. Students must meet the following requirements:
    • Be a U.S. citizens, permanent residents or have AB 540* student status; attend a UC or CSU; 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.

  3. Apply:
    • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or the California Dream Act Application at caldreamact.org. Students without a Social Security number (SSN) or with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) number must complete the CA Dream Act Application. Make sure your student email address is listed on the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application.

  4. Deadline to apply:
    • Is March 2.

  5. If your family earns up to $100,000 per year:
    • You may be eligible for a scholarship of up to 20 percent of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees. In 2017-18, the maximum scholarship award will be up to 40 percent of the mandatory systemwide fees and tuition.

  6. Students whose families earn between $100,001 and $150,000 per year:
    • May be eligible for a reduced scholarship of no less than 10 percent of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees.

  7. MCS scholarships are not set amounts and may vary by student and institution:
    • The award is determined after you are awarded any Federal Aid, State Aid and Institutional Aid for which you are eligible. The final award amount will also be based on the number of students eligible for the MCS statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget.

  8. To get assistance completing the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application:
    • Attend a Cash for College workshop January 1 thru March 2. Students must reapply each year. Visit Cash for College for locations.

  9. If you are selected to receive a MCS:
    • You will be notified by the California Student Aid Commission.

  10. Need more information about this scholarship?:
    • Contact your UC or CSU campus Financial Aid Office or check the California Student Aid Commissionís website for updates.

*Students need to meet the following Assembly Bill (AB) 540 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 of attendance at a California elementary or secondary school (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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