Middle Class Scholarship


Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)

For Undergraduates and Students Pursuing a Teaching Credential

The Middle Class Scholarship is for undergraduates and students pursuing a teaching credential with family income and assets up to $217,000.

2024-25 Middle Class Scholarship Income and Asset Ceilings

2023-24 Middle Class Scholarship Income and Asset Ceilings

2022-23 Middle Class Scholarship Income and Asset Ceilings

Ten things you need to know 

1. The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, with a scholarship to attend a University of California (UC), California State University (CSU) or California Community College Bachelor’s degree program. Students with family income and assets up to to $217,000 may be eligible.

2. Students must meet the following requirements: be a California resident attending a UC, CSU or CA Community College Bachelor’s degree program; be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or meet the requirements for non-resident tuition exemption*; 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. You may receive the MCS award for up to 4 years depending on education level when awarded.

4. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the CA Dream Act Application (CADAA) by the *March 2 state priority deadline. Students must reapply each year by the state priority deadline.

*Note: Due to the technical issues on the 24/25 FAFSA, the MCS deadline has been adjusted to July 2, 2024 for the 2024-25 academic year only. If you submitted a FAFSA or CADAA by this date and meet other requirements, you may be eligible for an MCS award.

5. After students submit the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, they are encouraged to establish a WebGrants 4 Students account to monitor their state financial aid. The WebGrants 4 Students website is secure and provides easy access to review their awarding status.

6. 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 students’ “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.

7. Final MCS award amounts for the year will be based on the number of students eligible for the program statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget. A percentage may be applied each year to ensure match the annual state appropriation for the program. Pursuant to Education Code section 70023, MCS award amounts may be reduced at any time during the academic year if it’s determined that the funds appropriated are insufficient to cover the cost of the projected MCS awards.

8. Need help completing your FAFSA or CADAA? Attend a free Cash for College workshop. Workshops are free and are available starting October 1st every year. Virtual and in-person workshops are available.

9. Students selected to receive an MCS award will be notified by the California Student Aid Commission, usually in July or August. Community College students, enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program, will be notified by their school at different times of the year, dependent on when MCS awards are processed.

10. If you need more information about this scholarship, contact your UC, CSU or CA Community College financial aid office or check your WebGrants 4 Students account.

*Non-resident tuition exemption requirements:

  • 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 or attained credits at a CA community college totaling 3 or more years, or a combination of any of the previous, totaling 3 or more years, AND 
  • You graduated or will graduate from a California high school or the equivalent by passing the General Education Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), or California High School Proficiency (CHSPE), or will have an associate degree from a CA community college, or fulfilled the minimum transfer requirements to transfer from a CA community college to a University of California or California State University, AND 
  • 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.