On July 1, 2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed historic legislation aimed at making higher education more affordable. Starting in the 2014-15 academic year, the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program would apply to undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000 and who attend a University of California or California State University campus.

Who qualifies for the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)?
New, transfer and returning undergraduate students to California State University or University of California with a family income of up to $150,000 may be eligible for the Middle Class Scholarship.

What are the requirements to receive a MCS?
You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have AB 540 status; not be incarcerated; not be in default on a student loan; be a California resident; maintain a 2.0 GPA; meet certain income and other financial aid standards; and attend a California State University or University of California campus.

Where do I apply?
You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or, if you do not have a social security number, go to www.csac.ca.gov and complete a California Dream Act Application.
When is the application period for the MCS?
You may begin applying January 1, 2014 for the 2014-15 academic year. Please check with your campus for priority deadlines.

How will I know if I’m selected to receive a MCS?
Submit your FAFSA. Make sure your GPA Verification is on file with the California Student Aid Commission. You will be notified after your final Middle Class Scholarship amount is determined. Be sure your current e-mail address is listed on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act application.

How much is the MCS?
Middle Class Scholarships are based on a sliding scale according to your family income. Scholarship amounts may vary by student and institution. The scholarship amount is limited to no more than 40% of the amount of your institution’s system-wide tuition.* Your award amount is determined after any other publicly funded, need-based student financial aid you may receive. Students whose families earn up to $100,000 per year are eligible for up to a 40% tuition/fee discount and students whose families earn up to $150,000 per year are eligible for no less than 10% tuition/fee discount.

The Middle Class Scholarship is being phased in over your years. For the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 academic years, the maximum amount of a student’s scholarship award shall be 35 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent, respectively, of the total scholarship award amount that the student would otherwise be eligible to receive. The final award amount will also be based on the number of students that are eligible for the Middle Class Scholarship and the amount of funding allocated by the State Budget.
Check back with the California Student Aid Commission for more information as these FAQs will be updated as needed.