The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program provides funding to help middle-class students attend the University of California or California State University.

Established on March 23, 1868, the University of California has ten campuses routinely ranked among the best in the world. The UC has 160 academic disciplines, 800-degree programs, five medical centres, and three national laboratories.

California State University delivers high-quality education at far below the average cost of public university education. Established in 1857, CSU has 23 campuses and eight off-campuses.

Brief Description
  • University or Organization: California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)
  • Department: NA
  • Course Level: Undergraduate
  • Award: MCS will cover between 10 per cent and 40 per cent tuition and fees
  • Access Mode: Online
  • Number of Awards: NA
  • Nationality: US Citizen
  • The award can be taken in the USA

What to expect

The Middle Class Scholarship program provides a scholarship to undergraduate students with family incomes between $80,000 to $177,000 with assets of $177,000 or less who attend a University of California or California State University campus.

Middle Class Scholarships will be based on a sliding scale according to family income. Scholarship amounts may vary by student and institution. The scholarship amount is limited to no more than 40% of the amount of University of California’s system-wide tuition. See frequently asked questions about the Middle Class Scholarship.


New, transfer and returning undergraduate students at the University of California or California State University with annual family income and household assets of up to $177,000 who also 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 asset levels, excluding equity in a primary residence and savings in retirement accounts, of up to $177,000
  • File a FAFSA/California Dream Act Application by March 2nd.

Final eligibility is determined by campus financial aid offices and may be adjusted based on other aid offered.


  • MCS grants are not set volumes and may vary by student and institution. Students can receive the MCS award for up to 4 years depending on education level when awarded.
  • If learner’s families have income and assets up to $177,000 per year, they can receive an award of not below 10% and no over 40% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at the UC and CSU (the University of California and the California State University).

Apply Here: Middle Class Scholarship
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