Middle Class Scholarship

The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) is a tuition scholarship to assist students in paying for part of their tuition fees at a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU). Students who receive a grant that pays for tuition are not eligible for the MCS program. The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) is available to eligible undergraduate and teaching credential students attending a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU). Students must meet all eligibility criteria.

Students whose families earn up to $191,000 per year* may be eligible for a scholarship of no less than 10% and no more than 35% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at the University of California and the California State University.

* Important Note: The California Student Aid Commission administer this program and determines the student's eligibility. Eligibility criteria are subject to change base on State Regulations. Please review information from CSAC website for eligibility

Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) FAQPDF File Opens in new window

How to Apply

Beginning on October 1st, students can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). The deadline is March 2nd. Established a webgrants4students.org account to monitor your state financial aid. 

Eligibility Requirements

The Middle Class Scholarship is for eligible families with income and assets of up to $191,000*

* Income and Asset amount is subject to change based on state regulation

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by March 2nd
  2. Attends a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU)
  3. Be a California resident attending a UC or CSU
  4. Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have *AB540 student status
  5. Meet certain income/asset and other financial aid standards
  6. Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  7. Not be in default on a student loan
  8. Not be incarcerated
  9. Be enrolled in 6 or more units
  10. AB 540 Students Are Subject to the Additional Qualifications (#11-16)
  11. Attend a California High School for a minimum of 3 years or
  12. Attain credits equivalent to 3 or more years of high school coursework and
  13. Have a combination of 3 or more years at a California elementary or secondary school as set forth in AB 2000
  14. Graduate from a California high school or Passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  15. Enrolled in an accredited and qualified California college or university
  16. If applicable, fill out an affidavit stating your intent to legalized your immigration status as soon as possible.
Award Amounts
Academic Year Minimum Award Maximum Award
2021 - 2022 $45/semester $1,005/semester
2020 - 2021 $45/semester $1,149/semester

The award amount is no less than 10% and no more than 35% of System-wide Tuition and Fees. Below is a chart of what CSUF Office of Financial Aid had awarded to eligible students.

Middle Class Scholarship Award Lifetime Limit

Students awarded the Middle Class Scholarship is limited to up to four years. The California Student Aid Commission determines your lifetime eligibility. 

How Is the MCS Amount Determined?

MCS scholarships are not set amounts and may vary by student and institution. The award 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  cash4college.org Opens in new window  or download our mobile app at  mobilegallery.ca.gov  for workshop locations. If you are selected to receive a MCS, the California Student Aid Commission will notify you. If you need more information about this scholarship, contact your UC or CSU campus Financial Aid Office or check your  webgrants4students.org Opens in new window  account.

When Will MCS Be Awarded and Disbursed?

Awards will be awarded and disbursed after census date. Final enrollment for a semester is measured at University Census, (the last day of the add period, which typically occurs on the fourth Friday of the semester).

Disbursement Requirement
Enrollment Status Number of Units Enrolled Percentage of Disbursed Amount
Full-Time & Three-Quarter-Time 7 or more units 100%
Half-Time 6 units Varies
Less-Than-Half-Time 1-5 units Not Eligible

Awards Will Be Delayed 'IF'

  • The student’s enrollment changes from Full-time to Part-time (All awards are based on Full-Time status)
  • There is a change on the original FAFSA application that was used to determine eligibility
  • The student is here for one semester (Fall only) or (Spring only)
  • Process can take 2-6 weeks to make adjustments on webgrants and award the student