California Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)

The Middle Class Scholarship program provides undergraduate students with family incomes and assets up to $165,000 a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.  MCS scholarships are not set amounts and may vary by student and institution.  The award is determined after you are awarded any federal, state and institutional need based grants for which you are eligible.  Students receiving federal or state grants or other benefits which pay the State University Tuition Fee would not be eligible for the MCS.  Current annual awards range from $90-$2,298.  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. 

Student Eligibility Requirements

  • To receive a MCS you must meet the following criteria:
    • File the FAFSA or California Dream Application by March 2nd
    • Be a California resident attending a UC or CSU in an undergraduate or credential program.
    • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have AB 540 student status.
    • Be enrolled at least Half-Time.
    • Not awarded federal or state grants or receiving other benefits which pay the State University Tuition Fee.
    • Meet certain income and other financial aid standards.
    • Be maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.
    • Not be incarcerated.
    • Not be in default on a student loan.


Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at or the California Dream Act Application at

If your family earns up to $110,000 per year:

You may be eligible for a scholarship of up to 40% of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees.

Students whose families earn between $110,001 and $165,000 per year:

May be eligible for a reduced scholarship of no less than 10% of the mandatory systemwide tuition and fees.


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