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What is the Middle Class Scholarship?

Tuition scholarship at the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU)

The California Dream Act Application allows students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

About the Middle Class Scholarship

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 and have family income and assets not exceeding $171,000.

Contact your campus financial aid office for more information or call 1-888-224-7268.


Beginning on October 1st, students may complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) at Use the California Dream Act Application if you do not have a Social Security number (SSN) or if you were approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Make sure your email address is listed on your FAFSA or CADAA. The deadline to apply is March 2nd. After you have submitted your FAFSA or CADAA establish a account to monitor your state financial aid. Students whose families earn up to $171,000 per year may be eligible for a scholarship of no less than 10% and no more than 40% of the mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at the University of California and the California State University.

The Middle Class Scholarship is for eligible families with income and assets of up to $171,000.

FAFSA/CADAA Application Period: October 1st through March 2nd

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • California Dream Act Application (CADAA)

Eligible Postsecondary Institutions

  • University of California (UC)
  • California State University (CSU)

Scholarship Award Amounts

  • No Less than 10% of System-wide Tuition and Fees
  • No More than 40% of System-wide Tuition and Fees

How are the scholarship amounts 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 or download our mobile app at for workshop locations. If you are selected to receive a MCS, you will be notified by the California Student Aid Commission. If you need more information about this scholarship contact your UC or CSU campus Financial Aid Office or check your account.

See if You’re Eligible

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • be a California resident attending a UC or CSU;
  • be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or have *AB 540 student status;
  • meet certain income/asset and other financial aid standards;
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress; not be in default on a student loan;
  • must not be incarcerated;
  • be enrolled in 6 or more units.

* AB 540 students are subject to the following qualifications:

  • 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 as set forth in AB 2000;
  • Graduate from a California high school or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED);
  • 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.

Eligibility for the MCS is limited to 4 years.