Middle Class Scholarships Are the State’s Next Largest Financial Aid Program

The state created the Middle Class Scholarship program in 2014?15 to provide partial tuition coverage for certain California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) students. Students qualify for the program if they have household income and assets under a specified ceiling ($191,000 in 2021?22). The maximum award under the original program is worth 40 percent of systemwide charges when combined with all other public financial aid. Awards are graduated downward as household income increases, with the minimum award set at 10 percent of systemwide charges. (Students do not receive an award if they already are receiving the same amount of tuition coverage through other financial aid programs, such as Cal Grants.) State law caps spending on the original Middle Class Scholarship program at $117 million annually and directs CSAC to prorate award amounts to remain under the cap, if needed.