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California Middle-Class Scholarship

The Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS) program provides undergraduate students a scholarship to attend Cal Poly provided their family incomes and assets are at or below $177,000. Current annual awards range from $90-$2,298 or 10-40% of tuition. All California residents applying for financial aid are automatically considered for MCS.

Student Eligibility Requirements

To receive a MCS, you must meet the following criteria:

  • File the FAFSA or California Dream Application by March 2.
  • Be a California resident 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 and paying the CSU State University Tuition Fee.
  • 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.
  • Students may receive the MCS award for up to 12 quarter terms depending on Education Level when awarded.

How to Apply

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

Education Level Determination for Middle-Class Scholarships

The Middle-Class Scholarship has a lifetime eligibility limit which is established the first term you receive the grant. 

Cal Poly determines a student’s Education Level/Student Standing according to the number of quarter units earned, not the number of years a student has been attending. For the purposes of this calculation, earned units include transfer and Advanced Placement credit, in addition to Cal Poly units. This can differ from Academic Progress levels.

Education Level/Student Standing for MCS

Academic Level Quarter Units Earned
First-Year Fewer than 45 units
Sophomore 45 to 89 units
Junior 90 to 134 units
Senior 135 or more units