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Middle Class Access Plan

The Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP) is an innovative financial aid scholarship program to help middle-class families afford the cost of an undergraduate degree.

For families whose total income ranges from $80,000 to $150,000 annually and who have typical assets, the ground-breaking plan caps the contribution parents make toward the annual cost of a UC Berkeley student's education at 15 percent of their total income. Please note that students who are not California residents, although eligible for an MCAP award, will not be eligible for UC grants or scholarships, including MCAP scholarships, to cover their nonresident supplemental tuition and fees ($26,682 in 2016-17).

We encourage eligible families of both currently enrolled and prospective students to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application to be considered for the Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan.

Please note: UC Berkeley's Middle Class Access Plan is different from the State of California-sponsored Middle Class Scholarship. Receipt of a Middle Class Scholarship may affect your total Middle Class Access Plan scholarship award from UC Berkeley.

The Facts

Domestic, dependent undergraduate students are eligible.

Annual family income needs to be between $80,000 and $150,000, with typical assets.

To apply for MCAP aid, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application. Be sure to list UC Berkeley (federal school code 001312) on your FAFSA.

If you are eligible, MCAP will cap the contribution your parents make toward your annual cost of attendance at UC Berkeley at 15 percent of their total income. Families will still be responsible for nonresident supplemental tuition and fees or for any additional cost of attendance beyond the standard student budget.

The minimum MCAP scholarship for 2016-17 is $1,000 for the full academic year; $500 for one semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When will families know the exact amount of aid offered?

New students will receive their financial aid offers at the time of their admission. Continuing students will receive their financial aid offers in late spring.


2. How will an MCAP scholarship appear on my financial aid offer?

You will see your MCAP scholarship on CalCentral begining in the 2016-17 school year. (For prior years, visit MyFinAid). 


3. Will MCAP cover the cost of Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and Fees ($26,682 in 2016-17) for nonresidents of California?

No. Families of students who are nonresidents of California will still be responsible for nonresident supplemental tuition and fees or for any additional cost of attendance beyond the standard student budget.


4. What are "typical assets"?

Campus financial aid officials generally consider typical assets for middle-income families to be an adjusted net worth of less than $200,000. This usually reflects the total amount of money a family has in cash, savings, checking, investments, and equity in real estate other than the primary home, as well as business net worth. Not considered are primary home equity and formal retirement assets such as 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or Keogh accounts.

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office makes the final determination about each family's expected contribution and Middle Class Access Plan scholarship amount by considering all factors affecting the family's overall financial situation and ability to pay.


More Questions? Contact us!