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Middle Class Access Plan

Designed to support non-resident middle-class families.The Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP) helps make an undergraduate degree affordable.

Do I qualify? If your family’s total income (taxed and untaxed) ranges from $80,000 to $150,000 annually, you may qualify for this program. The MCAP helps reduce your parents’ contribution toward your cost of attendance as a non-resident. This award is only available to undergraduate applicants.

If your family’s total earnings fall within $80,0000 - $150,000,  we encourage you to review the facts below and complete a financial aid application to be considered for MCAP. Feel free to contact us if you have any trouble filling out the required forms.

How is the maximum MCAP award determined?

Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP) The Breakdown In-State Cost of Attendance. The standard in-state cost of attendance determines the budget amount annually. This is the approximate total amount of aid available for awards. Student Contribution from Borrowing & Work. Subtracted from the cost of attendance. As a student, you are expected to make manageable contributions toward your educational expenses from borrowing and from earnings. For 2018/2019 this amount is $9,000.00. MCAP Family Contribution. Subtracted from the cost of attendance. This amount is 15% of your family’s total income reported. MCAP AWARD: This is the total MCAP award amount you may receive after your Student Contribution and MCAP Family Contribution are subtracted from the In-State Cost of Attendance. Please note that your actual award may vary based on the information you provide via the application.

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. Additionally, acceptance of Federal or State Aid may reduce reduce the MCAP award amount.

The Facts

Only domestic, non-resident, dependent undergraduate students are eligible. (NOTE: Continuing, dependent undergraduate California residents admitted prior to Fall 2018  will continue to be eligible for the MCAP award).

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 standard cost of attendance, excluding nonresident supplemental tuition, at 15 percent of their total income. 

The minimum MCAP scholarship for 2018-19 is $1,000 for the full academic year; $500 for one semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am a new, dependent California resident admitted for the 2018-19 academic year. Am I eligible for an MCAP award?

No. California residents, including AB 540 eligible students, admitted for the 2018-19 academic year are not eligible for MCAP funding. You may be eligible for California's Middle Class Scholarship (MCS).  


2. Are continuing, dependent California residents admitted before the 2018-19 academic year eligible for an MCAP award?

Continuing California residents, including AB 540 students, admitted prior to Fall 2018 and all domestic, non-resident dependent undergraduates that meet the MCAP eligibility criteria are considered for funding. Continuing California residents, including AB 540 students, may also be eligible for California's Middle Class Scholarship (MCS).  Note: Receipt of an MCS award may affect the amount of your MCAP award.


3. 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.


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

You will see your MCAP scholarship on CalCentral beginning in the 2018-19 school year. 


5. Will MCAP cover the cost of Nonresident Supplemental Tuition (estimated to be $28,992 in 2018-19)? 

No. Families of students who are nonresidents of California will be responsible for nonresident supplemental tuition.


6. 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!