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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.  We encourage eligible families of both currently enrolled and prospective students to review the eligibility requirements below and complete a financial aid 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, 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 begining 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!