There is a scholarship (or many scholarships) out there for everyone. Every student has some skill, interest, experience, or characteristic that may make them an attractive candidate for one scholarship or another. And while we often refer to scholarships as “free money,” scholarships don’t actually come for free. It takes work to thoughtfully consider your strengths and research the scholarships that might be most appropriate for you. While the effort that goes into finding and winning scholarships may be akin to a part-time job, we at College Coach want to make your job a little easier. This on-going scholarship series highlights a new scholarship each week. Check out the below, along with the other posts in the series, and you may discover a funding resource that will make covering that college bill a little (or a lot!) easier.

While wealthy families can afford college and poor families often qualify for significant financial aid, middle income families often feel stymied by the college financing process. In 2014, however, the state of California created the Middle Class Scholarship in order to help families of undergraduate students make public colleges more affordable. Californians whose incomes do not exceed $177,000 and whose children plan to attend either a University of California or Cal State campus will be considered for funding.

Scholarship: California Middle Class Scholarship

Awarding Organization: California Student Aid Commission

Amount: Reduces tuition 10% to 40%, depending upon family income.

Eligible Students: Students who complete the FAFSA on or before March 2nd and meet the income guidelines will be considered for monies. Students who qualify for the California Dream Act are also eligible. Additionally, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Maintain 2.0 GPA
  • Not have a prior bachelors or professional degree
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Selective Service Registration (males)
  • Not currently incarcerated
  • Not in default of student loan debt

Eligible College(s): University of California and California State Universities

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

Deadline: March 2nd


Best of luck, and please see the awarding organization’s website for full scholarship details and requirements.




Written by Beth Feinberg Keenan
Beth Feinberg Keenan is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Before joining College Coach, Beth worked as a Senior Financial Aid Officer at Northeastern University. Visit our website to learn more about Beth Feinberg Keenan.