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California’s new scholarship program will help middle class

UC Merced students

Thousands of UC students are likely to benefit from California’s Middle Class Scholarship, a state program aimed at helping families with incomes of up to $150,000.

Thousands of UC students soon could receive a check to offset some of their college-related expenses through a new state program aimed at assisting middle-class families.

UC officials estimate that roughly 24,000 UC students qualify for funding through California’s Middle Class Scholarship, which was approved by the legislature earlier this year and will make its first contributions to eligible students this fall.

Targeted at families with incomes up to $150,000, the program is designed to shave a bit off the college tab for those who don’t qualify for other forms of need-based aid. UC students with family incomes below $80,000 who qualify for financial aid have systemwide tuition fully covered through the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, and often receive state and federal assistance.

“We know that many families who are just out of reach of need-based aid struggle to pay for their children’s education,” said Christopher Carter, director of student financial support at UC Office of the President. “This could really help.”

The scholarship is designed to be rolled out over four years, with the amount students can receive increasing progressively until the program is fully funded in 2017.

In its first year, eligible students will receive up to $1,700. That may not significantly reduce tuition, but it can defray costs such as textbooks and other expenses, said Kerry Franzetta, policy and program analyst for student affairs at UC Office of the President.

Once fully implemented, however, the scholarship could provide a far more significant contribution: 10 to 40 percent of tuition and fees, depending upon a student’s level of need.

Learn more from Nicole Freeling’s complete story, which includes links to the program application and information about other sources of student aid.

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