The Financial Aid Office in the Student Services Building at SF State is pictured on Nov. 4, 2022. Financial aid services are available all weekdays for students in need of assistance. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tatyana Ekmekjian)
The Financial Aid Office in the Student Services Building at SF State is pictured on Nov. 4, 2022. Financial aid services are available all weekdays for students in need of assistance. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tatyana Ekmekjian

A revamped Middle Class Scholarship aims to support more students

A year-old budget agreement will now take place in the form of an improved Middle Class Scholarship.

November 10, 2022

Students will soon receive funds to help pay for tuition and their overall cost of attendance through the Middle Class Scholarship.

The SF State Financial Aid Office said via email that the state of California expects students to receive disbursements by the end of November.

Last year, a state budget agreement headed by the California Student Aid Commission included plans to revamp the Middle Class Scholarship, to aid UC and CSU students starting in the 2022-23 school year. 

Initially, the scholarship included students with a family income of up to $150,000. But the new implementation broadened to include students with a family income of up to $201,000. The scholarship will also add more recipients, including low‑income students receiving Cal Grants. 

To be eligible, students have to have completed either the Free Application For Student Aid or the California Dream Act application before the March 2 deadline.

Eligible students must also attend a UC or CSU, be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or meet the requirements for non-resident tuition exemption and maintain satisfactory academic performance. 

Marissa Mejia, the Assistant Director of Operations for the Office of Financial Aid, said that SF State sent a report of 14,000 students to be considered. 

“Currently, 10,000 students are being considered by CSAC as provisionally eligible for the program,” Mejia said.

Mejia said CSAC has updated many eligibility requirements for the scholarship and completed an examination of how the awards are processed in schools. 

“The Chancellor’s Office has been working hard to accommodate the system changes so that schools will be able to get money to students as soon as possible,” Mejia said.

According to the CSAC website, scholarship award amounts will vary by student and school.

The award amounts will be based on the cost of attendance for each school. 

There are three factors deducted from the total cost of attendance: 

  • Other available gift aid that the student is eligible for (i.e. federal, state, institutional or scholarship aid)
  •  A self-help student contribution of $7,898 (applied to all students). 
  • A parent contribution for dependent students with a household income of over $100,000. 

The factors are referred to as “available resources” to students.

The final MCS award amounts for the year will be based on the number of students eligible for the program statewide and the funding allocated by the State Budget.

Christopher Garcia, a second-year Psychology major, said he found out about the scholarship when he received an email from the CSAC website letting him know he was eligible. 

“At first, I thought it was a scam, but after I looked into more, I was like, ‘this is an actual thing,’” Garcia said. “

Garcia will be awarded $3,318, which is an increase to the aid he received last year. And now that he doesn’t have to pay as much tuition, Garcia plans to use more his income as a student assistant toward groceries and rent.   

“It helps more people get into college,” Garcia said. “The tuition here at State, it’s a lot, not outrageous compared to some other places, but when you start factoring in housing and food, the price goes way up. It’s a huge help for a lot of people.”

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About the Contributors
Photo of Luis Cortes
Luis Cortes, Staff Reporter
Luis Cortes (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in recreation, parks, and tourism. He was born in Mexico but grew up in Richmond, California, where he currently lives. He previously worked for The Advocate, the student newspaper of Contra Costa Community College. During his free time, Luis enjoys hiking, watching sports and listening to podcasts.
Photo of Tatyana Ekmekjian
Tatyana Ekmekjian, Staff Photographer
Tatyana Ekmekjian (she/her) is graduating this spring with a major in photojournalism and a minor in hospitality and tourism management at SF State. Tatyana has a great passion for the culture, industry and preparation of food. She hopes to express her passion for food through the medium of photography to further her success in the food and lifestyle industry.

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