Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP)
The Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan (MCAP) is an innovative financial aid program to help middle-class families pay for the cost of an undergraduate degree. For families whose gross income ranges from $80,000 to $140,000 annually and who have typical assets, the groundbreaking plan caps the contribution parents make toward the annual cost of a UC Berkeley student’s education at 15 percent of their total income. Please note that students who are not California residents will not be eligible for UC grants or scholarships, including MCAP grants, to cover their Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and Fees ($22,878 in 2013-14).
We encourage eligible families of both currently enrolled and prospective students to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if they wish to be considered for the Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan.
- To be eligible, you need to be a domestic dependent undergraduate student.
- Your annual family income needs to be between $80,000 and $140,000, with typical assets.
- You need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for MCAP aid, listing UC Berkeley (federal school code 001312).
- If you are eligible, MCAP will cap the contribution your parents make toward your annual cost of attendance at UC Berkeley at 15 percent of their total income. Families will still be responsible for Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and Fees or for any additional cost of attendance beyond the standard student budget.
- The minimum MCAP award for 2013-14 is $1,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
How will an MCAP award appear on my financial aid offer?
You will see your MCAP award on your Award Details page on MyFinAid. You will also see a special message on MyFinAid that you are participating in the Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan.
Will MCAP cover the cost of Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and Fees ($22,878 in 2013-14) for non-California residents?
No. Families of students who are not California residents will still be responsible for Nonresident Supplemental Tuition and Fees or for any additional cost of attendance beyond the standard student budget.
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 by considering all factors affecting the family’s overall financial situation and ability to pay.
More Questions? Contact us!