FAQ: Everything you need to know about the Middle Class Scholarship

Filling in the blanks about scholarship expectation dates and eligibility


Alyssa Branum

D’Angelo Carias, a third year business major, in the library quad April 5, 2023. Carias said he dealt with delays receiving his Middle Class scholarship this semester. As a result, Carias said he was forced to take out a loan.

Anthony Dehzad

Students who receive financial aid at Sacramento State are eligible for the Middle Class Scholarship, a grant program funded by California that helps students satisfy their financial needs.

To address commonly asked questions about the Middle Class Scholarship, The State Hornet spoke with Tina Lent, the university’s director of financial aid and scholarships. 

Question: How can students determine eligibility for the Middle Class Scholarship? 

Answer: The aid package has eligibility requirements that include being enrolled in at least six units, being eligible for state aid, and having at least a 2.0 GPA, Lent said. 

Scholarship recipients must also be a United States citizen or meet the requirements for non-resident tuition. 

Q: How long does Middle Class Scholarship eligibility last?

A: Students can receive a Middle Class Scholarship for up to 4 years, according to the California Student Aid Commission.

Q: How much money is awarded through the Middle Class Scholarship? 

A: The amount of money a student can receive ranges and every student’s aid package looks different, Lent said.  

“This is a unique grant since a calculation has to be done with the student’s eligibility,” Lent said. “Some elements are considered, like their expected family contribution, their cost of attendance and, if they’re a dependent student, a percentage of their parents income. It’s a very detailed calculation.”

Q: When will the Middle Class Scholarship be awarded? 

A: Students should expect to receive their Middle Class Scholarship after the semester’s census date. Students should expect their scholarship after the fall census date of Sep. 25, while students in the spring should receive their scholarship after the census date of  Feb. 17.

These dates are also the deadline to drop classes without receiving a “W” on transcripts.

Q: Why would students experience delays receiving the Middle Class Scholarship?  

A: One of the main factors that led to the delay students faced receiving the scholarship is that the Middle Class Scholarship program was redone this year by the California legislature. 

“MCS 2.0 led to a long delay because we didn’t get the regulations on time and the systems had to be updated, ” Lent said. “This also led to a lack of communication from our department because we didn’t know when exactly disbursements were going out.”

The lack of communication was something students like fifth-year microbiology student Jeffrey Ibekwe said was stressful. He said he finally received his Middle Class Scholarship over spring break on March 29. 

“The school should be more transparent when it comes to discussing issues on scholarships,”  Ibekwe said. “We need better communication from the Bursar’s Office or anything relating to a student’s financial aid.”

Disbursement of the grant has been an issue for some students, like third-year business major D’Angelo Carias. Carias said he experienced a delay in his grant which led to him to pull out a $2100 loan to help pay for school and other expenses. 

“I had to wait to get my fall Middle Class Scholarship until the spring semester, ” Carias said. “This was a loan I didn’t need to pull out but since my grant was delayed, I wanted to have money for any costs I wasn’t expecting.” 

Q: How can students contact financial aid if there are issues receiving the Middle Class Scholarship?

A: Students can inquire about any financial aid problems at Sac State’s financial aid office located in the Student Service Center at Lassen Hall. The office is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or at (916) 278-1000 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.