BERKELEY (CBS/AP) — The University of California, Berkeley is launching a new financial aid program for middle-class students.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau on Wednesday announced the Middle Class Access Plan to help roughly 6,000 California families earning $80,000 to $140,000.

The program caps the amount of money families contribute to their students’ educational costs at 15 percent of earnings. The university will cover the balance.

For 2011-2012, UC Berkeley students who live on campus spend about $33,000 a year, including almost $13,000 in tuition and fees. Nonresidents pay an additional $23,000.

When it starts next fall, the program is expected to cost $10 million to $12 million annually. The money will come from various sources, including increased revenue from nonresident tuition.

Currently, students from families earning below $80,000 don’t have to pay any tuition.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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