Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is just an estimate and includes ALL expenses to attend the university for one year, not just expenses paid directly to UC Merced. The COA includes average tuition/fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation expenses, and a health insurance allowance and varies depending on whether you live on-campus, off-campus or at-home with relatives. Your actual expenses may be different and most items are not paid directly to the university. The only COA items paid directly to the university are tuition/fees, on-campus room and board if you choose to live on campus and university health insurance if you are unable to complete the health fee waiver.
Standardized budgets are expressions of average costs. They are intended to provide sufficient funds to pay for educational expenses for most students in most circumstances. The UC Merced Undergraduate Direct Cost Worksheet(choose the auto calculate version or the print version) is for undergraduate students it can assist you in determining your direct costs.
If your housing status is expected to be different than what you listed on the FAFSA, submit an Adjustment to Housing Status form. Your housing status will be updated and financial aid awards will be reevaluated. Please go to How Do I Change My Housing Status for important information regarding timelines for award adjustments and information about which adjustments are done automatically.
Direct costs are those costs paid directly to the university and billed through your UC Merced student account. Direct costs are different from the estimated Cost of Attendance. The Cost of Attendance is an estimate of expenses and includes items not paid directly to the university. Direct costs typically only include tuition/fees and on-campus room and board, items that you will receive a bill for. Your actual direct costs will vary depending on things such as whether you attend full or part-time, live on or off campus, etc.
Net Cost is the amount of direct costs (items you are billed for) you must pay out-of-pocket that are not covered by your financial aid after financial aid is applied. Your net cost is always lower than the Cost of Attendance and in many cases, lower or nothing.
Listed below are the 2014-2015 standard costs of attendance for undergraduate California residents:  
Tuition/Fees* $13,160
Health Insurance $2,048
Room and Board $15,035
Books and Supplies $1,419
Personal Expenses $1,847
Transportation $582
TOTAL COST $34,091
Tuition/Fees* $13,160
Health Insurance $2,048
Room and Board $6,874
Books and Supplies $1,419
Personal Expenses $1,887
Transportation $1,419
TOTAL COST $26,807
At-Home w/ Relatives
Tuition/Fees* $13,160
Health Insurance $2,048
Room and Board $4,643
Books and Supplies $1,419
Personal Expenses $2,070
Transportation $1,640
TOTAL COST $24,980

*Tuition/Fees are subject to legislative and gubernatorial action and therefore, may change without notice. Non-California residents pay additional $22,878.00 in non-resident Tuition/Fees.  
The tuition, fees, and charges posted here are estimated based on currently approved amounts.  These figures may not be final.  Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by Regents of the University of California and could be affected by State funding reductions.  Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus a student's final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

It is impossible to take into account all the situations in which people find themselves or all the consumer choices they make. Students who feel that their "allowed" budget does not reflect their actual expenses should submit an Additional Expense Appeal.

If there are unusual documented expenses, the OFAS can sometimes allow a higher individualized budget. Whether additional financial aid can be made available to the student based on the revised budget depends on the availability of funds. Since scholarship and grant assistance is limited, an increase in the budget will usually be reflected in an adjustment to self-help financial aid (loans and/or work).