New and Prospective Undergraduates

We encourage all students to apply for financial aid and scholarships even if they don't think they will be eligible. Financial aid is intended to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of an education beyond high school and to fill in the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. Although most grant awards are based on financial need, some loans and scholarships are available regardless of need.

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How to Apply: Overview

For entering freshman and transfer students, applying for aid at UC Merced is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Remember, UC Merced's school code for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application is 041271.

Fall Applicants

  1. Complete and submit the University of California Application of Admissions and Scholarships by Nov. 30.
  2. Complete and submit the FAFSA or you must qualify under the California Dream Act of 2011 and complete a California Dream Act application, and a Cal Grant GPA Verification form by March 2. If you miss the March 2 deadline, submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. Students will be considered for federal grants and loans at all times.
  3. Complete and return any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by June 1. [top]

Spring Applicants

  1. Complete and submit the University of California Application of Admissions and Scholarships by July 31 prior to the spring term.
  2. Complete and submit the FAFSA or you must qualify under the California Dream Act of 2011 and complete a California Dream Act application, and a Cal Grant GPA Verification form by March 2 of the year prior to the semester for which you are applying. If you miss the March 2 deadline, submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. Students will be considered for federal grants and loans at all times.
  3. Complete and return any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by Dec. 1 prior to the spring term. [top]

Applying For Scholarships

New students are automatically considered for all institutional scholarships administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by filing a FAFSA (citizens/non-eligible citizens) or California Dream Act Application by March 2. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, academic achievement or special talents and do not have to be repaid. Some scholarships are also awarded on the basis of financial need. [top]

Applying For Summer Aid

To apply for summer financial aid:

  1. Complete a FAFSA (citizens/eligible non-citizens) or California Dream Act Application for the most recent academic year (i.e., a 2015-16 FAFSA for Summer 2016), if you haven't already done so.
  2. Complete the Summer Financial Aid Web Application. The Summer Financial Aid Web Application is available beginning March of each year.
  3. Comply with any requests for additional information. [top]

Please visit summer session aid for more information.

Helpful Q&A's

Q: When will I receive my Admission and Financial Aid Award Offer notifications?
A:  Admissions and Financial Aid Award Offer notifications will begin in mid-March.

Q: How do I finalize my Financial Aid Award Offer?
A: Once you receive your Financial Aid Award Offer, please log into your https://my.UCMerced.edu  web portal to view your award offer and any outstanding checklist items.  The document submission deadline for all financial aid verification items is June 1, 2017.

Q:  What is AB540 status?
A:  AB540 is a California state law passed in 2001 that allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. Because AB540 status is authorized in state law, it is not directly affected by changes in federal policy. Support for the AB 540 law remains strong at the University of California and among California policy makers.

Q:  Who is eligible for an AB540 nonresident tuition exemption?
A:  Students (including undocumented students) who, for various reasons, are classified as nonresidents may be eligible if they meet certain criteria.