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Helping Students Succeed

Fall 2020 FAQ's

Why has my financial aid award beeen adjusted? 

What is taken into consideration when determining Bobcat Grant eligibility? 

Since tuition will remain the same regardless of the mode of instruction (in-person, remote, hybrid), will financial aid be increased due to additional remote leaning expenses?

Who should I contact regarding my change of financial aid for the fall 2020 if I decided to do remote learning for the semester?

If we want to participate in work-study, how would it change on campus?

Why has my financial aid award been adjusted?

When we began posting 2020/21 financial aid offers in early March, most first and second year students were packaged with the assumption they would be living on campus in accordance with our two-year residency policy. Due to the pandemic, campus residency will now only be offered to those students for whom UC Merced is the best or only place to live while pursuing their education. Therefore, we have made the following adjustments to financial aid Cost of Attendance budgets for students living on- and off-campus:

  1. For students living on-campus, we revised your financial aid budget to reflect the double room rate (we normally use a weighted average rate of singles, doubles, triples, quads);
  2. For students living off-campus, we eliminated the At-Home/Commuter budget, and are only using an Off-Campus/Remote budget; and
  3. We added a $1,200 budget component to all On-Campus and Off-Campus budgets for anticipated remote technology expenses. This is to help cover the costs of remote learning at UC Merced. It will be up to you to determine how you will utilize funding from your financial aid package to meet your technological needs. 

Financial aid budgets reflect an estimate of the average total cost for a student to live and attend school. It also represents the maximum limit in combined aid (gift-aid and/or self-help aid) we can offer.

Please note, when your housing status changes so do your living expenses. We encourage you to utilize our Direct Costs Worksheet to determine your actual costs. This tool will pre-populate an estimate of your Direct Costs, as well as the amount of gift-aid you have been awarded. You can manually manipulate the costs and it will automatically recalculate. The Direct Costs Worksheet will help you determine if you will owe a balance or will be receiving a refund.

What is taken into consideration when determining Bobcat Grant eligibility? 

Bobcat Grants are determined based on a student's Cost of Attendance, family income and financial need and are impacted by the amount of a student’s federal and state grant eligibility, waivers, scholarships, and expected parent contribution. To qualify, students must meet the Financial Aid Application priority deadline of March 2 prior to the award year and the June 1 document deadlines.
 

Since tuition will remain the same regardless of the mode of instruction (in-person, remote, hybrid), will financial aid be increased due to additional remote leaning expenses?

Financial aid is awarded based on each student’s financial aid application data, and their Cost of Attendance, which includes: tuition & fees, as well as an estimate of room & board, books & supplies, transportation, and misc. personal expenses. If a students has additional expenses that are not included in their standard Cost of Attendance, they may complete a COA Adjustment form. . Also, if a student has experienced a recent reduction in their household income due to loss of employment, furloughs, disability, etc. they may complete a Special Circumstance Appeal.
 

Whom should I contact regarding my change of financial aid for the fall 2020 if I decided to do remote learning for the semester?

If a student decides not to live on campus, they should immediately cancel their housing contract through the housing portal. This action will update their housing status which the financial aid office will use to repackage awards. If the student is not living on campus, they will be repackaged with an Off-Campus/Remote budget. 
 

If we want to participate in Federal Work Study, how would it change on campus?

Federal Work Study is a program that provides funding for students to work on campus and earn up to the amount awarded.

  • You may work up to 18 hours per week while in school.
  • You will receive a paycheck every two weeks.
  • Wages vary by job.
  • It helps build your resume.
  • Work-Study earnings do not affect future financial aid eligibility.

If you would like to accept your Work-Study, you will need to log into your portal to accept the award, and then check the job postings at https://catpaws.ucmerced.edu and interview for the positions you are interested in. Jobs descriptions will indicate if they are remote or in-person. In-person positions will require the student to adhere to the campus policy and safety procedures related to the pandemic.