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Helping Students Succeed

FAQ

What will happen to my financial aid if I withdraw before the semester ends?

Federal regulation mandates that students who withdraw from all classes may only keep the financial aid they have "earned" up to the time of withdrawal. Title IV funds in excess of the earned amount must be returned, which could result in your owing money back to UC Merced. You can read more about that process here. Withdrawing may have other impacts too, like on loan repayment and Satisfactory Academic Progress. We highly encourage any student considering withdrawing to contact us to discuss how leaving UC Merced may impact your grant aid, loan repayment and eligibility for future financial aid.

My family’s income from 2019 does not reflect our current income, can your office consider me for additional financial aid?

If the income you reported using 2019 income tax information does not reflect your family’s current situation, you may be eligible to submit a Special Circumstance Appeal with our office. Special circumstances include loss of employment, other loss of income, disability or retirement, among others. This appeal will help our office re-evaluate your financial aid award package. Submitting all required documents for an appeal does not guarantee that financial aid awards will change. Please visit this page to learn more about the process.

We highly encourage you to speak with a financial aid advisor before starting the appeal process. You can contact our office by calling 209-228-7178.  

The amount I was awarded is not enough to cover my expenses. Is there any additional aid I can receive?

All students are automatically awarded the maximum amount of financial aid based on their eligibility, which almost always includes some loans. If you have not already, you may log into your UC Merced Portal to review and accept the loans that have been offered to you in your name. We encourage you to make the most thoughtful, informed decisions when determining which loan is best for you. Check out the following resources:

Most students need to accept at least a portion of offered loans to help with educational exepnses. If you have already accepted your loans and still have an outstanding balance, consider utilizing the Deferred Payment Plan offered through Student Business Services.

How will my financial aid change if I move on or off campus?

Your Cost of Attendance (COA) is based on your living situation (On-Campus, Off-Campus, or At Home). Since financial aid is awarded up to the COA, when your living situation changes your financial aid will be adjusted to meet your new COA.

Who is my parent when I fill out my FAFSA?