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Direct Costs

Direct Costs

Direct costs are the items that you will receive a bill for, such as tuition/fees and on-campus food and housing, and university health insurance if you are unable to complete the health fee waiver. Your actual direct costs will vary depending on things such as whether you attend full or part-time, live on or off campus, etc. The UC Merced Undergraduate Direct Cost Worksheet can assist you in determining your direct costs.

Important Tips and Information

  • Data that is pre-filled into the worksheet is based on the  information our office currently knows about you (ex. housing/dining option, health insurance, etc). You can change the amounts to try different options and estimate your costs. 
  • Visit for information about health insurance and waiving UCSHIP.
  • Visit for current housing rates.
  • This worksheet calculates an estimation only. Many factors contribute directly to the amount you're billed and the amount of financial aid you receive. We try our very best to ensure that the information and data presented in the form is accurate and up to date. However, because choices, costs, and the amount of aid you receive is subject to change, this tool is intended for estimation purposes only.

Net Cost

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 is zero.

Cost of Attendance Adjustment

It is impossible to take into account all the situations in which people find themselves or all the consumer choices they make. Students with unusual documented expenses who feel that their "allowed" budget does not reflect their actual expenses can learn more about a Cost of Attendance Appeal here, 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).