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Disbursement of Financial Aid

Requirements for Receiving Your Aid


Financial aid is disbursed to your student billing account no earlier than 10 days prior to the first day of instruction. There are a number of tasks that you need to complete in order to make sure that your financial aid awards disburse in a timely manner.  Some of the top things you need to remember are listed below, but to see all of this important information review your Award Terms & Conditions MyFinancialAid at UC Merced Connect.

  • Complete All Outstanding Requirements — Be sure that every item on your MyChecklist is completed.
  • Course Units — Students must be enrolled full time (12 units for undergraduates and eight units for graduate students) on the 15th day of instruction in fall and spring terms (unless approved for part-time status).
  • Loan Promissory Notes and Entrance Counseling — If you are borrowing a student loan, complete and sign any applicable promissory notes for your loans. First-time, first-year Direct Loan borrowers and Grad PLUS borrowers must complete loan entrance counseling at Both of these requirements can be found on the MyChecklist at
  • Academic Holds — If there are any academic holds on your account, you must resolve them before your aid will be disbursed.

How Aid is Paid to Students (Disbursements)

  • Authorized Aid

Authorization is the first step in the disbursement process. You can think of this is as "pre-disbursement".  Aid will only authorize if a student's aid is ready to disburse. Aid authorizes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. The next step in the disbursement process will take place 10 days prior to the start of the semester.  

  • Grants, Scholarships and Loans

Grants, scholarships and loans administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships are applied directly to your UC Merced student billing account to pay charges for tuition, fees and on-campus meals and housing (if applicable).

  • Federal Work-Study Funds

Students who have applied for and are accepted into a Federal Work-Study job earn their Federal Work-Study funds by working in positions with eligible employers. Wages are typically paid bi-weekly through the employer's payroll system. For more information about the Federal Work-Study program, see Federal Work-Study

  • Outside Scholarships

Once the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships receives your scholarship check, it will be incorporated into your financial aid package within two weeks and an email notification detailing the adjustments will be sent to you. If the check is made payable to UC Regents or is co-payable to you and UC Regents and you have endorsed the check, the scholarship will disburse to your UC Merced student account just like any other form of financial aid (only after all requirements are satisfied, you are enrolled, no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of instruction, etc.) and will be split half in fall and half in spring, unless otherwise specified by the donor. 

For additional information about your account balance please visit our Student Account and MyBill page.
For additional information about your refund, please visit Student Billing & Cashiering Services.