Scholarships are gift funds that are often awarded on the basis of financial need, merit, academic achievement, special talents, interest, or other criteria defined by the sponsoring organization or donor. Scholarship funds do not have to be repaid.
Federal regulations require that all financial aid awards a student receives cannot exceed the student budget or cost of attendance. This includes all forms of financial aid; Grants, Scholarships and Loans. It is possible, therefore, if a student is awarded a scholarship adjustments to their financial aid may be necessary to ensure that their total awards do not exceed the student budget or cost of attendance. In these cases, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will first attempt to reduce loans or work-study. Fellowships, grants or scholarships are only reduced as a last resort.
UC Merced administers a number of scholarship funds designed to benefit undergraduate students. These scholarships are provided through the generosity of UC alumni, friends of UC Merced, corporations, businesses, professional associations and UC Merced. These funds are specific to UC Merced students only.
There are excellent privately funded scholarships available to students and their families. These awards do not need to be repaid and are funded from a variety of sources including community organizations, local and national foundations, state and federal agencies, and private donors.
The Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS) which is awarded by the California Student Aid Commission provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, (who meet the family income and asset thresholds) a scholarship to attend the University of California. Award amounts are determined by the California Student Aid Commission and will consider any federal Pell Grant, Cal Grant, UC Merced Bobcat Grant, and any scholarships you have been awarded. If awarded it will be added to your financial aid awards and may cause some adjustments to loans and/or work-study.
The UC Regents’ Scholarship Program was established by the Regents of the University of California in 1962, and represents one of the highest honors awarded to a student at the University. Regents’ Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence, leadership and exceptional promise. Although the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office administers the UC Regents’ Scholarship Program on the UC Merced campus, financial need is not used as a criteria in the selection process. Financial need does, however, influence the actual dollar amount of the award. All incoming students are automatically considered for a UC Regents’ Scholarship and need not submit any additional information or applications.
In 1970, Assembly Bill 338, or the Alan Pattee Scholarship Act, was passed by the California Legislature. Under this act, an eligible University of California student who is a surviving spouse or surviving child of a deceased person who meets all of the eligibility requirements may be eligible for an exemption towards mandatory system-wide tuition and fees and mandatory campus-based fees.