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Terms & Conditions of Your Aid

When you accept the offer of financial aid in your award notice, you agree to accept and fulfill all the responsibilities associated with the awards. This page summarizes the Terms & Conditions established by federal regulations for financial aid.

Reporting Additional Resources

If you receive additional funds not listed on your award notice (scholarships, departmental awards, veterans' benefits, etc.), report them by logging onto UC Merced Connect, immediately to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS), even if you think that the office making the award will also advise us of them. Please see our Outside Scholarships page for further instructions.

If there is any change to your financial aid eligibility because of the additional assistance, you will receive email notification that you have revised awards available for your review at UC Merced Connect. Please note that whenever you receive additional assistance, your aid may be adjusted or reduced, even if your financial aid has already been disbursed to you.

Status of Previously Received Federal Aid

You must not be in default on any federal educational loans (meaning you failed to make your loan payments as scheduled). You also must not owe any refunds on federal grants that were overpaid to you from any other institutions.

Use of Financial Aid Funds

  • You may use funds listed on your award notice only for educationally related expenses incurred while attending the UC Merced for the respective academic year.
  • Some grants, such as the Cal Grant, have tuition and fees-only stipulations (they cannot be used for expenses other than tuition and fees).
  • The university applies your financial aid awards directly to charges on your UC Merced student account (including tuition, fees, housing and other charges). Funds in excess of these charges will be released to you (this is called a "refund"). If subsequent charges are made to your university account, it is your responsibility to pay them. See Disbursement of Your Financial Aid.
  • Financial aid does not apply to certain charges. Check your account balance at least once a month to be sure you do not have unpaid charges.

Enrollment and Attendance Requirements

Because we assume that you will enroll full-time, your financial aid cost of attendance budget includes a component for tuition at a full-time rate. You may enroll at less than full-time, but your financial aid will be adjusted. Some specific awards require full-time enrollment however you must be enrolled at least half time to be considered for any financial aid. You must be on an approved part time program with the Office of the Registrar to be enrolled in less than full time status and receive financial aid. Please visit the Special Programs section for more details.

If you decide to reduce your enrollment level, keep in mind:

  • If you enroll less than full-time but at least half-time (six units for undergraduates), financial aid will be adjusted appropriately. You will need to be enrolled in an approved part-time program with the Office of the Registrar.
  • Less than full-time enrollment not only reduces the amount of aid you are eligible to receive, it may affect your future aid eligibility and your satisfactory academic progress.
  • Some financial aid programs require full-time enrollment, so you could lose eligibility for those programs entirely if you reduce your enrollment level.
  • If you drop courses and fall below the minimum unit requirements, you may be required to repay all or part of the aid you received.
  • Courses for which you are wait-listed and classes that you are auditing are not included in your level of enrollment.

Dropping Classes and Withdrawal from UC Merced

The OFAS monitors enrollment levels (number of units taken) each term. If you are considering dropping a class, it is important to discuss your situation fully with a financial aid advisor prior to doing so. Adjustments to your financial aid are done based on the number of units you are enrolled in on the 15th day of instruction for fall and for spring terms and once adjustments are made they cannot be reversed.

If you withdraw or are asked to withdraw from the university, you must inform the Office Registrar's Office immediately. If you have received a federal student loan, you will be sent information on completing loan repayment exit counseling. Depending on when you withdraw, you might be required to repay all or part of the aid you received. See Withdrawing and Your Financial Aid.

Required Attendance

Please remember that enrolling in courses is not enough to secure your financial aid. You must also attend the courses in which you enroll. The OFAS is required to verify that students who receive a non-passing grade (any grade other than "A", "B", "C", or "D") in any class you began attending the class. For example, if you receive an "F" in a course, we will follow up to determine whether or not you attended the class.

Failure to attend can be expensive: your aid could be reduced retro-actively and you could be required to repay aid you have received. If you have any questions about your enrollment and eligibility for financial aid, please contact the OFAS for assistance.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain eligible for financial aid, students must make "satisfactory academic progress" toward completion of a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the OFAS monitor the progress of each student toward their degree completion. Students who fall behind in their coursework or who fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and institutional aid. See Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Studying Abroad and Financial Need

Depending upon the cost of the study abroad program in which you enroll, we may or may not be able to meet your full demonstrated financial need to attend the program. See Study Abroad Students for more information.

Funding for a Second Bachelor’s, Double Major or Dual Degree

Undergraduates who have already received a bachelor's degree will be eligible only for loans while they are pursuing additional majors or bachelor's degree(s). This includes students in double major or dual degree programs who have already met the requirements for one of their majors or degrees and are continuing their education toward the additional major or degree.