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    University of California Merced
   
 
  Oct 23, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Catalog

Financial Aid and Scholarships


Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Kolligian Library 122
Phone: 209-228-7178
Email: finaid@ucmerced.edu
Web: financialaid.ucmerced.edu
Mail: Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships   
        5200 N. Lake Road
        Merced, CA 95343

UCM School Code: 041271

Other important web addresses:
Website: FAFSA: www.fafsa.ed.gov
Website: CSAC:  www.csac.ca.gov

 

 

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships strives to make a college education affordable for all students regardless of their families’ financial situations. While students are expected to contribute a certain amount toward their education, UC Merced offers a number of financial aid and scholarship resources to assist students in meeting their educational expenses. (Exceptions: The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships does not have funds available to offer assistance to students on special or limited status or students enrolled in University Extension.)

All students, regardless of family income, are encouraged to apply for financial aid. About 90 percent of UC Merced undergraduate students received some form of financial assistance. Financial aid is intended both to remove financial barriers for families who cannot afford the cost of a higher education and to fill in the gap for families who can afford only part of the cost. A number of factors in addition to family income are considered in determining your financial eligibility, including household size and the number of family members in college. Although most grant awards are based on financial need, some loans and scholarships are available regardless of need.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is dedicated to helping students and their parents understand the financial aid opportunities available as well as the criteria used in determining eligibility for the various financial aid programs available at UC Merced. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships welcomes your questions and is here to provide services and guidance that will contribute to your educational experiences at UC Merced. If you have questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact our office or the Students First Center for assistance.


How to Apply

Students applying for financial aid from UC Merced, the Federal Government and/or the state of California must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application.

For faster and more accurate filing, students can apply for financial aid online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or www.csac.ca.gov. The FAFSA or California Dream Act Application as well as the Cal Grant GPA Verification form should be completed and submitted as soon as possible after October 1st and no later than March 2nd. If the March 2nd deadline has already passed, some funding may still be available. Apply as soon as possible! We receive and process financial aid applications throughout the year and students will be considered for Federal Grants and Loans at all times. A financial aid advisor is available to assist students and parents with the financial aid application and award process, and can review special circumstances that may affect eligibility. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for assistance.

New Students (citizens or eligible non-citizens eligible to file a FAFSA):
  1. Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a GPA Verification form by March 2nd.
  2. Complete and return any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by June 1st.
New Dream Act Students (undocumented students not eligible to file a FAFSA):
  1. Complete and submit the California Dream Act Application and a GPA Verification form by March 2nd.
  2. Apply for and qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption.
  3. Complete and return any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by June 1st.
Continuing Students (citizens or eligible non-citizens eligible to file a FAFSA):
  1. Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2nd.
  2. Complete and submit a Continuing Student Scholarship Application by March 2nd.
  3. Complete and return any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by June 1st.
Continuing Dream Act Students (undocumented students not eligible to file a FAFSA):
  1. Complete and submit the California Dream Act Application by March 2nd.
  2. Complete the Continuing Student Scholarship Application by March 2nd.
  3. Complete and return any additional documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by June 1st.
Summer Session (all students):
  1. Complete either the FAFSA (citizens/eligible non-citizens) or California Dream Act Application (undocumented students) for the most recent academic year (i.e. 2016-17 FAFSA for summer 2017), if you haven’t already done so.
  2. Complete the Summer Financial Aid Web Application in March of each year.
  3. Comply with any requests for additional information.
     

Types of Financial Aid

Students who receive financial aid may receive funds from one or more of the following sources: scholarships, grants, loans and work-study.

Scholarships

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. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, academic achievement or special talents and do not have to be repaid. Some scholarships are also awarded on the basis of financial need.

New Students:

For new students, one application does it all! All incoming students are automatically considered for all institutional scholarships administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships simply by submitting a FAFSA (citizen/eligible non-citizens) or CA Dream Act Application (undocumented students) by March 2. New students must have at least a 3.25 GPA to be considered for most scholarships.

Continuing Students:

Continuing students must submit a FAFSA (citizens/eligible non-citizens) or CA Dream Act Application (undocumented students) AND a Continuing Student Scholarship Application by March 2 at finaidapps.ucmerced.edu. Continuing students must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA as of the end of the prior fall semester to be considered for institutional scholarships.

Following is a partial list of scholarships that are administered through the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and awarded to new and continuing students through the application process explained above:

* UC Regents’ Scholarship
AARP Merced Chapter #282 Scholarship
* Bank of America Management Scholarship
* Beverlee Sieghold Antoine Endowed Scholarship
* Caroline L. Adams Endowed Scholarship
* Dream Act Scholarship
* Ernest S. and Bettine Kuh Scholarship
* Floyd Family Foundation Scholarship
* Frances M. Benton Scholarship
* Gateway Scholarship
* Grossman Family Endowed Scholarship
* Jefferson Jennings Doolittle Scholarship
* John C. “Jack” Pjerrou Endowed Scholarship
* Ken and Midge Riggs Endowed Scholarship
* Kris-Tangella Academic Excellence Endowed Scholarship 
* Leon O. and Diana Chua Scholarship
* Louis P. Gonella Scholarship
* Lucia R. Myers Endowed Scholarship
* Merced County Association of Realtors Scholarship
* Merced Mall Regional Shopping Center Scholarship
* Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union (MSEFCU) Scholarship
* Michael and Arlene Colvin Scholarship
* Minnie Andow CalTeach Scholarship
* Pamela Ann Stahl Scholarship
* Paramount Farms Scholarship
* Professor Roland Winston Scholarship
* Ray and Joan Dezember Scholarship
* Rose R. Ruiz Scholarship
* Ruth Solomon Hoffman Scholarship
* Speck Family Scholarship
* Stephanie Rae Tomford Endowed Scholarship
* Stephen D. Peterson Endowed Scholarship
* Steve and Mia Kang Scholarship
* Theodore and Doris Koerner Scholarship
* UC Merced Donor Scholarship
* UC Merced Employees’ Scholarship
* Wally Coats Scholarship
* Wells Fargo Scholarship for High School and Transfer Students
* Wendy Leone Olson Endowed Scholarship
* Westly Foundation Alumni Scholarship
* Wishek Family Scholarship

Grants

Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need and do not have to be repaid. The Federal Government provides funds for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants. The State of California also offers grants to qualified undergraduate students (Cal Grants A and B). In addition, grant funds are provided by the University of California.

Federal Pell Grants

To be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, be enrolled as undergraduates, have not previously received a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate financial need. The amount you receive depends on your financial need as determined by completing the FAFSA.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants

These are need-based grants provided to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to post-secondary education. Priority is given to students with exceptional financial need.

Cal Grants

To be eligible for a Cal Grant award, applicants must be California residents or meet the eligibility criteria for AB 540, demonstrate financial need and meet appropriate deadlines. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) administers the Cal Grant program. Go to the CSAC website at www.csac.ca.gov for more information.

Cal Grant A awards are based on financial need and academic achievement. This grant pays the majority of University fees.

Cal Grant B awards are based on financial need and are for entering undergraduate students, primarily from low-income backgrounds. Cal Grant B pays a stipend each semester for living expenses for first-year students, and the majority of University fees plus a stipend each semester for living expenses for students in their second through fourth years. It is UC Merced’s policy to apply the stipend portion of your Cal Grant B award to fees first. If you would like the stipend to instead be refunded to you, please contact our office.

University Grants

The University of California returns a portion of all tuition revenue to financial aid programs. UC Merced uses this funding to provide a need-based institutional grant program (Bobcat Grants) to eligible students. The grant program strives to ensure that all students who are eligible to attend the University of California, Merced, have the financial resources to do so.

Loans

Loans are financial aid awards that require repayment. They offer the opportunity to defer the cost of your educational expenses by borrowing now and repaying later. While some loan programs are based on financial need, there are loan programs available to all students regardless of income. Loan programs available through UC Merced are federally funded, providing long-term, low-interest loans.

The State of California requires that students be told the following: Federal student loans are available to most students regardless of income and provide a range of repayment options including income-based repayment plans and loan forgiveness benefits, which other education loans are not required to provide.

Direct Student Loans

Federal Stafford Loans are guaranteed, low-interest loans for students. UC Merced participates in the Direct Loan program meaning that the Department of Education provides the funding for this federal loan program.

Direct Subsidized Student Loan: The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school and for six months after the student graduates or ceases to enroll at least half-time working toward a degree.

Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan: The student is responsible for paying interest while in school, but can defer any interest payment until after graduation or ceasing to be enrolled at least half-time working towards a degree.

Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

A Federal PLUS Loan is a low-interest loan for biological or adoptive parents to borrow to help pay the educational expenses for their dependent student. The parent must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a good credit history. The dependent student must also be eligible to receive federal financial assistance. Like the Federal Stafford Loan, the Department of Education provides funds for the Federal PLUS program.

The parent may borrow up to the school’s cost of attendance, minus any aid the student received. Different repayment options are provided by the Department of Education and are designed to provide flexibility in meeting repayment obligations.

Federal Work-Study

Students who are awarded a Federal Work-Study award are given the opportunity to earn money by working part-time. The Federal Work-Study award is NOT a guarantee of employment. Students will need to apply for and be hired into a Federal Work-Study position.

Similar to a regular job, students are paid twice a month for the hours they work. This money may be used for any educationally related expenses that occur throughout the year. Students may only earn up to the amount they were awarded. Students are not obligated to accept their Federal Work-Study award. A student may choose to participate in the program by accepting or declining the work-study award on-line at: my.ucmerced.edu.

The Center for Career and Professional Advancement is available to assist students in finding a Federal Work-Study position.


General Eligibility Requirements

Federal financial aid programs are subject to regulations that define the criteria students must meet to qualify and maintain eligibility for those programs. The regulations state that a student must:

  1. be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen of the U.S.;
  2. be accepted for admission to the University;
  3. be enrolled in good standing at the University (units taken through University Extension are not counted toward half- or full-time enrollment);
  4. demonstrate financial need (except for Federal Unsubsidized Loans and Federal PLUS Loans);
  5. maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid, as outlined below;
  6. be registered for the selective service if the student is a male at least 18 years old, born after December 31, 1960, and not on active duty with the armed forces; and
  7. not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal educational loan.

Please note: Financial need is the difference between the reasonable, approved expenses of attending UC Merced and all available resources, including the expected contribution from parents, the student and any outside aid.

Full-time Enrollment

Students not enrolled in an approved part-time program are expected to enroll full-time at the university. Students not enrolled full time by the 15th day of instruction each semester may have to pay back some of their financial aid.


Satisfactory Academic Progress

Undergraduate Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility, students must meet four standards: a GPA requirement, a pace requirement, a minimum cumulative unit requirement and a maximum time-frame requirement.

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, he or she will be notified that he or she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met.

Because SAP is monitored annually at the end of the spring term, the first term of ineligibility will typically be the following summer or fall term. Students pursuing a double major or second baccalaureate degree will be held to the same standards as all other students.

Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if the student subsequently meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; or the student successfully appeals and his or her aid is reinstated. A student who has financial aid eligibility reinstated as the result of an appeal is placed on SAP probation and becomes subject to the terms of an academic plan. All work performed to regain eligibility under this SAP policy must be completed at UC Merced.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) will evaluate whether the student is adhering to the plan on a term-by-term basis. If the student has made up all deficiencies, he or she will no longer be considered on probation and instead will be considered an eligible student meeting the SAP requirements.

Appeals are only accepted one time per year, at the end of spring semester.

Requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress

The following requirements for satisfactory academic progress for receipt of financial aid apply to all applicants for any financial aid awards administered by the UCM Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. These requirements are separate and distinct from UC Merced’s policy regarding satisfactory academic progress set by The Office of the Registrar. Note: Some funds have higher academic and/or enrollment requirements.

Qualitative Measurement

An undergraduate student will be ineligible for aid unless an appeal is approved if one of the following occurs:

•    The student’s cumulative University of California grade point average is less than 2.0.

Pace Requirement

All undergraduates must complete at least 66.6 percent of the units attempted each year to keep pace toward graduation.                               

STUDENT’S PACE = UCM Completed Units + Accepted Transfer Units
                               UCM Attempted Units + Accepted Transfer Units

  • The number of attempted units counted in the formula reflect the units attempted as they appear on the student’s transcript.
  • Units granted for AP and IB coursework are excluded; college level units earned by the student while still enrolled in high school are included.
  • All transfer credits UC Merced accepts toward a student’s program are included in the pace calculation, both as attempted units as well as completed units.
  • Units for the following grades will not be counted as completed units toward meeting the pace requirement for undergraduate students: F (failure), I (incomplete), NP (not pass), U (unsatisfactory), W (withdraw), NR (no grade reported).
  • These pace calculations include all completed and attempted units from the academic year’s summer term.
  • If a student repeats a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count; subsequent repeats will not. This does not apply to courses that are repeatable for credit (i.e. independent study courses).
  • Required remedial courses will count toward the graduate pace requirement.

Quantitative Measurement (minimum unit requirement)

Undergraduate financial aid applicants must comply with the following minimum unit requirements by the end of each academic year.
 

STATUS OF STUDENT UNITS REQUIRED
1 year attended - full time    24
1 year attended - part time  12
1 year attended - 1 full time term/1 part time term 18
1 term attended - full time 12
1 term attended - part time 6

Units for the following grades will not be counted as completed units toward meeting the unit requirement for undergraduate students: F (failure), I (incomplete), NP (not pass), U (unsatisfactory), W (withdraw), NR (no grade reported).

Transfer courses and required remedial courses will count toward the undergraduate student unit requirement. Only the transfer units earned during the academic year for which the Financial Aid SAP processing is being run will count.

Maximum Time-Frame Requirement

All undergraduate financial aid applicants exceeding the following year limits will be ineligible for financial aid consideration. Students will not be granted additional years of eligibility solely by reason of changing their field of study (major) or pursuing more than one major or a minor. Students are allowed up to six years of financial aid eligibility, depending on their class standing when they are admitted. The initial class level is assigned by the Office of Admissions, based on transfer credits accepted, including Advanced Placement units.

  • Terms in which the student withdraws are counted toward a student’s maximum year limit.
  • Terms in which the student did not receive aid are counted toward the maximum year limit.
  • Maximum Time-frame measure also includes all of the bulleted items under the Pace Requirement section.
GRADE LEVEL AT ENTRANCE:  NUMBER OF YEARS OF ELIGIBILITY:
Units Accepted For Transfer At Entrance Academic Year Standing
0-29 1
30-59 2
60-89 3
90-119   4
120+ 4+

 

ACADEMIC YEAR STANDING         YEARS OF ELIGIBILITY
1 6
2 4.5
3 3
4+ 1.5
  •  Every term in which the student was enrolled with official part-time status is counted as a quarter-year of eligibility used.
  • Summer terms attended are counted when determining if a student has reached the maximum year limit. If a student attempts more than 9 units in summer, he will have used one half-year of eligibility. If a student attempts 9 or fewer units in summer, he will have used one quarter-year of eligibility.
  • Accepted transfer units taken between (non-concurrent) enrollment at UC Merced will be added to the total number of transfer units the student has and will be used to determine remaining years of eligibility.
  • Units taken while concurrently enrolled at UC Merced do not count as a separate year of eligibility.
  • Students acquiring a second bachelor’s degree will have up to two years of additional eligibility.
  • Title IV financial aid eligibility (no institutional aid will be awarded), not to exceed eight years (six years of Title IV eligibility for the first bachelor’s and an additional two for the second bachelor’s).
Appeal Process for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, he or she will be notified that he or she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met.

Because SAP is monitored annually at the end of the spring term, the first term of ineligibility will typically be the following summer or fall term. Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if the student subsequently meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; or if the student successfully appeals and his or her aid is reinstated.

Undergraduate students wishing to appeal must submit a UC Merced SAP Appeal to the UC Merced Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The appeal form is available online and instructions are sent to all students who do not meet the SAP standards.

All appeals must state the reason(s) for failing to meet the SAP requirements. Students must demonstrate some type of extenuating circumstances during the term(s) in question that hindered academic performance, such as prolonged hospitalization, death or extreme sickness in the family, etc. Supporting documentation of these extenuating circumstances must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship once the appeal has been submitted electronically.

Furthermore, students must submit, as part of the appeal, information regarding what has changed that would prevent a recurrence and would now allow them to reestablish the satisfactory academic requirements by the conclusion of the outlined time frame.

As part of the appeal, students must propose how they will make up their deficiencies:

  • If deficient in units, what they will do to ensure they pass the minimum number of units the following academic year to meet the minimum unit or pace requirements by the conclusion of the plan;
  • If deficient in GPA, the minimum GPA required for each future term to eventually meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement by the conclusion of the plan;
  • If maximum number of terms of eligibility has been reached, the number of additional future terms required to complete degree requirements.

In all circumstances, students must report which future terms of enrollment will be required to complete any and all academic deficiencies.

Academic advisers will review and suggest academic plans for each appeal submitted. By suggesting a plan, an adviser ensures that, if followed, the plan will permit the student to meet the SAP requirements at the end of the plan’s duration.

Deadline dates for each term are published annually on the financial aid website. Appeals will only be considered once per academic year for all students notified that they must complete the appeal process.  If students notified do not meet the appeal deadline, they can submit a request in writing to the Office Financial Aid and Scholarships for consideration of a late appeal.  Once received by the aid office, the appeal is reviewed for completeness.

Applications will be considered incomplete until satisfactory documentation is received. An email is sent to the student with instructions to submit the documentation to the OFAS. Once accepted, appeals will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee.

If the appeal is denied, the student will be informed via email letter that the decision is final and no subsequent review of the appeal will be permitted. If the appeal is approved, students will be sent an email notifying them to log into their SAP Appeal to view and accept the terms and conditions of their appeal.  Note: if the terms and conditions are not accepted a student’s financial aid will not disburse.

Graduate Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

In order to maintain satisfactory academic progress for financial aid eligibility, students must meet four standards: a GPA requirement, a pace requirement, a minimum cumulative unit requirement and a maximum time-frame requirement.

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, he or she will be notified that he or she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met.

Because SAP is monitored annually at the end of the spring term, the first term of ineligibility will typically be the following summer or fall term. Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if the student subsequently meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; or if the student successfully appeals and his or her aid is reinstated.

A student who has his or her financial aid eligibility reinstated is placed on probation and becomes subject to the terms of an academic plan.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) will evaluate whether the student is adhering to the plan on a term-by-term basis. If the student has made up all of his or her deficiencies, he or she will no longer be considered on probation and instead will be considered an eligible student meeting the SAP requirements.

Requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress

The following requirements for satisfactory academic progress for receipt of all Federal Title IV financial aid apply to all applicants. These requirements are separate and distinct from UCM’s policy regarding satisfactory academic progress set by the Graduate Division or the Schools. Note: Some funds have higher academic and/or enrollment requirements.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement

Graduate students must have at least a 3.0 GPA at the conclusion of the spring term each academic year.

Pace Requirement

All graduates must complete enough at least 66.6 percent of the units attempted each year to keep pace toward graduation.

STUDENT’S PACE = UCM Completed Units + Accepted Transfer Units
                               UCM Attempted Units + Accepted Transfer Units
 

  • The number of attempted units counted in the formula reflect the units attempted as they appear on the student’s transcript.
  • All transfer credits UC Merced accepts toward a student’s program are included in the pace calculation, both as attempted units as well as completed units.
  • Units for the following grades will not be counted as completed units toward meeting the pace requirement for undergraduate students: F (failure), I (incomplete), NP (not pass), U (unsatisfactory), W (withdraw), NR (no grade reported).
  • If a student repeats a previously passed course, only the first repeat will apply toward the completed unit count; subsequent repeats will not. This does not apply to courses that are repeatable for credit (i.e. independent study courses).
  • Required remedial courses will count toward the graduate pace requirement.

Minimum Cumulative Unit Requirement

Graduate financial aid applicants must comply with the following minimum unit requirements by the end of each academic year:

STATUS OF STUDENT       UNITS REQUIRED
1 year attended - full-time  16
1 year attended - part-time 8
1 year attended - 1 full-time term/1 part-time term 12
1 term attended - full-time 8
1 term attended - part-time 4

Units for the following grades will not be counted as completed units toward meeting the minimum cumulative unit/clock hour requirement for graduate students: F (failure), I (incomplete), NP (not pass), U (unsatisfactory), W (withdraw), NR (no grade reported). Required remedial courses will count toward the graduate student unit/clock hour requirement.

Maximum Time-frame Requirement

All graduate financial aid applicants exceeding the following term limits will be ineligible for financial aid consideration. Students will not be granted additional terms of eligibility solely by reason of changing their field of study.

MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENTS are eligible for financial aid for up to three years of academic year attendance following completion of their baccalaureate degrees (regardless of whether they received financial aid during these terms).

  • Terms in which the student withdraws are counted toward a student’s maximum term limit.
  • Terms in which the student did not receive aid are counted toward the maximum term limit.
  • Summer terms attended are counted when determining if a student has reached his maximum term limit. If a student attempts more than 8 units in summer, he will have used one term of eligibility. If a student attempts 8 or fewer units in summer, he will have used a half-term of eligibility.
  • Every term in which the student was enrolled with official part-time status is counted as a half-term of eligibility used.

DOCTORAL STUDENTS may be eligible for financial aid for up to 7.5 years of academic year attendance following the completion of their baccalaureate degrees (regardless of whether they received financial aid during these terms).

  • Terms in which the student withdraws are counted toward a student’s maximum term limit.
  • Terms in which the student did not receive aid are counted toward the maximum term limit.
  • Summer terms attended are counted when determining if a student has reached his maximum term limit. If a student attempts 9 or more units in summer, he will have used one term of eligibility. If a student attempts 8 or fewer units in summer, he will have used a half-term of eligibility.
  • Every term in which the student was enrolled as official part-time status is counted as a half-term of eligibility used.
Appeal Process for Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress

If a student fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, he or she will be notified that he or she is ineligible for financial aid beginning with the term immediately following the term the SAP requirements were not met.

Because SAP is monitored annually at the end of the spring term, the first term of ineligibility will typically be the following summer or fall term. Eligibility for continued financial aid will only be re-established if the student subsequently meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements; or the student successfully appeals and his or her aid is reinstated.

Graduate students wishing to appeal must submit a UC Merced SAP Appeal to the UC Merced Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The appeal form is available online and instructions are sent to all students who do not meet the SAP standards.

All appeals must state the reason(s) for failing to meet the SAP requirements. Students must demonstrate some type of extenuating circumstances during the term(s) in question that hindered academic performance, such as prolonged hospitalization, death or extreme sickness in the family, etc.

Supporting documentation of these extenuating circumstances must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships once the appeal has been submitted electronically.

Furthermore, students must submit, as part of the appeal, information regarding what has changed that would prevent a recurrence and would now allow them to re-establish the satisfactory academic requirements by the conclusion of the outlined time-frame.

In the appeal, students must detail how they will make up their deficiencies:

  • If deficient in units, what they will do to ensure that they pass the minimum number of units the following academic year to meet the minimum unit or pace requirements by the conclusion of the plan;
  • If deficient in GPA, the minimum GPA required for each future term to eventually meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement by the conclusion of the plan;
  • If maximum number of terms of eligibility has been reached, the number of additional future terms required to complete degree requirements.

In all circumstances, students must report which future terms of enrollment will be required to complete any and all academic deficiencies.

Students must consult with their academic counselors, as counselors must suggest an academic plan. By suggesting a plan, a counselor ensures that, if followed, the plan will permit the student to meet the SAP requirements at the end of the plan’s duration.

Deadline dates for each term are published annually on financial aid website. Appeals will only be considered once per academic year for all students notified that they must complete the appeal process.  If students notified, do not meet the appeal deadline, they can submit a request in writing to the Office Financial Aid and Scholarships for consideration of a late appeal.  Once received by the aid office, the appeal is reviewed for completeness.

Applications will be considered incomplete until documentation is received. An email is sent to the student with instructions to submit the documentation to the OFAS. Once accepted, appeals will be evaluated by the Dean of the Graduate Division or an appointed committee.

The recommended decision will be communicated to the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships for final approval. If the appeal is denied, the student will be informed via email letter that the decision is final and no subsequent review of the appeal will be permitted. If the appeal is approved, students will be sent an email notifying them to log into their SAP Appeal to view and accept the terms and conditions of their appeal.  Note: if the terms and conditions are not accepted a student’s financial aid will not disburse.


Effects of Withdrawing on Financial Aid

An undergraduate student withdrawing from UC Merced during a semester or for a future semester must file an Official Notice of University Cancellation/Withdrawal Form with the University Registrar. When a student withdraws from UC Merced, the withdrawal date used in determining the amount of financial aid that needs to be returned is the earliest of the following: 1) the date when student files the Official Notice of University Cancellation/Withdrawal Form with the University Registrar, or 2) the date when the student officially notifies the Registrar’s Office of his/her intent to withdraw; or 3) UC Merced determines what most accurately reflects the last date of an academically related activity of the student. Students who will be on a Planned Education Leave are subject to the same guidelines as those listed above for students who withdraw from UC Merced.

If the student leaves without beginning UC Merced’s official withdrawal process or otherwise providing official notification of his/her intent to withdraw, the withdrawal date for the return of federal funds will be the 50% point in the term. In this instance, UC Merced could determine an earlier withdrawal date if circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g., illness) prevented him/her from beginning the official withdrawal process. UC Merced could also determine the last date of an academically related activity of the student.

The date used to determine the return of federal funds may be different than the date used by UC Merced to determine institutional refunds.

For additional detailed information about Return to Title IV Funds at UC Merced, please see the “Return to Title IV Aid” guide available at the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

IMPORTANT WARNING: Your semesters of financial aid eligibility are limited. When you withdraw or take an educational leave you use up one semester of eligibility!

 


Disbursement of Financial Aid

Generally, financial aid is offered for two semesters each academic year and an equal amount is made available each semester to eligible students. The Office of Student Business Services is responsible for the disbursement and delivery of financial aid.

If all necessary requirements are complete, Financial Aid proceeds are distributed to the student’s account no sooner than 10 days prior to the first day of classes. This money will be applied towards institutional charges first. The remaining amount will be applied toward the authorized charges on the student’s account or will be refunded to the student or parent as appropriate.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please refer to our website financialaid.ucmerced.edu.