The University of California, Merced is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Counseling and Psychological Services is accredited by APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers).
Clery Act and Crime Statistics
“Safety Matters” is UC Merced’s annual security report. This publication offers information about our police department, campus crime statistics and a wealth of information about safety and security. It can be found at police.ucmerced.edu/docs/sm.pdf or to learn more about UC Merced’s annual crime statistics at ope.ed.gov/security/.
Register to Vote
The 1998 reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act includes a requirement that higher education institutions make a “good faith effort” to make mail voter registration forms available to all enrolled students. This federal legislation supports the campus’ longstanding goals of engendering leadership and citizenship among the student body.
UC Merced provides students with several options for registering to vote. Voter registration forms are available at the Students First Center and a link to information is available using the student portal.
Policy on Animal Subjects
Graduate: As part of their right to academic freedom, graduate course instructors at
UC Merced reserve the right to grade students on the basis of hands-on work with living organisms and biological materials, in accordance with all applicable ethical standards and laws. Students must be informed of course requirements and grading policies at the beginning of each graduate course, but graduate course instructors are not required to provide alternate assignments if students object to assignments that require hands-on work with living organisms and biological materials.
Undergraduate: As part of their right to academic freedom, undergraduate course instructors at UC Merced reserve the right to grade students on the basis of hands-on work with living organisms and biological materials, in accordance with all applicable ethical standards and laws. Students must be informed of course requirements and grading policies at the beginning of each undergraduate course. Where possible within the context of existing course objectives, instructors may offer alternatives to animal use; this may not be possible, and they are not required to provide alternate assignments if students object to hands-on work with living organisms and biological materials.
California Residency and Nonresident Supplemental Tuition
(The information below is a brief summary. Updated information on California Residency requirements can be found via the UC Merced Office of the Registrar website at registrar.ucmerced.edu.)
Supplemental Tuition for Nonresident Students
If you have not been living in California with intent to make it your permanent home for more than one year immediately before the residence determination date for each semester in which you propose to attend the University, you must pay non-resident supplemental tuition in addition to all other fees. The residence determination date is the day instruction begins at the last of the University of California campuses to open on the semester system.
Law Governing Residence
The rules and regulations for establishing residency for tuition purposes are defined by the University of California, Board of Regents in Standing Order 110.2, Regents Policies 3105 and 3106. Also see the UC Residence Policy and Guidelines, http://www.ucop.edu/general-counsel/_files/ed-affairs/uc-residence-policy.pdf.
Under these rules, adult citizens and certain classes of aliens can establish residence for tuition purposes. There are also particular rules that apply to the residence classification of minors (see below).
Who is a California Resident?
If you are an adult student (over 18 years of age) you may establish residence for tuition purposes in California if: (1) you are a U.S. citizen, (2) you are a permanent resident or other immigrant; or (3) you are a non-immigrant who is not precluded from establishing a domicile in the U.S. To establish residence for tuition purposes, you must satisfy the following 3 conditions:
- Physical presence: You must be physically present in California for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date of the term for which resident classification is requested. You must have come here with the intent to make California your home as opposed to coming to this state to go to school. It’s the burden of the student to clearly demonstrate retention of California residence during periods of absence from the state.
- Intent to become a California resident: Demonstrate through objective documentation that your physical presence was coupled with the intent to make California your permanent home. Intent is evaluated as an independent element of residence, separate from physical presence, and is demonstrated by establishing residential ties in California, and relinquishing ties to the former place of residence. You must demonstrate your intention to make California your home by severing your residential ties with your former state of residence and establishing those ties with California.
Your intent will be questioned if you return to your former state of residence when the university is not in session. Documentary evidence is required and all relevant indications will be considered in determining your classification.
A student who is in the state solely for educational purposes will NOT be classified as a resident for tuition purposes regardless of the length of his or her stay.
- Financial independence:
The financial independence requirement will not be a factor in residence determination if you are a student who is financially dependent upon a California resident parent who meets the university’s requirements for residence for tuition purposes (one year physical presence with intent to remain in the state). Financial independence will not be a factor for residence determination if you meet one of the following criteria. You:
- Have natural or adoptive parent(s), upon whom you are financially dependent, who meet the requirements for California residence for purposes of tuition and fees, or
- Are at least 24 years of age by Dec. 31 of the calendar year of the term for which classification is requested, or
- Are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, or
- Are a ward of the court or both parents are deceased, or
- Have a legal dependent other than a spouse or registered domestic partner, or
- Are a married student, or a registered domestic partner, or a graduate student or professional student, AND you were not claimed as an income tax deduction by any individual for the one tax year immediately preceding the term for which resident classification is requested, or
- Are a graduate or professional school student who was not claimed as an income tax deduction by either parent or any other individual for the tax year immediately preceding the term for which classification as a resident is requested, or
- Are a graduate or professional student who is employed at UC 49% or more time (or awarded the equivalent in university-administered funds, e.g., grants, stipends, fellowships) in the term for which resident classification is requested, or
- You reached the age of majority (18 years) in California while your parents were residents (for tuition purposes) of this state AND California resident parents leave the state to establish a residence elsewhere, AND you continue to reside in the state of California after the parents’ departure.
General Rules Applying to Minors
If you are an unmarried minor (17 or under), the residence of the parent(s) with whom you live is considered to be your residence. If you have a living parent, you cannot change your residence by your own act, by the appointment of a legal guardian, or by the relinquishment of a parent’s right of control.
If you lived with neither parent, your residence is that of the parent with whom you last lived. Unless you are a minor alien present in the U.S. under the terms of a non-immigrant visa which precludes you from establishing domicile in the U.S., you may establish your own residence when both your parents are deceased and a legal guardian has not been appointed. If you derive California residence from a parent, that parent must satisfy the 366-day physical presence and intent requirements.
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien and your parents are separated or divorced, the residence of the parent with whom you live with for the majority of the time will be considered your residence. For example if you live with one parent during the school year and spend summers with the other parent, the home of the parent with whom you live during the school year will be considered your residence. You may be able to derive California residence status from a California resident parent, if you move to California to live with that parent on or before your 18th birthday. If you begin residing with your California parent after your 18th birthday, you will be treated like any other adult student coming to California to establish residence
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien and both parents are deceased and no legal guardian has been appointed. If a guardian is appointed then you take on the residence of the guardian appointed to you.
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien and you are adopted by a California resident who has satisfied the physical presence and intent requirements.
If you have reached the age of majority (18) and have been legally adopted by a California resident (who has satisfied the physical presence and intent requirements) you may be eligible for a resident classification under the same conditions.
Parent Moves to California While Student is a Minor
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien and your parent(s) move to California, while leaving you behind. You may derive your parent’s California residence as soon as it is established.
Parent of Minor Moves from California
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a minor U.S. citizen or eligible alien whose parent(s) was/were a California resident(s) who left the state within one year of the residence determination date if:
- You remained in California after your parent(s) departed
- You enroll in a California public postsecondary institution within one year of the departure of your parent(s), and
- Once enrolled, you maintain full time continuous attendance at a post-secondary institution. Financial independence will not be required in this case.
If you are a minor (under the age of 18 by the residence determination date) self-supporting and have lived in California for more than one year immediately prior to the residence determination, you may be eligible for classification as a resident for tuition purposes.
Two-Year Care and Control
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien and you have lived continuously with an adult who is not your parent for at least two years prior to the residence determination date. The adult with whom you are living must have been responsible for your care and control for the entire two-year period and must have been residing in California during the one year immediately preceding the residence determination date.
You may be entitled to resident status if you are a U.S. citizen or eligible alien claiming emancipation on the basis of your own efforts to establish residence within the state. For residence classification purposes, the emancipation of a minor can be established by one of the following:
- A copy of a signed judicial order declaring the minor’s emancipation.
- A copy of the minor’s driver’s license or official California Identification Card that indicates emancipation.
- A careful and independent evaluation by the Residence Deputy as to the minor’s emancipation status.
Exemptions from Nonresident Tuition
1. Member of the U.S. Armed Forces Stationed in California on Active Duty
An undergraduate student is entitled to a resident classification for as long as the student maintains the eligibility requirements. A graduate or professional student will be eligible for a resident classification for two years, by which time he or she must fulfill the UC residence requirements in order to maintain his or her residence status.
Students assigned for educational purposes to a state-supported institution of higher education are not eligible for this provision. You must provide the residence deputy on campus with a statement from your commanding officer or personnel officer stating that your assignment to active duty in California is not for educational purposes. The letter must include the dates of your assignment to the state.
Former Member of the U.S. Armed Forces
An undergraduate or graduate student who is a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in California who was on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged from the Armed Forces may be eligible for a resident classification for the length of time he or she lives in this state after being discharged up to the minimum time necessary to become a resident (366 days).
Child or Spouse of a Member of the U.S. Armed Forces
An undergraduate student who is the spouse, registered domestic partner, or dependent child of a member of the military stationed in California is entitled to a resident classification for as long as the student maintains the eligibility requirements. A graduate or professional student who is the spouse, registered domestic partner, or dependent child of a member of the military will be eligible for a resident classification for one year, by which time he or she must fulfill the UC residence regulations in order to maintain his or her resident status.
Those who may qualify for an exemption from nonresident supplemental tuition*: (based on federal law - The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008): An undergraduate or graduate student who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty for a period of more than 30 days and whose domicile or permanent duty station is in California, or the spouse, registered domestic partner, or dependent child of such member of the Armed Forces, is entitled to an exemption from nonresident tuition. Student must be continuously enrolled at the University, notwithstanding a subsequent change in the permanent duty station to a location outside of California.
2. Unmarried Child, Spouse, or Registered Domestic Partner of a Faculty Member
To the extent funds are available, if you are an unmarried dependent child under age 21, the spouse, or registered domestic partner of a member of the University faculty who is a member of the Academic Senate, you may be eligible for a waiver of nonresident supplemental tuition. Confirmation of the faculty member’s membership on the Academic Senate must be secured each semester before this waiver is granted.
3. University Employment Outside of California
You may be entitled to resident classification if you are a full-time University employee, or the unmarried dependent child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a fulltime University employee who is assigned to work outside of California (e.g., Los Alamos National Laboratory, UC Center in Washington, D.C.). A review will be conducted each term to verify continuation of the applicable status.
4. Spouse, Registered Domestic Partner or Child of a Deceased Law Enforcement or Fire Suppression and Prevention Public Employee
You may be entitled to a waiver of nonresident supplemental tuition if you are the child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a deceased public law enforcement or fire suppression employee who was a California resident at the time of his or her death and who was killed in the course of fire suppression or law enforcement duties.
5. Dependent Child of a California Resident
A student who has not been an adult physically present in California for more than one year (366 days), and who is the dependent child of a California resident who has been a resident for more than one year immediately prior to the residence determination date, may be entitled to a waiver of the nonresident supplemental tuition until the student has lived in California for the minimum time necessary to become a resident so long as continuous attendance is maintained at an institution.
6. Native American Graduates of a Bureau of Indian Affairs high school
If you are a graduate of a California high school operated by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, you may be eligible for an exemption from the nonresident fee.
7. Employee of a California Public School District
Any person holding a valid credential authorizing service in the public schools of the state of California who is employed by a school district in a full-time certificate position may be eligible for a nonresident supplemental tuition waiver.
8. Student Athlete in Training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center
Any amateur student athlete in training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista may be eligible for a waiver of nonresident supplemental tuition until he or she has lived in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident
9. Graduate of a California High School
California Assembly Bill 540 (AB540) provides that students meeting certain requirements will qualify to pay in-state fees. You may be entitled to this exemption from nonresident supplemental tuition if you attended high school in California for three (3) or more years and graduated from a California high school. Submitting the AB 540 does not mean automatic qualification. A Statement of Legal Residence must also be submitted.
10. Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor
Any undergraduate student who is a recipient of a Congressional Medal of Honor or who is the child of a recipient may be eligible. The recipient must be a California resident and the student may not be older than 27, and must have an annual income that does not exceed the national poverty level. If the medal recipient was a parent who died, the parent must have been a California resident at the time of his or her death.
11. T or U nonimmigrant visas
Students who have obtained a T or U nonimmigrant visa and otherwise would meet the requirements of Section 68130.5 (AB 540) shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the University until they are eligible to establish a resident classification.
12. Dependent or Ward of State through California’s Child Welfare System (Foster Youth)
A student who resides in California, under 19 years of age at time of enrollment, and who is currently a dependent or ward of the state through California’s child welfare system, or was served by California’s child welfare system and is no longer being served either due to emancipation or aging out of the system, shall be entitled to a resident classification as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled.
If you are a nonresident student who is in the process of establishing a residence for tuition purposes and you return to your former home during non-instructional periods, your presence in the state will be presumed to be solely for educational purposes and only convincing evidence to the contrary will rebut this presumption. (A student who is in the state solely for educational purposes will not be classified as a resident for tuition purposes regardless of the length of stay.)
If you are a student who has been classified as a resident for tuition purposes and you leave the state temporarily, your absence could result in the loss of your California residence. The burden will be on you (or your parents if you are a minor) to verify that you did nothing inconsistent with your claim of a continuing California residence during your absence.
Steps that you (or your parents) should take to retain a California residence include:
- Continue to claim California residence and address on all records such as educational, employment, or military.
- Retain your California voter’s registration and absentee ballot.
- Maintain a California driver’s license and car registration, or change them back within the time prescribed by law.
- Return to California during all your breaks, vacations, holidays, etc.
- Continue to satisfy California tax obligations. (Note: if you are claiming California residence, you are liable for payment of income taxes on your total income from the date you establish residence in the state, including income earned in another state or country.)
Petitioning for Resident Classification
At least a year before you start your first semester of classes, begin the process of becoming a California resident. Establish a physical presence by living in California for 366 days prior to the first day of instruction you wish to be a resident. Establish your intent to become a California resident by changing your ties immediately from your previous residence to this state. Meet one of the financial independence requirements.
Time Limitation on Providing Documentation
If additional documentation is required for a residence classification but is not readily accessible, you will be allowed until the end of the applicable semester to provide it. You are liable for payment of fees when they are due. Petitioning for a change of status does not alter the fee payment deadline.
If you were incorrectly classified as a resident, you are subject to a nonresident classification and must pay all unpaid nonresident supplemental tuition. If you concealed information or furnished false information and were classified incorrectly as a result, you are also subject to University discipline. Resident students who become nonresidents must immediately notify the residency deputy.
Inquiries and Appeals
Inquiries regarding residence requirements, determination and/or recognized exceptions should be directed to the Residence Deputy, Office of the Registrar, at UC Merced (209-228-2734). To appeal a decision you have 30 days following the date of the campus decision to submit a completed Application to Appeal along with a copy on your nonresident decision by email: firstname.lastname@example.org; FAX: 510-987-9757, Attention: Residency Analyst or by MAIL: Residency Analyst, UC Office of the General Counsel, 1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-5200.