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Average Annual Expenses (Estimates Only)

The range of estimated nine-month expenses, including fees, for students attending UC Merced during the 2020-21 academic year is shown below. Cost-of-living expenses are adjusted annually and fees are subject to change. These figures are only a guide in computing average expenses, and your own living expenses may differ somewhat from these. If you will need funds beyond those that you and your family can provide, you should apply for financial aid well in advance of registration.

Student StatusLiving Arrangement9-Month Expenses
Undergraduate (CA resident*)On-campus$37,666.00
 At Home$27,592.00

Nonresident undergraduate students should add $29,754 and nonresident graduate students should add $15,102 for nonresident supplemental tuition.

2020-21 Fee Schedule

Note: Fees shown are per semester

Student Services Fee$564.00$564.00
Health Services Fee$50.00$50.00
Transportation Fee$87.50$87.50
Student Life Fee$15.00$15.00
Associated Students Fee$65.68$65.68
Recreation Fee$146.00$146.00
Intercollegiate Athletics Fee$75.00$75.00
Campus Activities Board Fee$35.00$35.00
Early Childhood Education Center Fee$10.00$10.00
Nonresident Supplemental TuitionN/A$14,877.00
Student Services Fee$564.00$564.00
Health Services Fee$50.00$50.00
Transportation Fee$87.50$87.50
Student Life Fee$15.00$15.00
Graduate Student Association Fee$10.00$10.00
Recreation Fee$146.00$146.00
Early Childhood Education Center Fee$10.00$10.00
Nonresident Supplemental TuitionN/A$7,551.00

* Total does not include cost of health insurance, if purchased. Total also does not include Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition charged by applicable programs. 

Fee Disclaimer

Figures for systemwide tuition and fees represent currently approved amounts and may not be final. Actual systemwide tuition and fees are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California. Final approved 2020-21 tuition and fee levels may be higher or lower than the amounts presented.

Some or all instruction for all or part of Academic Year 20-21 may be delivered remotely. Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the Academic Year.

Explanation of Fees

The following are mandatory campus-based fees. They are charged to every registered student, without regard to the student’s use or non-use of the related services.

Health Services Fee: Supports the Student Health Center, the on-campus medical facility.
Transportation Fee: Supports CatTracks and parking infrastructure.
Student Life Fee: Supports educational, social, multicultural, and skill building activities and events that aid in the growth and development of students.
Associated Students Fee: A different amount for undergraduate and graduate students, this mandatory fee supports student government associations.
Recreation Fee: Supports the recreation center and related sports activities.
Intercollegiate Athletics Fee: Supports competitive sports on campus. It also supports existing club sport teams and the intermural sports program.
Campus Activities Board Fee: Supports events and operations of the Campus Activities Board, which was created to provide a variety of entertainment, co-curricular programming, and social activities for the UC Merced student body.
Early Childhood Education Center Fee: Supports the Early Childhood Education Center, the on-campus childcare facility.

Student Health Insurance

As a non-academic condition of enrollment, all students must purchase Student Health Insurance (SHIP) or request a waiver of this fee. The fall SHIP provides coverage from August through December; the spring SHIP provides coverage from January through mid-August. The fall 2020 undergraduate fee is $957.96, and the graduate fee is $1,342.82. The spring 2021 undergraduate fee is $1,341.16, and the graduate fee is $1,879.96. Students who wish to cover spouses, domestic partners or children should contact Health Services at [email protected] for rates.

Course Materials and Services Fees

Students in some courses may be charged fees for the use, rental or consumption of materials, tools or equipment, or for the costs of materials or services necessary to provide a special supplemental educational experience. For example, course materials and services fees may cover the cost of chemicals and glassware for a science laboratory or art supplies for a studio course. They also might cover film rentals, field trips or the purchase/rental of specific equipment.

Reduced Student Fees for UC Employees

Reduced student fees are available to UC career employees and certain UC retirees who are eligible for admission to the university. Once admitted, the employee must file a petition for the reduction in fees before each semester of enrollment. Employees pay one-third of the full-time student services fee and one-third of full-time tuition. No campus based fees are charged and the related services are not available to employees. Employees may enroll for up to nine (9) units or three (3) courses per semester, whichever provides the greater benefit to the employee. Employees who are eligible to receive reduced fees under this policy are not eligible to receive an additional reduction in fees under the policy on Part-Time Study.

Part-Time Study

Students approved for enrollment on a part-time basis pay the same student services fee as full-time students, but pay only one-half of full-time tuition. Undergraduate students must file a petition for part-time study with the Office of the Registrar. Graduate students must file their petition with the Division of Graduate Studies. For more information on the eligibility requirements for part-time study, please see the Enrollment section of this catalog.

Student Tuition and Fee Waivers

Tuition and Registration Fee Waivers

Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition Waivers

  • AB 540 exemption:There are two ways to be eligible: 1) a student attended high school in California for three or more years and graduated (or will graduate) or 2) as of January 1, 2015, a student successfully completed three years of California high school academic credit in fewer than three years (a student has two years’ worth of full-time units), provided a student can document having been enrolled in school in California for at least three academic years during K-12 grades.
  • T or U Visa Holders: A student who has obtained a “T” or “U” nonimmigrant visa and otherwise would meet the requirements of Section 68130.5 shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the University until they are eligible to establish a resident classification pursuant to Regents Policy 3401.
  • Spouse, Registered Domestic Partner, or Child of Deceased Law Enforcement Officer or Firefighter: A student who is a child, spouse, or registered domestic partner of a deceased law enforcement officer or firefighter who, at the time of death, was a resident of California, may be entitled to a waiver from Nonresident Supplemental Tuition. 
  • Veterans and Eligible Dependents: A student must meet these two criteria: 1) a student must be able to produce the DD214 form that indicates their separation, retirement or discharge from active duty within 36 months of the date they are seeking the tuition exemption and 2) a student must be receiving education benefits under Chapter 30 or 33 of the GI bill®
  • Foster Youth: A student who resides in California and is 19 years of age or under at the time of enrollment, who is currently a dependent or ward of the state through California’s child welfare system, and is no longer being served either due to emancipation or aging out of the system, is entitled to a resident classification so long as they remain continuously enrolled. 

California Veterans Fee Waiver: Benefits the spouse and children of U.S. veterans. Students meeting the eligibility may get their tuition and student services fee waived.

Former Foster Youth Tuition Waiver (SB 967): Must be a current or former foster youth who meet certain requirements will be eligible for exemption from mandatory system-wide tuition and fees. 

Tuition Waiver for Survivors of Fallen Federal Firefighters (AB 2554): Must be a surviving child or spouse of a federal firefighter to be eligible for exemption from mandatory system-wide tuition and fees.

Other Fee Waivers

Health Insurance Waiver: Any student already covered by a health insurance plan who does not wish to be enrolled in UC SHIP, can request a waiver by submitting an online waiver application during the waiver period.

Resident Advisor Housing and Meal Waivers: Must be a full-time student and meet certain requirements to apply for a Resident Assistant position. If eligible, a waiver for room and board will be given for the duration of the position. 

New Student Orientation Fee Waiver: Must contact the Orientation department and apply for the waiver. To qualify, a student must be a financial aid recipient with an Expected Family Contribution of zero. 

Application Fee Waivers

  • Undergraduate Application Fee Waiver: The UC will waive application fees for up to four campuses for qualified students who otherwise would be unable to apply for admission. To be accepted, a student must meet specific requirements related to family income and size. 
  • Graduate Application Fee Waiver: Available for eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents based on program participation or demonstrated financial need. 

Fee Assessment and Billing

Undergraduate or Graduate student fees are assessed following course registration. You must register for courses first so that fees can be assessed. You are then responsible for paying the assessed fees by the fee payment deadline.

Note: the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) fee is due and payable, unless waived, at the same time registration fees are due.

Electronic billing statements are published the first business day of each month. Your billing statement will list recent charges and credits (payments). If you are a financial aid recipient, aid will automatically be applied to allowable charges on your account and any excess will be refunded to you.

If you register just prior to the semester fee payment deadline, do not wait for a billing statement before paying your fees.  Fees are due and payable by the published deadline whether or not a billing statement has been produced for you.

You are responsible for the timely payment of any charges not covered by financial aid.

What if I am late with a payment?

The following will occur when a payment is late:

  • A late fee will be charged;
  • A hold will be placed on your account restricting your ability to access services, such as subsequent term registration, transcripts, etc.;
  • You may be dropped from your courses for non-payment;
  • Per section 15 of the Housing contract, the University may initiate termination of tenancy proceedings, which can lead to eviction.

Payment Methods


Payment can be made online at myBill using electronic check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). A convenience fee is charged on all payments made via credit card.


Students can pay by cash or check in person at Campus Cashiering Services, located in the Kolligian Library next to the Students First Center. Their hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday.


Make your check payable to the UC Regents and note your student ID number in the memo field of the check. Mail the check to the following address:

University of California, Merced
Campus Cashiering Services
P.O. Box 2450
Merced, CA 95344

Deferred Payment Plan (DPP)

The Deferred Payment Plan (DPP) offers students the option to pay registration fees and student housing charges (if applicable) in four monthly installments per semester. Students receiving sufficient financial aid to cover their registration fees and housing charges do not qualify for the plan. To qualify for the UC Merced DPP, you must have a semester account balance of $500 or greater after any authorized financial aid has been posted to your student account. Also, you cannot have a prior semester balance and enroll in the current semester DPP. The amount eligible for the plan will be due in four equal installments as noted below.

The University charges a non-refundable participation fee of $40 per semester. DPP enrollment must be requested each semester. A fall DPP enrollment does not carry over to the spring semester.

Due dates for DPP installment payments are:

 Fall 2020 SemesterSpring 2021 Semester
First InstallmentAugust 19, 2020January 13, 2021
Second InstallmentSeptember 21, 2020February 22, 2021
Third InstallmentOctober 20, 2020March 22, 2021
Fourth InstallmentNovember 20, 2020April 20, 2021

For more information about the DPP, please visit the DPP website at bfs.ucmerced.edu.

Returned Check Policy

The University accepts personal checks as payment on student accounts. However, the University charges a $20 Returned Check Fee when a check is not honored by the payer’s bank. The University will refuse to accept a personal check from a student who is a repeat offender. Any student who has more than two non-sufficient funds checks returned to the University is placed on a cash-only basis for all future transactions (i.e. cash, cashier’s check, money order, or online credit card payment).

Cancellation, Withdrawal and Fee Reversals

To cancel registration before the first day of instruction or to withdraw from the University on or after the first day of instruction, you must complete a Cancellation/Withdrawal form and return the form to the Students First Center. If you do not submit a Cancellation/Withdrawal form, you will be liable for fees according to University policy. It is very important that you contact the Students First Center and initiate withdrawal/leave of absence procedures even if your fees are fully paid by financial aid or other programs. Failing to do so may result in you owing money to the University.

The effective date for determining a fee reversal is the date a completed Cancellation/Withdrawal form is received by the Students First Center. Upon submitting a Cancellation/Withdrawal form a student enrolled in courses will be dropped from those courses.

The percentage of fees that may be reversed is determined by the number of calendar days (not instruction days) elapsed, beginning with the first day of instruction for the semester.

Failure to submit a Cancellation/Withdrawal form: If you are not a financial aid recipient and you fail to submit a Cancellation/Withdrawal form to the Students First Center, you will be presumed to have attended school the entire semester and full fees will be due. If you are a financial aid recipient, you must contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for information on how this will affect you.

The $250 deposit paid with the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) is not refundable.

Any full or partial reversal of housing charges is made in accordance with the housing contract. Please refer to your contract for information related to contract cancellation.

Fee Reversal Schedule

New Students Who Receive Title IV Federal Financial Assistance and Withdraw During their First Academic Term:

0-7 days100%
8-14 days90%
15-28 days80%
29-35 days70%
36-49 days60%
50-56 days50%
57-63 days40%
64 days or more0%

All other students:

0-1 days100%
2-11 days90%
12-27 days50%
28-53 days 25%
54 days or more0%

Federal regulations require UC Merced to calculate the amount of federal financial aid that has been “earned” for all students who are receiving financial aid and withdraw from UC Merced during a semester. If the student withdraws prior to completing 60 percent of the semester, a pro-rated portion of the aid must be returned to the funding agency. The student’s account will be billed for any aid returned.

Reversal of Health Insurance Fee

All students will be assessed the student health insurance fee. If students cancel all course registration on or before the first day of instruction, you are entitled to a full reversal of this fee. Insurance fees will not be reversed after the first day of instruction and coverage remains in effect until the date specified by the insurance plan.

Other Charge Reversals

Charges other than the student services fee, tuition, nonresident supplemental tuition and campus-based fees are reversed according to guidelines and schedules published by the appropriate department.