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Student Success Funds Request

Services for Undocumented Students at UC Merced provide support to students facing extenuating financial challenges.

These grants are for student use as outlined below. There are two types of funds:

  • General Student Success Funds - designed to provide financial assistance to students with the following extenuating expenses:
    • Professional Development (Ex: GRE Exam, Conference expenses, courses, etc).
    • Rent
    • Medical services
    • Books
    • Gas cards for commuters traveling more than a radius of 45 miles
    • Groceries, however, students are strongly encouraged to first meet with the Basic Needs Center for assistance and access to the Bobcat Pantry and the USDA Foord Distribution
    • Other expenses as determined by the Associate Director of Educational Equity & Access
  • Financial Student Success Funds for Legal Fees - range from $300 - $495 designed to provide financial assistance to students with the following extenuating expenses:
    • DACA filing fees
    • Advance Parole
    • Other legal fees. 


In order to be eligible for either emergency grant(s) students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must be undocumented
  • Must be a current UC Merced student enrolled in a minimum of 12 units
  • Must be low-income as defined by financial aid guidelines
  • Must not be eligible for federal financial aid (Pell grant, federal loans, etc.)
  • Must have submitted a California Dream Act application to the California Student Aid Commission. 
  • Note: Financial Aid packages will be considered for eligibility.

Monthly Deadlines 

  • General Funds: 15th of every month 
  • Legal Funds: 12th and 27th of every month
  • Emergency Funds: 12th and 27th of every month




Undocumented students in need of groceries or food sustainability are strongly encouraged to first contact the Basic Needs Center for assistance and access to the UC Merced Bobcat Pantry and the Merced County USDA Food Distribution (third Friday of every month).

Basic Needs Center Location: Terrace Center (TC) 106

  • Monday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
  • Tuesday to Thursday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 
  • Friday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

*Closed during campus holidays, spring break, and winter curtailment. Please email for assistance during these periods.

Financial Wellness Center

Be advised that on the recommendation of the Associate Director for Educational Equity and Access, some students requesting Student Success Funds may be referred to the Financial Wellness Center for a consultation as part of the application process for Student Success Funds. For many students, college is the first time they are in control of the majority of their finances. While focusing on your academic success and goal of attaining your degree, you may now be responsible for paying your own bills and stretching your financial aid funds to last the entire semester. Find out more about what steps you can take to help improve your financial wellness by visiting the Financial Wellness Center page.


Please fill out all the required information listed below. In addition, completed applications MUST include appropriate receipts and proof of need (i.e., lease contract, statements, bills, expiring Work Authorization card) and must scan documentation to be uploaded in the "Upload File" section below in the form. After your application is received, you will have to meet with Victoria Ordaz Garcia for a final decision. These grants are on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be available until funds are exhausted.


Approved Student Success Funds will be available to the student within 6-7 business days. It is highly recommended that students enroll in the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) available through Student Business Services (SBS). Your crisis funds will be transferred via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to your designated bank account. NOTE: Emergency funds may be credited through Student Business Services (SBS) and funds are deposited into student bank accounts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If there is any outstanding balance (i.e., library, fines, housing, etc.) on your student account, the emergency funds may be used to pay your outstanding balance. Exceptions are made for crisis funds to be used for payment of fees.

If you have any questions concerning emergency funds, please visit Services for Undocumented Students in Kolligian Library, Room 127, or email

What is the best phone number to communicate with you?
Please remember to submit your supporting documents below in the form to be processed for approval.
Please limit response to 400 words or less
I hereby certify that this information is true and understand that any false statements on my part may result in the forfeiture of any benefits associated with the Student Success grant program. Students approved of the grant will be notified via email of their emergency funds. In addition, I am receptive to meeting with a financial wellness coach should I be referred by the Coordinator for Services for Undocumented Students to the Financial Wellness Center for a consultation.
You will be required to meet with Victoria Ordaz as a next step in this process. Please list your availability to meet (Monday - Friday). Victoria will be contacting you to schedule a meeting.
In order to have your funds approved by Victoria, please provide us with supporting documents that proof your need for Student Success Funds
Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.