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On Campus Housing

On-Campus Housing

  • Research in Higher Education has shown that students, who live on-campus during their tenure as undergraduates, tend to succeed and excel academically and personally. Students who live on-campus will achieve a higher grade point average, graduate within four or four and a half years, and are more likely to become familiar with and utilize on-campus resources.

In addition, living on-campus has its conveniences:  

  • Accessibility to campus. If you live on-campus, you can easily walk to classes, library, computer labs, dining center, etc.   
  • Increased involvement in student life. Living on-campus will allow you to meet more people and establish more friendships. You will also usually be aware of any campus activities and how to be involved in them.
  • Simplicity. Students who live on-campus receive a meal plan, which will make dining easy and convenient. (Although, you will probably want to venture off-campus from time to time to sample the local cuisine of the Merced community)
  • Student Success. Living on campus offers all the conveniences of independent living coupled with valuable support, learning and safety structures to facilitate student success.
  • Personal Support. Residence life professional and student staff live among the students in the residence communities and are available to assist 24-hours a day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can live on campus for Fall? Any UC Merced undergraduate student, new and currently enrolled, is welcome to apply to live on campus for the fall semester.

Where will I live? There are first-year communities at the Sierra Terraces (Mariposa and Tuolumne), the Summits (Cathedral, Tenaya and Half Dome) and Valley Terraces (Mariposa Hall), Granite Pass, Glacier Point, Sentinel Rock, and El Portal. Continuing and transfer students will be assigned in the Valley Terraces.

How do I apply? To be considered you must complete 2 steps:

  • Apply for housing using the on-line application by the May 3rd priority deadline. New students must wait 24 hours after submitting their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) before they are able to access the housing application. Students must turn off the pop-up blockers when using the on-line housing application.
  • Pay the $300 reservation fee. A Housing Application/Contract is not considered complete until the $300 reservation fee is received.

The link to the Housing application will be available in early March for the full academic year, spring housing in November, and summer housing applications are available in April.

The quickest way to secure housing is to pay the $300 reservation fee electronically using an e-check or an acceptable debit or credit card. Opting for the e-check method of payment, a student will be required to provide a bank routing number and checking account number. Housing will use the postmark on payments submitted through regular mail. Housing is not guaranteed until you receive a “Contract Acceptance” email from the Housing and Residence Life Office.

How do I make the $300 Reservation Fee Payment?
The Reservation Fee is applied to the total cost of Contract (Food and Housing fees) and is due with the Contract submission. The Reservation Fee is NOT a deposit. If the University is unable to accept the Contract and provide a room due to space limitations, the Reservation Fee will be fully refunded. 

After completing the housing application, you will need to click the "Make a Payment" link. This will trigger your reservation fee amount to appear on your account and take you directly to Once triggered, the Reservation Fee appears on your EPay account in the Deposits/Unbilled Items section. Click ”View Available Payments” and then select Housing Reservation Fee.

You can only trigger the “Make a Payment” feature once. After that, go directly to your Epay account and follow the instructions above.

What if I am unable to pay the $300 Reservation Fee?
Students after completing the housing application may request for a deferment of the $300 reservation fee. If approved, the fee will appear on the student’s August bill.

How do I request a deferment of the $300 Reservation Fee?
To request a deferment follow these steps:

  • Admitted students must wait 24 hours after submitting and applying for the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). (To be eligible, a student will need to have enough financial aid to cover tuition, fees, and housing costs. The amount deferred will be automatically paid when the financial aid is awarded in August)
  • Apply for housing - before a student is able to access the housing application to apply, ensure that the SIR has been submitted.

Once steps 1 and 2 are complete, a student can then request a deferment. See step 3 below to apply.

Eligible applicants must submit a request via the online Request a Deferment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The applicant is always responsible for any Liquidated Damages/Contract Cancellation Fees.

Deferment requests must be received by your guarantee deadline if applicable. Apply for housing before completing a Request for Deferment. DO NOT wait till the last minute to submit a request.

Deferment Approvals will be sent to a student’s UC Merced email account. A student’s space in housing is guaranteed when the “Contract Acceptance Notice” is received via email.

What are my Payment Options?
The fastest way to make a payment is electronically (ECheck is free). There is a delay for reservation fee payments sent through the mail. View your payment options here. NOTE: We do NOT accept VISA.

When will I know if I am confirmed for Housing?
Your housing is not guaranteed until you receive a “Housing Acceptance” email that will be sent to your UC Merced email account. The Contract Acceptance notice confirms that your housing is guaranteed. We anticipate spaces coming available through the first week of fall classes. We will make reasonable effort to send out email Contract Acceptance notices via email as quickly as possible.

What is a wait list?
Usually students are placed on the waitlist if they missed the May 3rd Priority Housing Deadline. If you are placed on a waitlist, please let housing know if you would like to be removed from our wait list (

What if I need a Disability Housing Accommodation?
Anyone requesting specific accommodation based on a disability need must complete the Disability Housing Accommodation Request process and include back-up documentation by your diagnosing professional. All documentation is required and due by March 30th. Housing is not guaranteed.

Can I select my Roommate and Room?
The Roommate and Room selection options are not available during the fall application process. The Housing Office will place applicants as space becomes available. We will make reasonable effort to refer to your “Lifestyle Preference” questionnaire when making assignments.

What Will It Cost?
Rates included the Room Only rates below added to the cost of your meal plan of choice*

  • Designed Quad - $10,394
  • Quad (accommodates four) - $8,405
  • Designated Triple - $10,395
  • Triple (accommodates four) - $8,945
  • Double Occupancy Room - $11,105
  • Single Occupancy Room - $12,884
  • Rates are guaranteed not exceed this estimate by more than one (1) percent

Rates include Internet access, cable TV and all utilities except telephone. Each student is provided an extra-long twin bed, desk, chair, dresser and closet space. Valley Terraces living rooms come furnished with study table and chairs and soft seating. Staff members work closely with students and student staff to provide activities, advising and other amenities and housing services.

MEAL PLAN OPTIONS (2015 -2016):
Students will enjoy the variety of contemporary restaurants-style meals in the dining center where daily blue-plate specials, Mexican, Asian, pizza, grill items, vegetarian specials, salads, and much more are available. Students cab select from one of the three (3) required meal plans that include the base Studential Dollars meal plan and CAT dollars:









Cat Dollars








CAT Dollars allow a student to purchase food and convenience items at other locations such as The Summits Marketplace, Lantern Café and Diesel Dogz.

For undocumented students living on-campus, the recommended meal plans are “A” or “T”. Financial aid awards are calculated on the premise that students will opt for meal plan “A”.  Students opting for meal plan “C” will then be responsible for paying the difference between meal plan “C” and meal plan “A”.

Application Troubleshooting – Need Help?

  • Turn off Pop-Up Blockers.
  • Try logging in to the application using Internet Explorer.
  • Making a Payment
    • How do I pay the $300 Reservation Fee?
      • Click the "Make a Payment" link at the end of the application (Left Column). This will trigger your reservation fee amount to appear on your account. You will be directed to
      • Once triggered, the Reservation Fee appears in the Deposits/Unbilled Items section of your Epay account. Click ”View Available Payments” and then select Housing Reservation Fee.
    • The Make a Payment button is not available for me to click. You only need to trigger the Make a Payment feature once. After that, go directly to your Epay account and follow the instructions above.
    • It still doesn’t work. Please contact the Housing and Residence Life Office for assistance at (209) 228-4663.

Contract Cancellation/Termination
After submitting the Contract and Reservation Fee, a student must submit a written request to Housing & Residence Life to cancel the Contract.

  • University Initiated Cancellation

The University, at its own discretion, may serve a 3-day notice to pay Food and Housing, comply with the terms of this Contract, or quit, whichever is applicable, for any of the following:

  • Any breach of the Contract, including but not limited to failure to pay fees when due; or
  • A change in student’s admissions status or a failure of student to remain a full-time, regularly enrolled student at University; or
  • Any failure by student to abide by the regulations and or policies outlined in the UC Merced Housing & Residence Life Handbook, which is incorporated herein by reference, and/or student’s engaging in conduct detrimental to himself or herself or the welfare of others; or
  • Any violation of state or federal law; or
  • Any other reason allowed by law; or
  • University’s inability to provide Student a room due to a lack of space availability (full refund granted)

Student-Initiated Cancellation
Whether you decide to live off campus or will no longer be attending UC Merced, once you have submitted an on-line application, you will need to submit a written request to officially cancel your contract.

Please consult the housing contract section 13 to thoroughly understand your contractual responsibilities. In most cases, a liquidated damages/contract cancellation fee applies. This fee is date driven and increases the closer we get to move in.


BEFORE MOVE-In Day requests
Written requests for housing contract cancellation received before move in is guaranteed approval. Complete the Contract Cancellations Before Move-in Day form. Requests are processed based on the date it is received by the Housing and Residence Life Office.

AFTER MOVE-IN Day requests
Written requests for housing contract cancellation received after move-in day must meet a specific criteria and are rarely approved. A resident must have a compelling and unanticipated medical or financial problem that arises after the contract and reservation fee is submitted. Documentation to support such claim is required. Complete the After Move-in Day Cancellation Request Form. Requests are reviewed at the end of each term. Be advised that here is a $250 liquidation fee for cancellations after the initial move-in day listed in the contract.