Financial Aid at UC Merced










The UC Merced Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will review every California Dream Act application for eligibility for institutional and state-funded aid. For more information, visit the Office of Financial Aid website.  

As a prospective student at UC Merced, you may be eligible for all UC Merced scholarships that are derived from private, non-state funds for the fall semester and the spring semester, and you may be eligible for all UC Merced grants and scholarships including those derived from private, non-state funds as well as those derived from state funds.

To be eligible for grant aid, you must qualify for an AB 540 Nonresident Tuition Exemption, and you must be ineligible for federal financial aid. To be eligible for scholarship aid, you must also have an entry GPA of 3.25 or above. We encourage you to complete and submit the University of California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form as soon as possible after you have received your offer of admission to UC Merced, and accepted your admission by submitting your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).

You can apply for this aid by completing the California Dream Act Application. The priority deadline is March 2.

It is advisable that students consider filling out the Budget Worksheet to estimate whether or not a student will owe a balance or will receive a financial aid refund. In addition, it serves as a tool in establishing a budget for the academic year. Note: Financial aid will be divided between the fall and spring semesters.

The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan is a financial aid program intended to expand access to UC for low-income students. The plan will ensure that low-income families will not have to pay systemwide tuition and fees out of pocket if an applicant’s total family income is less than $80,000 a year. AB 540 eligible students automatically will be considered for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan if they submit the California Dream Act Application, and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form. There is no separate application for this program.


Scholarship Opportunity for Undocumented Students:

The Dream.US is a multimillion dollar National Scholarship Fund for undocumented students, created to help immigrant youth who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) achieve the completion of a college education.

The Dream.US provides college scholarships of up to $25,000 to undocumented students, to help cover college tuition and fees, this is in addition to the aid that students may already be eligible for at their respective institution. UC Merced and UC Santa Cruz are proud to be partner universities with the Dream.US.

These scholarships are available to school seniors or high school graduates; who have demonstrated financial need as first time college students who seek to earn a career-ready associate’s or bachelor’s degree at one of the following Dream.US partner colleges and universities. Dream.US applicants must also have applied for admission and been accepted to any Dream.US partner college or university.

For a more extensive list of Dream.US partner colleges and universities can be viewed at:

Students who are currently enrolled in a community college are eligible. However, students who are currently enrolled in a 4-year college or university are NOT eligible.

Students who are chosen for a scholarship, must be accepted to, and be AB 540 eligible for in-state tuition, at one of the aforementioned partner colleges or universities in order to receive the scholarship. For more information visit the website.

Scholarship application opens November 1, 2017 – closes March 1, 2018.


For more information go to TheDream.Us


Researching Private Scholarships

Undocumented students, whether AB 540 eligible or not, should research and apply for private scholarships. There are scholarships available for undocumented students through private organizations. Be advised that deadlines for these scholarships will vary throughout the year.

Here is a list of organizations that provide scholarships for undocumented students (these scholarships are open to all undocumented students, no matter of national origin):