University of California, Merced
UCM Fall Tour 2018
UCM Fall Tour 2018
Parent Newsletter  |  May 2018


Your student has made the decision to make UC Merced his or her new home, and we couldn't be more pleased! They should be proud of themselves for all that they have achieved, and you deserve a pat on the back, too, for your support and guidance.

Preparing for college creates a lot of change and a to-do list that might seem daunting. Yes, there are steps your student needs to complete before coming to campus in the fall, but we are here to help them (and you) through the process. Over the next four months, we will guide you step-by-step and provide you with the details you need to know to help you prepare your student for the 2018-19 academic year at UC Merced.

Your student also will receive newsletters throughout the summer, so please encourage them to read and bookmark them. We can't wait to welcome your family to campus in the fall!

The UC Merced Admissions team.


Many parents struggle with the concept of FERPA during their student's transition to college.

FERPA is a federal law intended to protect the privacy of student education records accumulated from early childhood through college. FERPA provides parents with certain rights with respect to children's education records up until entry to the University.

When a student enters the University, the rights parents previously held transfer exclusively to the student. The University considers students as adults, regardless of age or financial dependence. Ordinarily, parents of UC Merced students obtain information about their students' records directly from their students.

The payment of a student's tuition by the parent does not, by itself, give the parent the right of access to a student's education record. Questions regarding these procedures can be directed to the Office of the Registrar at 209-228-7178. You can find more information about FERPA on the Registrar's website.


Your student used the student portal when they submitted their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). The portal is an important resource that they will use throughout their time at UC Merced, and now is no exception. They will find updated, secure, 24-hour access to comprehensive information about Financial Aid, Admissions, registration, records and more.
Student services found in your portal:
The checklist
On your student's personalized checklist, they can find all of the requirements that they need complete and the dates they need to be completed. It is an extremely useful tool and should be the go-to for questions about deadlines and requirements.

Each student has different Financial Aid, Admissions, registration and residency requirements that need to be fulfilled, so your student's checklist might not look the same as their friend's or classmate's. Learn more about taking advantage of the checklist.
Sample Student Checklist
UC Merced email account
Your student was provided with a UC Merced email address when they submitted their SIR. Please encourage them to check their UC Merced email, because that is where we send important information. 
Financial Aid, Admissions and student account
  • MyFinancialAid will show individual student awards as well as student requirements.
  • MyAdmissions will link to any outstanding Conditions of Admission that need to be fulfilled.
  • MyBill will link to your student's account, where payments can be managed, and much more.
Whether living on campus or in our off-campus housing, your student will be surrounded by a diverse group like them who share similar interests and goals. We are a close-knit community, and your student will always be surrounded by friendly faces.
Important Fall Housing Dates:

March 1: Housing application opened

May 7: First year priority housing application deadline

May 21: Roommate assignments began

June 5: Transfer priority housing application deadline

July 1: Online check-in available; complete move-in forms online and change move-in times

July 15: Preliminary room assignments sent; first bills available

Aug. 10: Official room assignments and move-in details available

Aug. 18-19: Move-in days for academic year; times will be assigned
Attendance at New Student Orientation is required for all new students and will provide them with the opportunity to build relationships, explore resources, reflect on their goals and learn more about what it means to be a Bobcat!

At Orientation, you can:
  • Learn about how you can help your student achieve academic success at UC Merced
  • Get information about helpful campus resources
  • Hear from current students about campus life
  • Go on a campus tour
  • Visit the Campus Store to purchase UC Merced gear
  • Get your individual questions answered
Your student must register for Orientation by June 1. Reservations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. We have a special program designed especially for parents, guardians and supporters, so we encourage you to sign up, as well. The cost to attend New Student Orientation is $110 per student and $100 per parent or guest.

What your student should bring to Orientation:
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Identification or driver's license so they can get their CatCard
  • Copies of their transcripts and test scores
  • A refillable water bottle

Are you traveling from a distance?

You can get the full UC Merced experience by making arrangements to stay in a residence hall on campus for $25 per person, per night. For rates and information, or to reserve your room, visit or call 209-228-2313.
Important Fall Orientation Dates:

Late May: Your student will receive a link to access the online Pre-Orientation Experience. This requirement must be completed two weeks before your Orientation date. 

June 1: Deadline to register for Orientation 

June 26-July 24: New First Year Student Orientation

July 13: Transfer Student Orientation
Your student will register for classes on the student portal at a randomly assigned time between June 20 and 22. They will register for classes BEFORE attending New Student Orientation. Their academic advisor will recommend courses based on their intended major, provide how-to resources for navigating the online system, and alert them to other requirements to ensure they are prepared for registration.

Your student can check their registration appointment time at MyRegistrationTime on the portal
Chemistry and Math Placement Exams

Placement exams for incoming students must be completed by 4 p.m. June 1. If your student does not take the required exams by the deadline, he or she will be placed into preparatory-level Chemistry and Math courses. Visit the FAQ page for more information.
Changing Majors (First Year Students)

To declare or change their major, your student must fill out the Undergraduate Major Change form by June 1, 2018. Only first year students (freshmen) are permitted to change their major. Keep in mind that there may be restrictions on changing into certain majors.

Visit the Academic Advising website for more information.
Important Fall Registration Dates:

Mid-May: Your student's academic advisor will send information about placement exams to their UC Merced email address after they submit their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).

Late May to Early June: Your student's academic advisor will email them additional registration resources.

June 20-22: Online class registration for incoming first year and transfer students
Fall Priority Deadline: June 1, 2018
Documents required by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be listed in your student's personal checklist in the student portal. Documents must be submitted by the priority deadline, or the deadline listed on their checklist, or their awards will be subject to cancellation. Please note that many of these documents (tax transcripts, income statements, etc.) will need to come from a parent.
After students receive their awards, they should:
  • Visit the MyFinancialAid section in the portal.
  • Select "Accept/Decline Awards."
  • Select "2018-2019 Award Year."
  • All grants and scholarship awards will be accepted for them.
  • Choose which loans or work opportunities they'd like to accept, if applicable.
  • If they are required to complete the verification process, they will be able to accept/decline loans and work opportunities once that process is complete.

If you would like to apply for a Parent PLUS Loan, you can visit for instructions. If your student would like to apply for a loan, detailed instructions are available at
If your student did not submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA):
Aid may still be available even though the March 2 deadline has passed. All students will be considered for federal grants and loans or dream loans throughout the year. Your student should contact our office for assistance.

Our school code is 041271.
If your student did submit a FAFSA or a CADAA:
  • They should confirm that they have included UC Merced's school code (041271) on the application.
  • If UC Merced's school code was listed, they should visit the portal to view requirements or awards. If they do not see any awards, contact the Students First Center for assistance.
Questions? Email the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or call the Students First Center at 209-228-7178.

To comply with the University of California immunization requirement, all incoming students are required to complete a TB Risk Screening questionnaire and Immunizations Form to prove vaccination and/or immunity to certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Your student can find these items in the MyHealth portal at We strongly recommend that your student meets TB and immunization requirements before they arrive on campus.

Failure to submit proof of immunizations and TB compliance will result in a registration hold for the following semester.
Deadline: Aug. 22, 2018

Explore UC Merced


Couldn’t make it to Bobcat Day 2018? Watch a fun recap by our Media Cats marketing interns on our Instagram!
You can also see more of their videos about UC Merced student life on


We would love to host your family during a visit to UC Merced!

Can't make it to campus? You can take a virtual tour of UC Merced!

Contact Us

PHONE: 209-228-7178 (CATS-1ST)



IN PERSON: Kolligian Library, Room 122

CHAT: Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Voicemails and emails will receive a response in 24 to 48 hours, except on holidays and weekends.