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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Also see our Financial Aid Tips Page

Q. I submitted my FAFSA but forgot to list Merced College, how can I get my FAFSA information sent to Merced College?

A. You need to call the Central Processing Center, 1-800-433-3243. Tell them you would like to add Merced College and that our code number is 001237. They will ask you for your DRN number listed on the top right hand corner of your Student Aid Report, so have it ready when you call. Or you can add Merced College by accessing your student aid report on the internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov--you will need your pin code. If you do not have a pin code you can request one at www.pin.ed.gov

Q. I thought I could afford community college. Now the fees are going up, the cost of books is unbelievable, even the price of gas is more than I can handle. I need help!!! Is there aid for working students??

A. You do not have to come from a low income family to qualify for financial aid. You just have to show that you need help with the costs of college attendance. Most middle income families need every dollar just to support the household. They do not have any extra money to pay for fees, books or school transportation. More than likely such families will qualify at least for a fee waiver and/or other financial assistance. Assume you are eligible. Apply now.

Q. I have thought about financial aid before, but I do not want to have a big debt hanging over my head when I leave college. Can I get financial aid now that I will not have to pay back later?

A. All financial aid at Merced College is money that does not have to be repaid. Grants, part-time employment and scholarships make up 100% of the millions in annual aid received by students at Merced College. Presently, Merced College is not participating in any federal education loan programs.

Q. I have seen the application for student aid. It looks like an encyclopedia. I'd like to apply but I can not figure out the system. How can I get money when I can not even understand the form?

A. It is confusing. That is why there are professional staff available just to help you fill out the application and answer your questions about the process. These options are available to assist you:

I. Contact the FAFSA Lab for assistance. (Lesher building-3rd floor-room 326)

II. Attend one of the financial aid workshops. Check the schedule to see if there is a convenient date for you to attend. (Los Banos Campus)

III. Come into the Financial Aid Office. Help is available-just ask!

Q. Lots of students need financial help. How can I be sure that I will get any money?

A. It is true, many students apply for financial aid. To make sure your application receives the best consideration, apply early. For priority consideration for all Merced College financial aid, you should submit your FAFSA every year between January 1st and March 2nd for the following academic year. For Cal Grant consideration, the priority deadline is March 2nd. You can submit your FAFSA after March 2nd for all federal grants and institutional aid.

Q. I have been out of school a long time. I am not ready to be a full-time student; but I still need help with college costs. Is there any aid for me?

A. Yes. You do not have to be a full-time student to receive financial aid. There is no unit requirement for enrollment fee waivers through the Board of Governors Fee Waiver Program. To receive assistance from other state and federal programs, you can take as few as six units and still qualify for financial aid.

Q. I am not a high school graduate. Can I still get financial aid?

A. Students without high school diplomas can qualify for financial aid if they have a GED or have passed the California High School Proficiency Exam. New regulations effective July 1, 2012, state that students who are or were enrolled in a Title IV program anytime prior to July 1, 2012 may be eligible by demonstrating readiness  for college by taking the Ability-To-Benefit (ATB) test or by completing at least 6 units of degree applicable college coursework with grades of "C" or better.

Q. I have heard about waivers for the enrollment fee, but I am not on public assistance. Even so, I will not be able to afford the per unit cost. What can I do?

A. You might qualify for an enrollment fee waiver if you meet certain income requirements based on family size. There is a simple application for the Fee Waiver Program available in the Financial Aid Office. If you do not qualify off of the fee waiver form, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Q. I am still Confused!!!

A. You are not alone. Just remember this: There is financial aid available for enrollment fees and other college costs. Apply now. Help is available for the asking. Contact the Financial Aid Office for answers to your questions.

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