Financial Aid Tips
- Never assume you are not eligible for
financial aid. If you do not
qualify for low income grants, you may still qualify for other kinds of
financial assistance. For example, approximately 60 to 70% of Merced
College students qualify for the BOG fee waiver which means they pay no
- You must reapply for financial aid and complete a new FAFSA
for every school year. Merced College’s academic year begins in
August with the Fall semester and continues through the following Spring
and Summer terms.
- If you do your FAFSA online, be sure you are on the
Department of Education web site, www.fafsa.ed.gov. There are
other web sites with the word, FAFSA, in the title but are not run by
the federal government. If you enter your information on these web
sites, they will charge you to submit your FAFSA. Never pay money to
submit your FAFSA.
- Apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at
www.pin.ed.gov before you submit your online FAFSA.
That way you can sign with your PIN instead of mailing in a signature
page. If you are a dependent student, one of your parents will also need
to get a PIN. You do not need to get a new PIN each year.
- Apply Early. In California you increase your chance
of receiving the most financial aid by applying between January 1st and
March 2nd every year. REMEMBER APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID EVERY YEAR AND
- Do not wait until you have been accepted into college or
registered for classes to apply for financial aid.
- Pay attention to deadlines. Meet your school’s
deadlines and any other financial aid and scholarship deadlines.
- Financial aid does not automatically transfer from one
school to another. If you plan to transfer, contact the
Financial Aid Offices at both the school you will be leaving and the one
to which you will be transferring.
- Create a file for all your financial aid paperwork and keep
copies of everything. For example, include in your financial
aid file your PIN, copies of your SAR, letters of recommendation for
- Check out all available sources of financial aid.
You can pick up some excellent guides, workbooks, pamphlets and
brochures in the Financial Aid Office. The Fund Your Future Workbook
published by the California Student Aid Commission is very informative.
You will also find sources of financial aid information in libraries and
high school and college career centers. And, of course, go online for a
wealth of information about various financial aid subjects.
- Ask questions. The financial aid process and
paperwork can be confusing but the staff in the Merced College Financial
Aid Office is available to help you through the process. Please contact
us with your questions or concerns.