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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 enrollment fees.
  • 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 APPLY EARLY!
  • 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 scholarships, etc.
  • 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.
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