The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents to apply for and receive federal, state and institutional financial aid at colleges and universities nationwide.

Better FAFSA, Better CADAA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Apply

Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Department of Education online at Be sure to list the Merced College school code, 001237, on your FAFSA.

If it is your first time applying for FAFSA, you will need to create an FSA (Federal Student Aid) ID at for yourself. If you are a dependent student, at least one parent will need to create an FSA ID as well. You will use the FSA ID to sign your FAFSA and access your FAFSA account.

The Department of Education analyzes and summarizes the information you will provide on the FAFSA and creates your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will receive an email once your FAFSA has been successfully processed.

Documents You May Need  

  • Student/Parent Social Security Number. 
  • Alien Registration Number, if not a U.S. Citizen. 
  • Federal tax information & W-2’s. 
  • Records of any untaxed income.
  • Information on savings accounts, business and investments such as stocks, bonds, or rental properties. 

Check your Merced College student email often. You will receive an email regarding your next steps to your Merced College student email account from the Financial Aid Office once your FAFSA information has been received.

Submit all required documents and keep checking your student email. You will receive a link to the verification system via email where additional documents need to be submitted. The link is login with your Merced College portal username and password.

Create Your Account

This is a one-time account creation. You will be asked for some basic information when creating your account. This information is used to validate your identity so that your electronic signature can be used on future forms.

Four Easy Steps: 

  1. Go to
  2. Login with your Merced College Portal Username and Password
  3. Enter/confirm your student information
  4. Click ‘Register Account’ button 

Once your account is created, any required tasks you need to complete will become available.

Once you submit all documentation, the Financial Aid Office will review your file and e-mail you upon completion.

Login into your student portal to display your current award

Quick 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 CCP fee waiver which means they don’t pay the $46 per unit fee. 
  • You must reapply for financial aid every school year 
    • Merced College’s academic year begins in August with the Fall semester and continues through the following Spring and Summer terms. 
  • Apply Early 
    • In California you increase your chance of receiving the most financial aid by applying between October 1st and March 2nd every year. REMEMBER TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID EVERY YEAR AND APPLY EARLY! 
  • Keep copies of everything 
    • For example, include in your financial aid file your FSA ID or CADA username and password, copies of your Student Aid Report, letters of recommendation for scholarships, etc. 
  • Be sure you are on the right website 
    • 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. 
  • Financial Aid doesn’t transfer schools automatically 
    • 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.
  • Pay attention to deadlines 
    • Meet your school’s deadlines and any other financial aid and scholarship deadlines.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

A. You can add Merced College by accessing your student aid report at–you will need your FSA ID. If you do not have a FSA ID you can request one on the same site.

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. 

A. Most financial aid at Merced College is money that does not have to be repaid. Grants, part-time employment and scholarships make up the majority of the millions in annual aid received by students at Merced College.  

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:

  1. Make an online FAFSA Application Assistance appointment.  
  2. 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) 
  3. Use the Chat Now feature at the bottom righ corner of this page. Help is available-just ask! 

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 October 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. 

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. 

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. 

You might qualify for an enrollment fee waiver if you meet certain income requirements based on family size. You should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and check with the Financial Aid Office.

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.