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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Residency Exemptions

First-year students who started at UC Merced in fall 2021 are required to live on campus for two years unless they are approved for a housing exemption. Students may request an exemption from the two-year residency requirement if they meet any of the below criteria.

Please note, if students make changes to housing their financial aid award could be affected. Students who do not complete the residency exemption request will be given a housing placement/assignment, and the housing and meal plan cost for fall 2021 will be posted on their student account and due in August.

​​​​​Exemptions are for an academic year. Students requesting a residency exemption will need to reapply in their second year.

Submitting a Residency Exemption Request

Step 1: Complete the Housing Preference/Housing Application form in the Housing Portal. The application includes a residency exemption section. If a student is denied a residency exemption, the student will not be behind in the housing process.

Be sure to attach supporting documents. The exemption request will not be reviewed without supporting documents based on the criteria below. Examples of supporting documents include:

  • A birth certificate showing the relationship of a student to parent/guardian
  • A driver’s license/school mail/bank statement of a student showing the student resides at the address listed
  • A driver’s license/utility bill/bank statement showing the parent/guardian resides at the address listed

Step 2: Be sure to submit the Housing Preference/Housing Application form for review. A reviewer will email a student with questions or asking for documentation as needed. There will not be further review until a reviewer receives the necessary documentation. Once a reviewer has all of the necessary documentation, the review process will take about seven business days.

Step 3: Students will be notified of determinations through their UC Merced email. Please be sure to check your junk/spam folder in case the email ends up there.

Step 4: Students do not need to do anything once they are exempted. Once exempted, students are exempted for the academic year. Students need to reapply for residency exemption in their second year.

Step 5: A student who has changed their mind about an exemption request and has decided to live on campus should contact or call 209-228-2293.

Approved Residency Exemptions
  • Student lives with parent(s) or legal guardian in the county of Merced, defined as a physical address within commutable distance (approx. 45 miles) of UC Merced’s campus.
  • Student has previously completed two (2) years of full-time college enrollment at an accredited institution of higher education (with at least 60 units, i.e., is an upper-division transfer).
  • Student turns 21 years of age on or before the first day of classes for the fall term of the academic year.
  • Student is an honorably discharged veteran.
  • Student is or becomes legally married (proof of legal marriage required); OR student is or becomes the biological parent or legal guardian of a dependent child.
  • Student participates in student teaching, academic internship, or a special University program that requires the student to be away from the UC Merced campus for the semester or major portion thereof.
  • Medical and disability circumstances (Exemption requests for this reason will be forwarded to the UC Merced Student Accessibility Services for review and approval).
  • Special circumstances that exist which would create a substantial personal hardship, that is exacerbated by living on campus and cannot be remedied. Documented verification of the special circumstance is required.