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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Frequently Asked Questions About On-Campus Housing

Please refer to https://housing.ucmerced.edu/covid-faq for specific COVID-19 housing questions.

Housing Overview

Who is eligible for on-campus housing?
Who is eligible for the housing guarantee? (Fall applications only)
What’s included in the contract price?
How much does it cost to live on campus?
Do I need to pay the whole contract amount at once?
May I move out in the middle of the year?
Can I park on campus?
Where can I find information about voter registration in Merced County?

The Application Process

How do I apply for housing?
How are roommates assigned?
When will I find out about my room/roommate assignment?
I am a student athlete, and I want to live with another athlete. What should I do?

The On-Campus Experience

Where will students live?
How does living on campus help me academically?
What will I gain from living on campus?
How safe is it to live on campus?
What should I bring with me?
Should I bring a computer?
What is the alcohol policy?
What if my roommate and I cannot get along?
What is the billing schedule for the 2019-2020 school year?

Amenities and Services

How many people share a bathroom?
Where can I do laundry?
What kinds of housekeeping services are provided?
What appliances are permitted?
Is phone service provided by the university?
What meal plans are provided?
Are vegetarian/vegan dishes offered?
What kind of bed is provided in the residence halls?

Housing and Meal Plan Billing

How do I canceled my housing contract, when will my housing charges get reversed on my student account?
What do I do if it has been more than 3 to 5 business days (as it says in the email response) since I submitted my request?
Why do I still have housing charges on my student account when I canceled my enrollment?
I applied for on-campus housing, but I don’t have charges on my student account yet?
I don’t eat on campus, can the meal plan be removed?
I live in an off-campus apartment and would like to not have the CAT dollars plan, how can I remove that charge from my student account?
How much will I be charged if I cancel my housing?
Can I use my CAT dollars to make a payment on my student account?
Can I get a refund of my remaining Residential Meal plan?
I have withdrawn from the University, can I have the housing cancelation fee waived?
Can I appeal my housing cancelation fee?
What is the damage fee that is on my student account?
I have changed from a double to a triple room, when will my charges be adjusted / updated?
I moved from on-campus housing to off-campus housing, when will my charges be removed because my financial aid will change?
How do I pay my housing bill?
Can I be dropped from classes if I do not make payments to my student account?

Dining

I have a question, concern or comment about my dining experience, who can I talk to?
Why isn’t a certain item available at the Pavilion?
Can we get additional healthy dining options?
What do I do if I have a special diet?
Why does UC Merced offer unlimited meal plans?
What are the differences between the meal plans?
How do I select a meal plan?
Can I change my meal plan prior to the start of a semester?
Can I change my meal plan after the start of a semester?
If I leave UC Merced, will the cost of my meal plan be refunded?
How much does it cost for someone without a meal plan to eat at the Pavilion?
Can I take my own container into the Pavilion and take food out of the building?
Can I share my meal plan with someone?
How do I refund my CAT Dollars?

Off Campus Housing

Where can I find resources for off campus housing?

Please visit och.ucmerced.edu or email och@ucmerced.edu for more assistance.

I need rental verification for off campus housing, what do I do?

Please email housing@ucmerced.edu using your UC Merced email with your Student ID, attach the form and we will complete the form for you.


Who is eligible for on-campus housing in fall 2020?

UC Merced has updated its plans for the fall 2020 semester in an effort to protect our community amid rapidly changing conditions related to COVID-19. To minimize in-person contact, we will offer campus housing only to students for whom UC Merced is the best or only place to live while pursuing their education. We have cleared waiting list rosters and housing application requests and canceled all signed housing contracts as of July 12, 2020, given the COVID-related capacity limitations on our residence halls.

Only students who are in one or more of the following categories may now apply:

  • Safe and Secure Housing: Scholars who identify that campus housing is the safest environment or provides the most secure ADA accommodations
  • Guaranteed Housing: Scholars who identify as foster/former foster youth, homeless, and Regents Scholars
  • Student Success Housing: Scholars who identify campus housing as the best environment to serve their success
  • Financially Secure Housing: Scholars who identify the need for campus housing as needed given their financial situation

Who is eligible for the housing guarantee? (Fall applications only)  

Regent Scholars are guaranteed four years of on-campus housing. Housing guarantees apply for full academic year contracts only. Students starting in the spring semester are not guaranteed for future years.

What’s included in the contract price?  

The contract price includes a furnished room (extra long twin bed, desk, chair, drawer and closet space), high speed internet, cable TV, all utilities except telephone, 24-hour staff (on-call for after hour emergencies), programs and activities.

How much does it cost to live on campus?  

Please see current housing rates here: https://housing.ucmerced.edu/contract. The cost of a meal plan is not included in the rate. See question 21 for information to help you select your meal plan.

Do I need to pay the whole contract amount at once?  

No. Although the contract commitment is for a full academic year, you are billed by the semester. You have the option to pay the semester in full (about half the total contract amount) or you can apply for the Deferred Payment Plan (DPP).

How does living on campus help me academically?  

Not only are you steps away from the library and classrooms, but living among your peers provides you easy access to study buddies. There are many academic success workshops, such as note taking, study skills, test anxiety, time management and tutoring sessions hosted in housing. Residents are also encouraged to take advantage of the services offered through the Resident Learning Center, conveniently located on the first floor of Tenaya Hall. Residents seeking a more academically focused environment should apply to be a part of the Academic Excellence Community. All you need to do is participate and experience the benefits.

What will I gain from living on campus?  

Residents who become engaged in their community gain the most from living on campus. Besides the academic benefits, it is the easiest way to meet new people and make friends. Studies have proven that students who feel connected are the most successful. Living on campus makes that easy. Live on campus and get connected!

How safe is it to live on campus?  

Safety is enhanced when the residents utilize common sense and the features available throughout the housing complex. Each resident is issued a key to their room and access to enter the exterior door of their hall/suite. Residents are expected to lock their doors at all times and not loan their keys out to others. All housing facilities are also equipped with fire safety equipment such as sprinklers, alarms and extinguishers. Resident Assistants are on call when the office closes and work closely with the Residence Education Coordinator and UC Merced Department of Public Safety to respond to incidents.

How do I apply for Housing?  

Please visit https://housing.ucmerced.edu/apply. On this page you will find the information necessary to apply for housing depending on what type of student you are. Newly admitted students must wait 24 hours after they submit and pay their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) before applying for housing.

Housing is not guaranteed until you receive a “Contract Acceptance” email from the Housing and Residence Life Office.

How are roommates assigned?  

Due to rapidly changing conditions related to COVID-19, all students living on campus will be housed in single rooms for fall 2020.

When will I find out about my room/roommate assignment?  

Information about room assignment and move-in instructions will be emailed to your UC Merced account and mailed to your permanent address. Summer assignments are available at summer move in.

I am a student athlete, and I want to live with another athlete. What should I do?

Due to rapidly changing conditions related to COVID-19, all students living on campus will be housed in single rooms for fall 2020.

What should I bring with me?  

A list of suggestions for What to Bring is available online and will also be sent with your room assignment prior to move in. Some of the more important things include bed linens (twin extra-long), blankets, pillow, desk clock, desk lamp, toiletries, waste basket, TV and internet cords, and clock.

Should I bring a computer?  

Most students do bring a computer to campus with them, although there are computers available for use in each housing community as well as other campus locations. A printer is also available in the Terrace Center and The Summits computer centers for a nominal fee. Just remember that as with all personal property, you are responsible for the security of your computer.

How many people share a bathroom?  

Private bathrooms in the Valley and Sierra Terraces suites are shared by four to six people and must be cleaned by the residents of the suite. Community restrooms in The Summits, Glacier Point and Granite Pass are shared by ten to fifteen students and are maintained in partnership with the custodial staff and assigned residents.

Where can I do laundry?  

Washers and dryers are located in the Den laundry room for use by Valley Terraces and Sierra Terraces (Mariposa and Tuolumne) residents. Building laundry rooms are available in both Cathedral/Tenaya and Half Dome Halls in The Summits. There are also laundry facilities in both Granite Pass and Glacier Point Halls. You have the option to add money onto your CatCard Resident Laundry Account or a few coin operated machines are available. It is $1.25 to wash ($1.50 super cycle) and $1 to dry. Residents have access to their laundry rooms 24-hours a day.

What kinds of housekeeping services are provided?  

Housekeeping services are provided in the public areas of housing (Terrace Center, laundry facilities, hallways, lounges, etc). Residents are responsible for cleaning their private spaces including their bathrooms in the Valley and Sierra Terraces. Cleaning supplies and vacuums are provided by Housing Office and cleaning refills are available at any time.

What appliances are permitted?  

One Energy Star rated microfridge no larger than 4.2 cu. ft., or one Energy Star rated microwave oven and one Energy Star rated compact refrigerator not to exceed 4.2 cu. ft. Larger sizes will be rejected. For safety and sanitation reasons, the use of electrical cooking appliances is not permitted in Housing and Residence Life.

Is phone service provided by the university?  

No. Phone service is the responsibility of the resident, although most students use cell phones. One phone jack is provided in every bedroom and roommates are expected to share the line. Information regarding how to sign up for phone service will be available at move in.

What meal plans are provided?

Please visit https://dining.ucmerced.edu/meal-plans/plans/residential-meal-plan to see the different meal plan options.

Are vegetarian/vegan dishes offered?  

Yes, vegetarian and vegan options will be available at each meal. The chef also welcomes your favorite recipes. If it is well received, it may become a regular item on the menu.

What kind of bed is provided in the residence halls?

Information on the bed frame provided to residents is available here. The mattress provided to students measures 38 inches wide by 80 inches long by 8 inches deep. Triple and quad units have combinations of bunked and lofted beds.

What is the alcohol policy?  

The possession and use of alcohol is only permitted by those 21 or older in the privacy of their room/suite with no minors present. Minors may not be present when alcohol is open in the residence halls.

What if my roommate and I cannot get along?  

Most roommate pairings work out fine and roommate assignments are rarely changed. If disagreements do arise with your roommate, every effort should be made to resolve them constructively. If you are unable to resolve your conflict directly with your roommate, please seek the help of your Resident Assistant or the Housing and Residence Life Staff.

During the third week of each semester, students are welcome to change rooms. Keep an eye out for announcements about the room change process or stop by the Housing Office to inquire.

May I move out in the middle of the year?  

When a contract is signed, it is for the full-term of the contract academic-year or the summer term. Mid- term contract cancellations are extremely rare and are guaranteed only if a resident marries during the contract term (marriage license required) or disassociates from the University (withdraw). A resident must complete a Contract Cancellation Request supported by written documentation. Contracts & Policy details can be found in section 13 of the Student Housing and Residence Life Contract. Student Housing and Residence Life will consider written requests for cancellation if a resident can demonstrate compelling and/or unanticipated medical or financial hardship arising after the contract was submitted (documentation required). Examples of this level hardship may include a severe automobile accident, proven bankruptcy, or Chapter 11. Signing another lease is not grounds for contract cancellation. A liquidated damages/cancellation fee applies.

Can I park on campus?  

On-campus parking is managed by Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS).

Incoming first-year resident parking permits are available by exception ONLY. A limited amount of space is also available to continuing and new transfer students

Resident Parking Applications and Information:
Please contact TAPS directly for all parking related questions: 209-228-8277, or by email: taps@ucmerced.edu

Where can I find information about voter registration in Merced County?

If you have specific questions about voter registration in Merced County, please visit their site for more details.

What is the billing schedule for the 2020-2021 school year?

Housing Services post charges based on the University billing cycle. Please visit the link below for University billing schedule.  For questions regarding your posted housing and meal charges email housing@ucmerced.edu or call 209-228-2293. 

For billing schedule visit here.

I canceled my housing contract, when will my housing charges get reversed on my student account?

Housing charges are typically adjusted within 3-5 business days but may take longer during peak periods between July – September.

Why do I still have housing charges on my student account when I canceled my enrollment?

  1. If you have not yet moved in:
    When you cancel your enrollment, your housing application will also be cancelled after a few days. However, if you cancel your housing directly from the Housing Portal, your charges may be adjusted sooner.
  1. If you have checked in or moved in:

You must submit a cancellation form on the Housing Portal and inform your RA to arrange move out as soon as possible. You will be responsible for your housing fees until you return your keys to the Valley Housing Office.

I applied for on-campus housing, but I don’t have charges on my student account yet?

Charges are typically added to students accounts in early July and, for returning students, once you have signed your housing contract. If charges have not been added within a few days of signing your contract you may contact our office at housing@ucmerced.edu, or call 209-228-2293, or visit Housing Services Office.

I don’t eat on campus, can the meal plan be removed?

The meal plan is part of the housing contract and cannot be removed. The meal plans are in place to ensure that students have access to food during their academic term.

How much will I be charged if I cancel my housing?

No housing cancellation fees will be assessed for fall 2020.

Can I use my CAT dollars to make a payment on my student account?

As of Fall 2019, CAT dollars cannot be used to make payments on your student account.

Can I get a refund of my remaining Residential Meal plan?

When you cancel your housing contract, your meal plan contract will be canceled as well and will be prorated accordingly depending on when you cancel your contract. Please email  housing@ucmerced.edu or visit the Housing Services Office at 195 Half Dome, 209-228-2293, if you have specific questions or concerns.

I have withdrawn from the University, can I have the housing cancelation fee waived?

The cancellation fee cannot be waived due to separation from the University.

Can I appeal my housing cancelation fee?

The cancellation fee may not be appealed. If you feel the fee was charged in error, you may inquire with housing@ucmerced.edu.

What is the damage fee that is on my student account?

The damage fee typically is assessed after you have moved out and if there is damage found in your room. A damage fee may also be charged for keys lost or not returned when you move out. If you have questions about a damage fee on your account you may contact Housing Services Office at 209-228-2293.

I have changed from a double to a triple room, when will my charges be adjusted / updated?

Housing charges are typically adjusted within 3-5 business days but may take longer during peak periods of July – September.

I moved from on-campus housing to off-campus housing, when will my charges be removed because my financial aid will change?

Housing charges are typically adjusted within 3-5 business days but may take longer during peak periods of July – September.

How do I pay my housing bill?

Housing and meal fees are paid as part of your student account and payable through Student Business Services. Payment options, deadlines, and other resources may be found on their website.

Can I be dropped from classes if I do not make payments to my student account?

Yes. Students may be disenrolled from classes when they do not pay an account balance owed to the university. More information on that process can be found here: https://registrar.ucmerced.edu/policies/drop-non-payment.

I have a question, concern or comment about my dining experience, who can I talk to?

UC Merced Dining Services always appreciates feedback. Please send your inquiry to dining@ucmerced.edu, and we will reply promptly.

Why isn’t a certain item available at the Pavilion?

We strive to provide a wide variety of healthy and delicious options for diners. We always appreciate feedback on our menu. Please send and any specific menu recommendations to dining@ucmerced.edu.

Can we get additional healthy dining options?

We understand concerns about healthy options and are consistently adjusting our menu to provide additional healthy food on campus. We always appreciate feedback on our menu. Please send and any specific menu recommendations to dining@ucmerced.edu.

What do I do if I have a special diet?

Please contact Student Accessibility Services if you have a food allergy or other medical dietary restriction. If you have a religious dietary restriction or other question or a concern regarding diet, please email us at dining@ucmerced.edu for more information or to request a meeting.

Why does UC Merced offer unlimited meal plans?

UC Merced offers unlimited, all-you-care-to-eat meal plans to provide the best service to our campus community in the most sustainable and flexible ways possible.

Unlimited meal plans provide diners a wide variety of choices to meet all kinds of nutritional needs. The Pavilion Dining Center also acts as a campus hub. All-you-care-to-eat meal plans foster community by allowing unlimited access to this hub throughout the day.

Unlimited access also helps address food insecurity on campus. With previous meal swipe plans, we found students were often running out of meal swipes before the end of the week and going hungry. Our unlimited plans address food insecurity by ensuring all residents receive proper nutrition every day they are on campus.

What are the differences between the meal plans?

Each UC Merced meal plan provides unlimited access to the all-you-care-to-eat Pavilion Dining Center. The plans differ in the amount of Cat Dollars provided at the beginning of a semester. Cat Dollars may be used at a variety of on-campus locations and provide flexibility to purchase food, goods and services outside of the Pavilion.

How do I select a meal plan?

Selecting a meal plan is part of the housing application process through the Housing Portal. Please select a meal plan during your housing application process. More information about UC Merced meal plans is available at https://dining.ucmerced.edu/meal-plans/plans/residential-meal-plan.

Can I change my meal plan prior to the start of a semester?

Yes. Please make changes to your meal plan selection through the Housing Portal. Please note changes to the base meal plan will not be accepted after a semester starts, but Cat Dollars may be added to a meal plan at any time. You may add Cat Dollars to your account through the CatCard website at https://catcard.ucmerced.edu/Deposit.

Can I change my meal plan after the start of a semester?

Changes to the base meal plan will not be accepted after a semester starts, but Cat Dollars may be added to a meal plan at any time. You may purchase Cat Dollars through the CatCard website at https://catcard.ucmerced.edu/Deposit.

If I leave UC Merced, will the cost of my meal plan be refunded?

An adjustment or reversal of your meal plan charges will be applied to your account if you leave UC Merced and may or may not result in a refund to your account. Each student's account is different and is dependent upon when a person leaves the university. Housing will work closely with students if to ensure they have the most accurate information possible.

How much does it cost for someone without a meal plan to eat at the Pavilion?

Guests without a meal plan are welcome to dine at the all-you-care-to-eat Pavilion and can pay with CAT Dollars, cash, debit or credit. Entrance prices are listed below. Meal plans also include three guest passes per semester. Each guest pass allows a person without a meal plan one entry into the all-you-care-to-eat Pavilion.

Breakfast - $8.95

Lunch - $11.95

Dinner - $12.95

Late night - $9.95

Can I take my own container into the Pavilion and take food out of the building?

No. In order to keep production costs affordable for customers, we are required to limit all-you-care-to-eat dining to what can be eaten inside the Pavilion. Using an outside container to take food out the Pavilion also presents a food safety hazard.

A selection of grab-and-go items, including fruit, snacks, beverages and more will be available for patrons to take with them from the Pavilion.

Can I share my meal plan with someone?

No. Meal plans are only valid for the plan holder and are not transferable.

How do I refund my CAT Dollars?

Please visit the cashier’s office next to the Students First Center to request a refund of CAT Dollars when you separate from the university. A CAT Dollars balance is only refundable upon disassociation from the university.