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Building Safe and Inclusive Learning Communities

Frequently Asked Questions About On-Campus Housing

Please refer to https://doyourpart.ucmerced.edu./student-information for specific COVID-19 housing questions.

The On-Campus Experience

What are the on-campus housing options at UC Merced?
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?

Housing Contracts and Rates

Who is eligible for on-campus housing?
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?
What is the difference between an academic year contract and a year-round contact?
How much of my financial aid will be available to cover housing?
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?
Can I choose which residence hall I would like to live in? What about room type?
Which room types will be offered, and how are roommates assigned?
When will I find out about my room/roommate assignment?
Is there housing for LGBTQIA+ people?
How can I be exempted from living on campus in my first or second years?
I am a student athlete, and I want to live with another athlete. What should I do?

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?
What kind of furniture is provided in the residence halls?
I am a person with a disability. How do I request a housing accommodation?
Are pets allowed in on-campus housing? What about emotional support animals?
I have a maintenance repair request, what do I do?

Housing and Meal Plan Billing

What is the billing schedule?
How do I cancel my housing contract?
If I cancel my housing contract, when will my housing charges get reversed on my student account?
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?
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?
Are vegetarian/vegan dishes offered?
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 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?
I need rental verification for off campus housing, what do I do?

 


 

What are the on-campus housing options at UC Merced?

UC Merced has numerous on-campus housing options. Please learn more by visiting https://housing.ucmerced.edu/housing/living-options.

Residence halls can be found on both North Campus and South Campus. A housing map showing the location of each hall on campus can be found at https://housing.ucmerced.edu/housing/map-housing. The newest residence halls are located on South Campus. Glacier Point and Granite Pass opened in 2018, and El Portal and Sentinel Rock opened in fall 2021.

Floor plans of each residence hall can also be found at https://housing.ucmerced.edu/housing/living-options.

Who is eligible for on-campus housing?

First-year students in academic year 2020-2021 will have priority for on-campus housing. Students in their second year at the start of fall 2021 are not required to live on campus. On-campus housing priority for fall 2021 is as follows:

  • Incoming first-year students who are required to live on campus for two years
  • Students who are guaranteed housing
  • Students who have approved housing accommodation requests
  • Housing insecure students
  • Second-year students
  • Third- and fourth-year students

More information on returning to campus is available at doyourpart.ucmerced.edu.

Students who would like assistance with off-campus housing in the Merced area are encouraged to check out och.ucmerced.edu or email och@ucmerced.edu.

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.

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 sign into the Housing Portal and complete a housing application. A tutorial on completing a housing application is available by clicking here. Students should receive an email via their UC Merced email account confirming they have submitted a housing application, as well as subsequent emails about signing their housing contact or a being denied a housing contract. Students should also receive emails about roommate selection, housing assignments and move-in information.

Housing is not guaranteed until a student receives a “contract acceptance” email from Housing Services.

Can I choose which residence hall I would like to live in? What about room type?

Students can choose on-campus housing based on room type (single, double, etc.), Living Learning Community or roommate during the housing application process. Students cannot request specific residence halls.

Which room types will be offered, and how are roommates assigned?  

Which room types are available to residents will depend on COVID-19 mitigation requirements.

For summer 2021, students are expected to be housed in singles, and possibly doubles, depending on coronavirus safety needs.

For fall 2021, UC Merced is hoping to offer single and double rooms. If doubles are offered, students may be assigned a roommate based on roommate questionnaires provided during the housing application process. A roommate selection process option should be available if doubles are offered. Students should monitor their UC Merced email for additional information about the roommate selection process. Please follow the instructions in the email. The roommate selection process will take place using the Housing Portal.

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

For Summer Sessions - Information about room assignment and move-in instructions will be emailed to your UC Merced account in May if you applied and signed your housing contract according to published timelines. 

For Fall Semester - Housing Assignment and move-in instructions will be sent to your UC Merced email by the end of July, or by the first week of August.

For Spring Semester - Housing Assignment and move-in instructions will be sent to your UC Merced email the first week of January.

Is there housing for LGBTQIA+ people?

Yes. Information on gender-inclusive options is available here: https://housing.ucmerced.edu/housing/living-options#gender_inclusive.

How can I be exempted from living on campus in my first or second years?

A housing exemption request is included as part of the housing application process on the Housing Portal. If you would like to request an exemption, please complete the housing application, including the exemption section. Students living within a 45-mile radius of campus can be exempted from living on campus by providing documentation of their home address.

More information, as well as additional reasons for approved residence exemptions can be found at https://housing.ucmerced.edu/residency-exemptions.

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

Please direct your questions to your coach.

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, pillows, a desk clock, a desk lamp, toiletries, a waste basket, TV and internet cords and a clock.

In addition, please bring facial coverings, hand sanitizers or wipes and cleaning supplies.

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? 

Typically 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 10-15 students and are maintained in partnership with the custodial staff and assigned residents. The number of residents sharing bathrooms is now limited as part of COVID-19 mitigation measures. Please follow posted guidelines.

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. Download the Speed Queen App to pay for laundry services. A few coin-operated machines are also available. Directions and information about the app is posted in the laundry room too. 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 the 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 Education.

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://housing.ucmerced.edu/contract 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 furniture is provided in the residence halls?

Furniture for each student in an undergraduate room includes a desk (30” tall x 45” wide x 24” deep), three-position chair (32.5” tall x 20” wide x 22.5” deep), solid maple bed (36” tall x 83” long x 40” wide) and two solid maple stackable underbed storage units (16” tall x 31” wide x 24” deep). More 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. More information on graduate housing is available at https://housing.ucmerced.edu/graduate.

I am a person with a disability. How do I request a housing accommodation?

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) will review requests for housing accommodations and will communicate with students and Housing Services about request approvals or denials. More information is available at https://housing.ucmerced.edu/accommodations.

Are pets allowed in on-campus housing? What about emotional support animals?

Pets are not allowed in Housing and Residence Education facilities. Animals classified as service animals or emotional support animals are permitted under certain guidelines. More information can be found in the Housing Handbook. Infomormation on housing accommodations, including emotional support animal requests, can be found here: https://housing.ucmerced.edu/accommodations.

I have a maintenance repair request, what do I do?

For all non-urgent maintenance requests, please visit https://jcifmaz.swgasp.com/QFMliveJCIMerced and use "Guest Log In" to submit a work order.

For urgent requests on weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays, please call your RA on call immediately. Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, please contact the Residence Service Desk at 209-229-4663. For emergencies, please call 9-911.

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 Eucation 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 Education contract. Student Housing and Residence Education 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.

What is the difference between an academic year contract and a year-round contact?

Academic year contracts run August to May, while year-round contracts run August to August. More information on housing contracts is available at: https://housing.ucmerced.edu/contract.

How much of my financial aid will be available to cover housing?

Please visit https://financialaid.ucmerced.edu/cost-attendance for more information on financial aid and housing.

Can I park on campus? 

On-campus parking is managed by Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS). Overnight resident parking permits are available in both the Scholars Lot and Bellevue Lot.

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?

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 the billing schedule, please visit here.

How do I cancel my housing contract?

If you no longer wish to to live on campus for the selected terms, you must submit a housing cancelation form on the Housing Portal. You are responsible financially for the contract until you received email that your request is approved and your housing contract is terminated.

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

Housing charges are typically adjusted three to five 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?

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.

If you have checked in or moved in:

You must submit a cancellation form on the Housing Portal and inform your RA to arrange your move out as soon as possible. You will be responsible for your housing fees until you return your keys to the Valley Terrace Center, Residence Services Desk. Please call 209-228-4663 or email residenceeducation@ucmerced.edu if you have questions about check out or how to retunr your room key.

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 and you are given a housing assignment. 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.

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?

Please visit https://housing.ucmerced.edu/cancel for deadlines and cancellation fees.

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

No.

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 call 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 cancelation fee cannot be waived.

Can I appeal my housing cancelation fee?

The cancelation fee may not be appealed. If you believe that the fee was charged in error, please contact housing@ucmerced.edu, or call 209-228-2293. Please click here for information about contract appeals.

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 the housing office at housing@ucmerced.edu or call 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.

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. Students will be assigned the lowest meal plan if they failed to choose a meal plan by Friday before move in.

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 by Friday before move in. Please note changes to the base meal plan will not be accepted after a semester starts, but Cat Dollars may be added 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?

The campus community has access to substantially better value through the purchase of a meal plan. However, commuter students who do not have a meal plan may dine in at the Pavilion and just pay the below "door" prices. Prices have been temporarily reduced to help staff and faculty coming to campus during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Breakfast: $8
  • Lunch: $8
  • Dinner: $8

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.

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. If the Realtor or landlord chose to send the form, please have them copy you on the email and  give us approval to provide the verification to the Realtor or landlord. Please allow us three to five business days to complete the form.