Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

University of California Merced tuition is $11,502 per year for in-state residents. This is 63% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 51% cheaper than the average California tuition of $23,377 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 56th in California amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 89th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $39,516 which represents a 244% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $2,096 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $13,598.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $16,790 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Merced should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,109.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $4,179 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $4,687 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state California residents to go to UC Merced is $35,676 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have California residence can expect a one year cost of $63,690.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 IPEDS survey response for University of California Merced and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for University of California Merced
Estimated Budgets
California Resident Total Budget $35,676
   In-State Tuition$11,502
   Other Fees$2,096
   Room and Board$16,790
   On-Campus Other Budget$4,179
   Books and Supplies$1,109
Non-Resident Total Budget $63,690
   Out-of-State Tuition$39,516
   Other Fees$2,096
   Room and Board$16,790
   On-Campus Other Budget$4,179
   Books and Supplies$1,109


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $35,676 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported UC Merced net price for in-state students is $12,009* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

89% of University of California Merced students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $21,456. 64 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,808. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend University of California Merced, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for University of California Merced
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$12,009*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid89%
Average Total Grant Aid$21,456
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants64%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,808

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$8,720
$30,001 to $48,000$9,939
$48,001 to $75,000$13,532
$75,001 to $110,000$20,520

Average Financial Aid Mix - $35,676 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $35,676. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 68% - $21,456

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, University of California Merced or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 15% - $4,589

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 17% -  $5,452

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. University of California Merced
California State University Fresno50.1% less expensive
San Francisco State University50.1% less expensive
Sonoma State University50.1% less expensive
University of Nevada Reno43.8% less expensive
California State University Northridge50.1% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at University of California Merced.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at UC Merced is $142,704 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $11,500 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $46,000**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $178,380 or $57,500 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at University of California Merced.

California Resident Tuition Per Semester$5,751
California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$17,838
Non-California Resident Tuition Per Semester$19,758
Non-California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$31,845

Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 55% of University of California Merced students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $4,589. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $21,314.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for University of California Merced? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $46,000, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $57,075.45. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at University of California Merced. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 89% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $11,500. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our University of California Merced student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

University of California Merced Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$475.63
Amount Borrowed$46,000.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$11,075.45
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$57,075.45

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend UC Merced? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending University of California Merced, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $57,075.45 would be needed to afford a $475.63 monthly payment in the example $46,000.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to University of California Merced in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $11,220 to $11,502. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 0.5%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $142,704.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for University of California Merced.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$49,063$196,251
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$62,618$250,472
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $79,918$319,673
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $92,515$370,061

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at University of California Merced to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 87 58% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 27 50% costlier
Comparative Literature Bachelor's Degree 18 14% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 16 56% costlier
Applied Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 9 42% costlier
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Bachelor's Degree 6 34% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 5 42% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 5 58% costlier
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 4 24% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 4 53% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 3 54% costlier
Materials Engineering Bachelor's Degree 3 33% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 2 53% costlier
Management Science Bachelor's Degree 2 54% costlier
Cognitive Science Bachelor's Degree 2 18% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 45% costlier
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 1 66% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 1 50% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 1 55% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 1 41% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for University of California Merced or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford University of California Merced in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a University of California Merced student loan.

Prepayment Option

About University of California Merced

University of California Merced is a four year public college located in Merced, California.  Full time enrollment is 7,260 and part time is 76.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

University of California Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, California

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

University of California Merced is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

University of California Merced cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=445188 IPEDS survey data.