If you are planning to study abroad some time in the window of fall 2015 to summer 2016, be sure to apply for the FAFSA (or CA Dream Act Application, if appropriate) by the March 2 deadline. The UC Merced school code is 041271, and you will use that even if you study abroad. Even if you never get offered more than loans, for the year you study abroad you really should file for aid and here are the three reasons why:
- You never know if your financial aid situation might change. It might be that your father might lose a job, your mother might get sick, or something changed tax-wise over the last or coming year (e.g. your younger brother is going to college next year). You might even need to tap your loans in an emergency.
- You might want to apply for scholarships. If you plan to apply to merit-based, competitive scholarships, you will usually need to demonstrate financial need or financial hardship. The FAFSA can demonstrate your need or support your case.
- You might become eligible for grants. If your program's cost of attendance is greater than your UC Merced cost of attendance, you may see an increase in your grant eligibility.
Be sure to meet the March 2 deadline, which applied to both the FAFSA and the CA Dream Act Application. If you are planning to go abroad in the summer, keep an eye out for the Summer Financial Aid Application, which distributes financial aid on a first-come-first-served basis.