Living on campus at UC Merced offers lots of advantages, but most of them can be summed up in a few key words - cost, convenience and concentration.
On-campus living might seem expensive at first, but it’s often comparable, when you consider the costs of food, utilities, transportation and parking, 24-hour staff, planned activities and event and financial aid allocations, said Director of Housing and Residence Life Leslie Santos.
What price can you put on convenience? When you live on campus, you can roll out of bed, grab breakfast at the dining commons and walk to class - no driving or parking, Santos said. That could take as little as 15 or 20 minutes if you’re low-maintenance, which comes in handy for 8 a.m. classes.
There’s also the convenience of having resident assistance and housing staff members to answer questions and support you through difficult times. When you live on campus, a community of friends is always nearby for study and play, and there are a variety of organized activities to help you relax and enjoy your spare time.
As for concentration, did you know that nationwide, students who live on campus perform better academically? Maybe it’s because they just have fewer worries - fewer bills to pay, fewer dishes to wash and fewer minutes wasted waiting at stoplights.
When you live off campus, going to college is just one thing you do,; said Associate Director of Residence Life Al Day. When you live on campus, college is your whole life.; That kind of focus will propel you toward your goals.
And to help your concentration, UC Merced will offer themed halls for the first time this fall - a Green Hall for students interested in environmental issues and an Academic Excellence Hall for high achievers. Both halls will offer special activities and educational opportunities as well as leadership and service aspects to help students reach out to others on campus to share their specialized knowledge.
While living on campus is always a good idea for freshmen getting accustomed to university life, Santos said upperclassmen and even graduate students can choose to live on campus because they want the community atmosphere or the convenience offered in campus housing. More experienced students are welcome as part of the on-campus housing community at UC Merced.
If you haven’t applied to live on campus yet, now is the time. Santos said limited spaces are available in the Valley Terraces apartment-style suites and the Sierra Terraces dorms, which will open for the first time this fall. To apply, visit