University of California, Merced

Outside the Bay Area, CA

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Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

UC Riverside or UC Merced?

March 2012

My child was offered acceptance at UC Merced and UC Riverside, any pros or cos for either schools. Major is undecided but interests are computer science / business. College Bound


UC Merced and UC Riverside are very different! Have you read the material on the UC website about the majors and programs offered at each campus? I believe Merced has fewer choices of majors. Has your child visited each campus--that would be essential because the atmosphere at each is quite different. Given that Merced is the youngest UC campus, it may not have as strong a reputation as Riverside. But the key question is--which does your child prefer? The child's preference and the availability of majors or courses should be the key deciding factors. Anonymous


My son LOVES UC Riverside and wouldn't hesitate to tell you so. The quality of instruction, the feeling that everyone belongs to a community, the friendliness all are important to him. k.


Experience with UC Merced?

April 2009

Does anyone have personal experience with UC Merced? My daughter received an acceptance letter from them, although she hadn't applied there. She was rejected by all the other UC's, so is seriously considering it. We're wondering specifically if it feels isolating, and if it will feel very different from the more diverse community she is used to in the Bay Area. anon


Here is response from my son who is going to UC Merced currently: Currently a sophomore at UC Merced. I was also rejected from all the UCs and chose UC Merced over San Francisco State. The size of classes makes it feel like a small private school at a UC price. Most professors are well educated from respectable universities. There is some diversity on campus (majority of students are from Bay Area, Sacramento, and Los Angeles). The campus itself is about 4-5 miles from the city of Merced. There is a shuttle that goes between campus and town. The city of Merced is a very conservative place. It is missing the diversity that we are used to (and love) in the Bay Area. There is also no Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or anything resembling Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market. Merced feels like it's stuck in the 90s. I would not highly recommend UC Merced if your daughter is looking for a big city school like UCLA or UC Berkeley. Instead, her best bet would be to attend community college for two years and then transfer to a UC. Hope that helps, and best of luck. Anon


My son (Berkeley High Graduate) is now a 3rd year student and has thrived well. The Campus itself is isolated, it is about 10-15 minutes away from downtown Merced via car, but the student body population is very diverse. Many of my son's friends are from San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Alameda, Berkeley as well as Los Angeles and San Diego. Staff is also a diverse bunch!

He's been an RA for two years now. He just learned that he's been accepted to be a SR RA for the 09/10 school year. I'm sure he'd be happy to answer any of your daughter's questions regarding the school. E-mail me and I can send you his e-mail. js