With 400+ in the Promise Housing, UC Merced officials say, ideally, 100 beds will be filled with Merced College students.
MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The state of California is helping fund more housing for college students in the North Valley.
The goal is to bridge the gap and break down barriers between community colleges and 4-year universities.
Thanks to $100 million in funding from the California State Legislature, The 'Promise Housing' facility will be built on UC Merced's campus.
Merced College President Chris Vitelli calls it a 'game changer.'
"We are absolutely thrilled with the state's decision to fund," Vitelli said.
The 488-bed student housing project will offer rooms to income-qualified students.
It fits perfectly into the 'Merced Promise,' which was signed in November of 2020, easing students' transition from associates to bachelor's degrees while remaining in Merced.
"Our goal is to serve local community members who want to live and stay in Merced to get a high-quality education, at a low cost," Vitelli said.
Vitelli says right now, transfer numbers from Merced College to UC Merced are not as high as he'd like them to be.
He hopes this program will help change that.
For Merced College students like Alma Juarez, who is a full-time student on a limited budget, she wishes it was already an option.
"I think it'd be more convenient for me if I were to live in the apartments, and then it would just save me more money and then I could pay off school and be a second-grade teacher," Juarez said.
Charles Nies, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UC Merced, says he hopes this will provide some comfortability for incoming students.
"Our hope is that they will not only already be prepared for and know exactly what they need to do like Merced College for that transfer pathway, but help them to build those relationships already with the university, whether that's a student organization they may want to join, or just how to navigate the campus itself."
The facility will be constructed on what is currently a parking area to the south of UC Merced's 2020 project expansion.
With more than 400 beds in the Promise Housing, UC Merced officials say, ideally, 100 beds will be filled with Merced College students.
The facility is expected to be completed in Fall of 2027.