Key California Dream Act Dates


October 2014
  • Cal Grant GPA submission begins
  • Talk to your high school about submitting your GPA before March 2, 2015
January 2015
March 2, 2015
  • March 2, 2015 is the 2015-16 priority financial aid filing deadline for most colleges and universities and the absolute deadline for submission of your Cal Grant application (CA Dream Act Application + GPA
  • If you or your school submits your certified GPA using your DACA SSN, make sure you include that DACA SSN on question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application
  • Better yet, submit a non-SSN GPA to the CA Student Aid Commission
After March 2, 2015
  • Some colleges, especially community colleges, accept the CA Dream Act Application throughout the year. Check with your campus Financial Aid Office.

California Dream Act
10 Things You Need To Know

  • Who qualifies?
    x
    The California Dream Act allows certain students who meet the requirements to apply for and receive state financial aid at California public and private colleges and private scholarships administered by California public colleges.
  • California Dream Act Application information
    x
    California Dream Act Application information is not shared with federal databases. Student and parent information is protected by the same privacy and information security laws and safeguards as all other state financial aid applicants.
  • Assembly Bill (AB) 540 qualifications
    x
    • Have attended a CA high school for at least three years or graduated early from a CA high school with the equivalent of three or more years of credit*, AND
    • Graduated from a CA high school, or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), or obtained a certificate of General Education (GED), AND
    • Enroll in an accredited and qualifying CA college or university, AND
    • If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible.
    *if you graduated early from high school under this provision, you must also have attended CA schools (elementary and secondary) for a cumulative total of three or more years.
  • AB 540 students can apply
    x

    Cal Grants that can be used in the 2015-16 academic year. Both the Dream Act Application and your school certified GPA must be submitted by the Cal Grant March 2 deadline

    AB 540 students can apply for private scholarship aid administered by public and private colleges and universities. Check with your campus for program details and application information.

    California Community College Board of Governer's (BOG) fee waiver. Check with the college for required forms.

    Other state financial aid awarded by colleges and universities. Apply by the March 2 priority deadline.

    Chafee Grants for foster youth and submit a Chafee application, www.csac.ca.gov

  • When do I apply?
    x
  • After completing the California Dream Act Application
    x
    After completing the California Dream Act Application, check with your school on any other forms they may require
  • Cal Grants are free money for college
    x
    Cal Grants are free money for college that does not have to be paid back. Students may receive up to $12,192 annually for up to 4 years of college. Amount varies depending upon the college of attendance.
  • Cal Grant March 2 deadline
    x
    Submit a verified GPA form by the Cal Grant March 2 deadline. Check with your school about submitting your GPA form.
  • Get help applying at a Cash for College workshop
    x
    Get help applying at a Cash for college workshop. Find workshop locations at www.calgrants.org
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
    x
    The recent federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) does not prevent students from applying for California Dream Act financial aid. California students who have applied for or received approval for Deferred Action should complete the California Dream Act Application, not the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more at www.uscis.gov www.e4fc.org www.weownthedream.org








*
WHAT IS AB 540

AB 540 exempts certain students from paying nonresident tuition (higher than resident tuition) and allows them to apply for different types of California Dream Act financial aid

Students must have
  • Have attended a CA high school for at least three years or graduated early from a CA high school with the equivalent of three or more years of credit*, AND
  • Graduated from a CA high school, or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), or obtained a Certificate of General Education Development (GED), AND
  • Enrolled in an accredited and qualifying CA college or university; AND
  • If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible.

*If you graduated early from high school under this provision, you must have also attended CA schools (elementary and secondary) for a cumulative total of three or more years.

AB 1899 allows U and T visa holders to also apply for state financial aid. (T visa holders should file a FAFSA, U visa holders should file a CA Dream Act Application)

If you meet the requirements above, you should complete the CA Dream Act Application for financial aid. ( A certified GPA is also necessary for Cal Grant consideration.)

Your college is responsible for verifying your AB 540 eligibility. Check with your Admissions Office early in the summer before the Fall Term starts.

*
WHAT IS DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a federal process that defers removal action of an individual by USCIS for a specified number of years.

  • It is not the same as financial aid
  • It does not grant lawful immigration status
  • It does allow individuals to apply for an SSN and work authorization

CA Dreamers should still file a CA Dream Act Application instead of a FAFSA and submit a Non-SSN GPA. If you or your school submits your certified GPA using your DACA SSN, make sure you include that DACA SSN on question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application.

For more info about DACA visit www.uscis.gov , www.e4fc.org , www.weownthedream.org

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WHAT FINANCIAL AID CAN A DREAMER APPLY FOR?

- Cal Grant
- Chafee Grant
- Middle Class Scholarship
- UC Grants
- State University Grants
- California Community College (CCC) BOG Fee Waiver
- EOP/EOPS
- Some University scholarships
- Some private scholarships administered by campuses

The application deadline for all Dreamer Cal Grants and most of the other aid listed above is March 2.

Dreamer Cal Grants include:

  • High School Entitlement Cal Grant A & B
  • CCC Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A & B
  • Cal Grant C

(Dreamers are not eligible to receive Competitive Cal Grants.)

A Dreamer Cal Grant application = CA Dream Act Application + Non-SSN GPA

You can submit your GPA the following ways

  • Non-SSN - Best!
  • SSN (with your DACA) - but you MUST make sure you include your DACA SSN on Question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application (may slow down processing of your application)

You must meet the application deadline and all applicable eligibility requirements to qualify for any financial aid listed above.

Get help on your application at a Cash for College workshop in your area.

For other financial aid and resources for Dreamers visit: e4fc.org, maldef.org

*
CAL GRANTS FOR DREAMERS

The application deadline for all Dreamer Cal Grants is March 2.

High School Entitlement Cal Grant A & B
- Meet AB 540 requirements
- Graduate high school or equivalent (GED, CHSPE) after July 1, 2013
- Submit a high school GPA

CCC Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A & B
- Meet AB 540 requirements
- Under 28 by Dec 31st of the award year
- Attend a community college in the academic year immediately before the award year
- Submit a community college GPA of 24+ units (2.40 or higher)
- Include a 4-year college on your Dream App

Cal Grant C
- Meet AB 540 requirements
- Enroll in an occupational or technical program
- Indicate an occupational or technical program on Q#30 of your Dream App

Dreamers are not eligible to receive Competitive Cal Grant A & B awards.

A Dreamer Cal Grant application = CA Dream Act Application + Non-SSN GPA

You must meet the application deadline and all applicable eligibility requirements to qualify for any Cal Grants listed above.

If you are not eligible for a Dreamer Cal Grant, visit the financial aid office at your campus to find out what other aid is available.

Check out the link, "What Financial Aid Can a Dreamer Apply For?" on this page.






  California Dream Act Online Application




Archived Information