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California Dream Act

A Resource for Undocumented Students

The California Dream Act of 2011 is the result of two bills, Assembly Bill 130 (AB 130) and Assembly Bill 131 (AB131). Together, these bills allow undocumented and documented students who meet certain provisions of AB 540 law (see below) to apply for and receive private scholarships funneled though public universities (AB 130), state-administered financial aid, university grants, and community college fee waivers (AB 131).

What is AB 540, and what does it have to do with the California Dream Act?

AB 540, passed in 2001, allows students meeting all of the following criteria to pay the same tuition and fees as resident students at California public colleges and universities. Starting on January 1, 2013, the California Dream Act extends Cal Grant A & B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, institutional grants, and community college fee waivers to students that meet these same criteria. To receive Dream Act aid, AB 540 and AB 131 students must:

  • Have attended a California high school for a minimum of three years
  • Graduate from a California high school or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED, also called General Education Development test)
  • Enroll in an accredited California institution of higher education
  • In the case of students without legal immigration status, fill out an affidavit stating that they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immigration status as soon as they are eligible to do so
  • To get a Cal Grant, they must also meet all other Cal Grant eligibility criteria

Financial Assistance available for AB 540 students

You may be eligible for:

  • NOW: AB 540 In-State tuition assistance
  • NOW: AB 130 private scholarships (see your intended college or university for applications and deadlines)
  • Jan 1, 2013: Institutional grants like the UC "University Grant" or the CSU "State University Grant" (see your intended college or university for applications and deadlines.
  • Jan 1, 2013: California Community Colleges Board of Governor's fee waiver (BOG fee waiver) (see your local community college for application)
  • Jan 1, 2013: Cal Grant (applications start 2013; awards can be used beginning Fall Term 2013)

University of California Undocumented Student Resources

At the University of California, students from all backgrounds are welcome. UC campuses offer a range of support services that can help undocumented students balance being a full-time student while handling other day-to-day challenges they may face. UCOP recently launched a new Undocumented Student Resources website to help organize these resources on the web for prospective and current students. 

Click HERE for more information!