The California Dream Act is the name for two Assembly Bills passed by the California legislature in 2011, which allows undocumented students to apply for and receive state based financial aid and institutional scholarships. These laws increase financial aid opportunities for AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 students, including U Visa Holders and TPS Recipients.
AB 130 (Effective January 1, 2012): Allows eligible AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 students to apply for and receive scholarships at California public colleges and universities that are derived from non-state funds.
AB 131 (Effective January 1, 2013): Allows eligible AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 students to apply for and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities that are partially derived from state funds.
AB 540 Dream Student To Do List
Complete Your CADAA
The beginning of every AB 540 Dream student's financial aid process will always be to complete a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) every single year. By completing a CADAA, they are ensuring themselves to be considered for State financial aid for the designated academic year they are planning on attending.
For more information on how to begin, access, or edit your CADAA, please click on the link provided down below.
Do Not Miss The March 2nd Deadline!
The state of California has a priority deadline for every California resident or AB 540/SB 68 eligible student who completes a financial aid application - FAFSA or CADAA. They are required to complete their applications by March 2nd of every single year in order to be considered for State financial aid eligibility.
Any student who misses the deadline becomes INELIGIBLE to be considered for State financial aid. Since AB 540 Dream students are only eligible for State aid, it is important they always meet this deadline.
Confirm AB 540 Eligibility
The last step to ensuring a Dream student's financial aid awarding would be to confirm their AB 540/SB 68 status with the school. To begin this process, the student must submit their Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Affidavit (AB 540 Form) to the Admissions Office - Undergraduate or Graduate.
Please click on the link provided down below to access and complete this form.
- Create your User ID and Password. If you are creating this log-in information for the first time, make sure to save them this same credentials on future CADAAs you complete.
- Entering your ITIN, SSN, or SSID is optional. You are not required to enter your Individual Tax Identification Number, your Social Security Number, or your Statewide Student Identification Number.
- List your Citizenship Status as “No, I am not a citizen or eligible noncitizen.” You should select “not a citizen or eligible noncitizen” even if you have a SSN through DACA or a U-Visa.
- Tax return filers who have not yet filed, must indicate “Will file.” Since the application is using information from two years prior, taxes have most likely been filed. If you or your Parent(s) are a late filer, please get in contact with your tax provider. Tax return non-filers must indicate “Not going to file.” If you did work, but are not required to file taxes, please make sure to list any earnings and untaxed income.
- Correctly add SF State school to your CADAA. Our school code is 001154 You can also search by name (SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY) under College Search.
- If you cannot answer “Yes” to any of the Dependency Questions, you must provide Parent information. Your parent must be ready to provide the requested tax and income information.
- Household size does not mean everyone who lives with you or your Parent if you are a dependent student. Household size is anyone in the immediate family who receives more than 50% support from a dependent student’s parents or an independent student.
- Make sure to electronically sign your application and review your confirmation page for errors. If required, your Parent will need to sign using the Parent PIN. They will need to save this PIN in order to reuse it on future applications. Any errors, such as a missing Parent PIN, will be highlighted in red, and you must correct them in order for your CADAA to be processed successfully.
For more detailed question-by-question information, you can also check out the California Student Aid Commission's Resources for CA Dream Act Application.
Special Alert from the California Student Aid Commission
Per CSAC and the California Department of Education’s Joint Letter:
- Losing DACA status will not affect most state financial aid
- California Dream Act applicants do not need to be DACA eligible to receive California state financial aid
- The California Dream Act Application is only used to determine eligibility for state financial aid and is not shared with the federal government or used for immigration enforcement purposes
Cal Grant for AB 540 Students: Verifying your GPA
Students have the highest eligibility of being awarded a Cal Grant when they graduate from high school or transfer to a four-year University from a community college. These Grants are known as the High School Entitlement and the Transfer Entitlement Grants.
In order to apply for the CAL Grant, you must submit the following by March 2nd:
Even students with a Social Security Number through DACA must still submit the non-SSN GPA Verification Form.
To verify if your school has sent out your GPA Verification, you can go to your WebGrants for Students account. If needed, you can print out the Cal Grant GPA Verification form on your own, have your school fill it out, then mail it to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Make sure to postmark it no later than March 2nd.