College Financial Aid for DACAmented Students

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The State of California offers undocumented and DACAmented students access to financial aid for higher education programs. The termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program DOES NOT affect AB540, AB2000, SB68, or the California Dream Act. Eligible California students should follow the application process described below to see if they are qualified for financial aid.

Note: The California DREAM Act is NOT an immigration status and does not provide a pathway to citizenship.

 

AB 540 and California DREAM Act

 

 

AB 540, passed in 2011, exempts certain students from paying nonresident tuition (higher than resident tuition) and allows them to apply for different types of aid. The California DREAM Act, passed in 2011, is state financial aid for undocumented or DACA recipients who are pursuing a higher education.

Whether you want to go to a 4-year university or a community college, there is state financial aid available for you.

Together AB 540 and CA Dream Act allow students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities, and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid.

WHAT IF I DON'T QUALIFY FOR AB 540?


Since the implementation of AB 540 there has been supporting legislation which has expanded the scope of those eligible to apply for the CA Dream Act with 
AB 2000 and SB 68.

 

AB 2000

 


AB 2000, passed in 2014, is an expansion of AB 540.

  • Allows students who graduated from a California High School early with the equivalent of 3 years or more of credits.
  • The student must have attended a California elementary or secondary school for a cumulative 3 year period or more in order to qualify to pay in-state tuition.


To qualify as an AB 2000 student you must have:

  • Attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years


OR

  • Attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school coursework and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years.
  • Graduated from a California high school, got a GED, OR passed the California High School Proficiency exam;
  • Complete an affidavit with the school you plan to attend.

 

 

SB 68

 


SB 68 passed in 2017 and is an expansion of AB540

  • Enables students to count years spent at a California Community College and adult education towards AB 540 eligibility.
  • In addition, students with an Associates degree or students who meet the minimum requirements to transfer to a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) will qualify for in-state tuition and financial aid.

 

Part 1:

  • Three full-time years of attendance or attainment of equivalent credits earned in a California:
    • High School
    • Adult School
    • Full attendance = min of 420 hrs/ school year
  • Community College:
    • 12 units/ semester or quarter equivalent and max 2 years of full-time attendance
    • Full attendance = min of 420 hrs/ school year
  • Or any combination of the above

 

OR

  • Three years of high school coursework and three years of total attendance in a California:
    • Elementary School
    • Secondary School
    • OR any combination of the above

 

Part 2:

  • Fulfill one of the following:
    • Graduate from a CA High School
    • Obtain a G.E.D in CA
    • Attain an associate degree from a CA Community College
    • Fulfill minimum transfer requirements for University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU)

 

Once you have determined if you are an AB 540 (AB 2000 or SB68) student, the next the step is to complete the California DREAM Act application:

  • You can begin your California DREAM Act application at any time by visiting the California Student Aid Commission webpage.
  • If you need assistance completing the application, seek help from your high school or college counselor and the financial aid office at your school.

 

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

 

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

HELPFUL LINKS:

Guide on how to complete the California DREAM Act application

List of frequently asked questions about the CA DREAM Act

Educators Guide to SB68

Center for Online Education

Educators for Fair Consideration