The Dream Act | GO! Beyond High School

Assembly Bill (AB) 540 was passed in 2001 to allow non-resident students in California to pay the lower resident tuition and fees to California's public colleges and universities. In October 2011, AB131 was signed into law and allows students eligible for AB540 to also apply for state financial aid like the University of California Grants, State University Grants and Board of Governor's fee waivers for the 2012-13 school year and later Cal Grants for the 2013-14 school year.

The California Dream Act, authored by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles), became law through the passage of two Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131.

AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.

The Dream Act is:

  • Administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)
  • Required to determine eligibility for California student financial aid for AB540 eligible students. Applications can be completed at selected Cash for College Nights in Humboldt County.
  • Not an application for federal financial aid. Students who are eligible to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), must use that application to maximize their opportunity to receive student financial aid. The FAFSA application is online at www.fafsa.gov. Students should not complete both applications.

To qualify, non-resident students, including undocumented students, must:

  • Have attended a California high school for 3 or more full academic years between grades 9 through 12. They do not need to be consecutive years
  • Have or will graduate from a California high school, attained a GED, or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE)
  • Register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in California
  • Not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F,J,H,L,A,B,E, etc.)
  • Demonstrate financial need and meet all other program requirements
  • 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 apply for the Dream Act, visit https://dream.csac.ca.gov/. To learn more about the Dream Act, download this flyer entitled Ten Things You Need to Know about the California Dream Act.