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California Dream Act Q&A

The California Dream Act allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive certain state and institutional financial assistance programs.

What are the AB 540 requirements?

  • The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three of more years.
  • AND The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example: passed the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).
  • AND A student who is without lawful immigration status must file and AB 540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
  • AND Complete and submit the affidavit to the Admissions & Recruitment.

What assistance is available to AB 540 students?

AB 130 (Scholarships)

AB 130 allows students who qualify under AB 540 to apply for non-state funded scholarships. This law took affect on January 1, 2012. For additional information regarding scholarships, please see AB540 Scholarship Opportunities.

AB 131 (Grants)

AB 131 allows students who qualify under the AB 540 to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.  This law took effect on January 1, 2013.  As such, eligible AB540 students at Cal State San Marcos who complete the California Dream Application will be considered for funding.

How do I apply?

California Dream Application

Deadline for application: February 2nd

To apply for the programs available under AB 131 you will use the California Dream Application (above). The Dream Application will collect basic personal and income information to determine student eligibility for funding under AB 131. Students will need to complete the Dream Application every year to determine eligibility for state and institutional aid. Students should complete and submit CSUSM AB 540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) in order to begin a review of your eligibility.

Now that I've applied, what happens next?

Students who meet the March 2nd priority funding deadline will receive notifications of eligibility during the summer.