CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT (AB 130 & 131)
Assembly Bills 130 & 131 passed in 2011 by the California legislature. This law increases opportunities for AB 540 students to receive financial aid while attending college.
AB 130 Effective January 1, 2012. Allows eligible AB 540 students to apply for & receive scholarships at California public colleges and universities derived from non-state funds.
AB 131 Effective January 1, 2013. Allows eligible AB 540 student to apply for and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities partially derived from state funds beginning in the Spring 2013 semester.
To be considered for state aid, CSU Students MUST complete the Dream Application at www.caldreamact.org by May 18, 2012. If you are a male between the ages of 18 to 26 years old, you must register with selective service to meet eligibility requirements. Students who do not have a Social Security number should register via mailing in a selective service registration postcard. These postcards can be obtained at your local post office.
CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT FACT SHEET 2011
Created by the Dream Resource Center
During the 2011 legislative cycle, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills: Assembly Bill 130 and Assembly Bill 131 packaged as the ‘California Dream Act’ which allow qualifying ‘AB 540’ status holders to access state and non-state resourced funds to finance their college or university education. These bills will be referred to as AB 130 and AB 131.
AB 130 allows eligible AB 540 students to apply for and receive scholarships at California public colleges and universities derived from non-state funds. This bill went into effect January 1, 2012.
AB 131 allows eligible AB 540 student to apply for and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities partially derived from state funds. This bill will go into effect January 1, 2013.
Before AB 130 and AB 131, AB 540 status holders who were undocumented did not qualify for financial aid administered by the state or their respective institutions.
What does AB 130 do for AB 540 students?
In the past, California public colleges and universities were bound by the state to withhold financial assistance to their AB 540 students. AB 130 gives California public colleges and universities the opportunity to allow AB 540 students to apply and compete for scholarship awards. These include scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions or individual departmental efforts.
How can an AB 540 student access funds made available by AB 130?
Students must apply and compete for available awards as outlined by their respective college or university. Provisions of AB 130 will not go into effect until January 1, 2012.
What does AB 131 do for AB 540 students?
In the past, the State of California did not administer financial aid programs for undocumented students. This bill allows undocumented students who qualify for AB 540 to participate in state funded financial aid programs:
- AB 131 calls for California’s community colleges to allow students to apply for the Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers, which waive the educational fees of qualifying low-income students.
- AB 131 also calls for the establishment of procedures and forms that would enable current AB 540 status holders to apply for, and participate in, other student aid programs administered by California’s public colleges and universities such as institutional aid derived from tuition revenue.
- Lastly, AB 131 calls for the State of California to allow AB-540 status holders to participate in any state-administered financial aid programs such as Cal Grants. However, funds for the Competitive Cal Grants will not be made available to undocumented students unless funding remains available after their California resident counterparts have received theirs. Please see http://www.calgrants.org/ for information on the different types of Cal Grants that California administers. According to a statement released by the Office of Governor Jerry Brown, “The California Department of Finance estimates that 2,500 students will qualify for Cal Grants as a result of AB 131.
How can an AB 540 student access funds made available by AB 131?
For institutional-based awards, students must apply and compete for available awards as outlined by their respective college or university.
For questions or more information, please contact the Dream Resource Center.
STEPS TO FILL OUT DREAM ACT
- Fill OUT the CA DREAM APPLICATION AT http://www.caldreamact.org AND check the confirmation page to see if any additional steps are required. Check again after corrections are made.
- BE SURE both you and your parents sign the application online. Paper form if required.
- List ALL school(s) you are currently attending or applied to for admission.
- During Spring 2013, students should review the status of their financial aid award at each school and complete income verification if required and/or make necessary corrections to receive award.
- CA Dream Application will allow students to apply for the State University Grant, Cal Grants & EOP Grant if they meet the income & application guidelines. EOP application and Non-SSN GPA verification form www.csac.ca.gov must ALSO be submitted by deadlines to be eligible.
- Students must apply EACH YEAR. 2013-2014 Applications available Jan 14 - March 2, 2013.
Information Needed to Fill Out California Dream Application
If applicable, gather the following documents:
- W-2 forms and other 2012 records of income (if you or your parents have any)
- 2012 income tax return (s) (if you or your parents have one)
- Records of child support paid (if applicable)
- Records of student scholarships & fellowships included in your/your parents’ taxes
- Current investment records or business
- Current business records if over 100 employees and/or farm records
- Current bank statements
Tips on Filling Out the Califorinia Dream Application
If applicable, gather the following documents:
- Don’t forget your password or your User ID! Write it down!
- Citizenship Status. Only AB 540 students who cannot fill out the FAFSA must fill out the CA Dream Application. Citizens, legal permanent residents and eligible non-citizens can only fill out the FAFSA. Students must be coded at their school as AB 540 students to receive dream funds.
- Students with ITINs (individual tax identification numbers) can provide this on their application. Students are not required and should not provide a social security number.
- You must report your income and any cash support given by relatives except food and housing
- If you are under 24 years old, your parents must also report their income and any cash support given by relatives except food and housing (Unless stu is married, has children, grad student, etc.)
- Income Verification. A percentage of students will be selected by their college or university to verify their family income. If you or your parents meet income guidelines that require you to file taxes, you might be required to present an IRS tax return transcript to verify your income.
- Household size is anyone in the immediate family who receives more than 50% support from a dependent student’s parents or an independent student. Roommates are not included.
- Selective Service Registration Most males, 18 to 25 years old must be registered with Selective Service in order to be eligible for state student aid. All male students can register at their local post office by filling out and mailing a Selective Service postcard. SSN not required.
- Signing the Dream Application: Student & Parent must sign if considered dependent. First, STUDENT chooses their User ID and password and will use this instead of PIN to sign and submit the application. Then, PARENT chooses “Add Parent Signature” and has student sign into their account. Parent puts in parent name, birthdate and wages to create PARENT PIN, which they use to sign the application.
CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT OF 2011 MYTHS & FACTS
Myth #1: All Dream Act students are illegal immigrants
The Facts:Dream Act students must meet the requirements of AB 540 law found in Education Code § 68230.5(a). Two groups of students potentially meet those requirements: (1) U.S. citizens who have attended and graduated from a CA high school, but don’t meet state residency requirements, and (2) undocumented students whose parents brought them to the U.S. when they were minors, and who attended and graduated from a CA high school.
Myth #2: State grants are being taken away from legal U.S. citizens
The Facts: The Cal Grants A & B for which Dream Act students are eligible are entitlements. Every California high school graduate (or the equivalent) who meets the qualifications receives an award.
Myth #3: Dream Act financial aid is a waste of state resources, because these students will not be able to work once they leave college
The Facts: As stated under Myth #1, a portion of Dream Act students are U.S. citizens, and there are no occupational restrictions on them, except as pertain to general economic conditions.
The Facts: All undocumented Dream Act students must file an affidavit stating they have or intend to (as soon as they are able) apply to legalize their immigration status as a condition of the AB 540 and AB 131 laws. That legal process may result in permanent residency before the students leave college or shortly thereafter.
The Facts: The U.S. Congress has attempted to pass various federal DREAM Acts with bipartisan support. The federal Act would create a pathway to permanent residency and work authorization. That law may be put into place before the students leave college or shortly thereafter.
The Facts: For all postsecondary students, the college experience expands knowledge, identity and community; develops workforce skills; and builds educated and engaged residents and citizens.
Myth #4: Dream Act Cal Grants can only be used at California public colleges and universities
The Facts: Dream Act Cal Grants can be used at any eligible Cal Grant participating institution.
ESTIMATED PER YEAR COLLEGE COSTS
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Technical Problems with California Dream Act Applications
The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) reports that they experienced technical issues with both the enhanced 2012-13 and the new 2013-14 California Dream Act applications submitted online between January 14 and February 1, 2013. To ensure that the data was not compromised, CSAC has deleted the information from any affected applications submitted during this time period. Those students whose applications were affected should have been contacted via email directly from CSAC informing them of the problem. The technical issues have now been fixed, so applications received after February 1 have not been affected. If you submitted your California Dream Act application between January 14 and February 1, 2013, and you have been contacted by CSAC, you need to re-apply.
CSAC recommends that you re-apply by returning to the California Dream Act online application website at dream.csac.ca.gov and clicking the Retrieve My Application button. You can use the same User ID and Password that you initially created. If you are unsure whether your application has been affected, please log in and check the status, and re-submit it if necessary.
Also, if you created a WebGrants for Students account after submitting the California Dream Act application and you were affected by this problem, that account was also deleted. Once you have successfully resubmitted an application, CSAC recommends that you establish a new WebGrants for Students account at webgrants4students.org. This account will allow you to track your California Dream Act application, grade point average information, and Cal Grant award status.