California Dream Act
Learn about your eligibility for certain student financial aid benefits through the California Dream Act, and about an exemption from paying nonresident tuition.
The California Dream Act allows children who were brought into the US under the age of 16 (without proper visas/immigration documentation) to apply for certain student financial aid benefits.
These students must meet certain criteria (as defined by AB 540) to apply for (and, if eligible, receive):
- Privately funded scholarships (eligibility is established by the scholarship donors)
- CSU and SDSU financial aid (like the State University Grant and California Dream Loan)
- State financial aid (like Cal Grants and the Middle Class Scholarship)
Do you meet AB 540 requirements?
You may meet AB 540 requirements if you:
- Attended a California high school for 3 or more years, and
- Graduated from a California high school or passed the GED or California High School Proficiency Exam
- Complete a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption
To request an exemption from paying nonresident tuition and establish your eligibility under AB 540, you must complete and submit a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (also called an AB 540 Affidavit) with required documentation to the SDSU Office of Admission. Contact the SDSU Office of Admission for the form and instructions. The form serves 2 purposes:
- To verify that the student meets the educational requirements
- To certify the intent to establish legal residency
CA Dream Act application determines your eligibility
Use the Dream Act worksheet as a guide to gather the information you need and then complete your California Dream Act Application to determine your eligibility for funding.
- Apply January 1 through March 2 by completing a new Dream Application and a Cal Grant GPA Verification form (also used to consider you for the Middle Class Scholarship).
- Once you have applied, the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and
Scholarships will create an SDSU AidLink account for you and notify you
by email that you may log in to your account and check the status of
your application. Your AidLink account will specify what other
information or documents you must submit so that we may determine your
- If you are eligible, awarded aid will be disbursed during the upcoming academic year.
State financial aid available if you are eligible
If you are eligible according to criteria above, and you have submitted your CA Dream Act appliation, you will be automatically considered for:
The California Dream Loan is a loan program for undergraduate students with AB540 status and a valid California Dream Act application. Funding is limited.
The California Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The current interest rate for 2016-17 loans is 3.76%. The interest rate for the California Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change annually. The California Dream Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half-time, during periods of approved deferment, and during the 6-month grace period before you enter repayment. You will be responsible for the interest accrued at all other times.
California Dream Loans are set up to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period and have a minimum payment of $50 a month. You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty. You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period. The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.
How you are notified if you are eligible for aid
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will communicate with you via AidLink and email to notify you of any awards and additional documents you may need to provide.
If you are a California Dream Act or DACA student, search and apply for SDSU scholarships for which you meet the eligibility requirements, including those scholarships that require demonstration of financial need.
If you are CA Dream Act eligible, you can apply for scholarships that
have no residency or citizenship requirements. If the scholarship requires you to demonstrate financial need, you must complete and submit a California Dream Act application.
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