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California Dream Act Application

The California Dream Act is a law that allows undocumented and nonresident students who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid. The California Dream Act is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Instead of submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students for whom any of the following are true can submit the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to receive financial aid. You are eligible to complete the CADAA if you:

  • Are undocumented
  • Have a valid or expired DACA status
  • Are a U visa holder
  • Have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540, AB 2000, or SB 68

Financial Aid Available for Undocumented Students

Undocumented students may qualify for the following types of financial aid:

  • State grants, including the California College Promise Grant, Cal Grants, Chafee Grants, and Student Success Completion Grant
  • Assistance from EOPS, CARE, or CalWORKs
  • Some scholarships
  • Los Rios Promise Program

To streamline the application process for undocumented students who are eligible to receive state-based financial aid, the CADAA embeds the AB 540 affidavit beginning with the 2024-2025 application.