How to Apply for the DREAM Act

  1. Become an SMC student. Apply today!

  2. Submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can see what financial aid is available for DREAM Act students (AB 540 eligible, see below "What Are AB 540 Requirements? ") can be found on the Available Types of Aid webpage. 

  3. Meet with a college counselor to develop an education plan to help you achieve your goals. 

About the California DREAM Act

The California Dream Act of 2011 is the result of two bills, Assembly Bill 130 (AB 130) and Assembly  Bill 131 (AB 131). Together, these bills allow undocumented and documented students who meet certain provisions of AB 540 law (see below) to apply for and receive private scholarships funneled through public universities (AB 130), state administered financial aid, university grants, and community college fee waivers (AB 131).

To receive Dream Act aid, AB 540 and AB 131 students must:

  • Have attended a California high school for a minimum of three years

  • Graduate from a California high school or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED, also called General Educational Development test)

  • Enroll in an accredited California institution of higher education

  • 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 get a Cal Grant, they must also meet all other Cal Grant eligibility criteria   

Resources

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What is AB 540?

Signed into law in October 2001, California Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a bill that provides an exemption to the requirement to pay nonresident tuition.  It was later adopted by the California Community Colleges (CCC) the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) systems.

Any student who meets the specific requirements shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at all public colleges and universities in California. 

 

What Are AB 540 Requirements?

  • Student must have attended a high school in California for three or more years;

  • Student must have graduated fro m a California High school or attained the equivalent of a high school diploma (i.e. passed the GED or CA High School Proficiency Exam);

  • Student must register or be currently enrolled in one of the three state institutions of higher learning (CCC, CSU, UC);

  • Students without immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that s/he has applied/legalize his/her legal status or will do so as soon as s/he is eligible to do so.

Forms 

AB 540 students are now eligible to receive state financial aid.