Empowering undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals
California Dream Act Applications DUE March 2nd, 2016!
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What is the California Dream Act?
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT The California Dream Act is the name given to Assembly Bills 130 & 131, which allow some undocumented students to apply for and receive state-based financial aid and institutional scholarships. The 2011 passage of AB 130 & 131 symbolizes a milestone victory for undocumented students and allies in California who organized and advocated for increased access to college. The California Dream Act represents a critical investment in undocumented students and in the future of California. We hope these materials help you understand the financial aid resources available to you through the California Dream Act and help you navigate the financial aid application process so you can make college a reality - regardless of your immigration status. Now that the California Dream Act is a reality, let’s make it a success by encouraging as many eligible students to apply & claim their financial aid! AB 130 is the California state law that gives colleges and universities the discretion to award institutional scholarships to undocumented students who qualify for Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540). This includes scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions and individual departmental efforts. Students must apply and compete for available awards as determined by their respective college or university. This bill went into effect on January 1, 2012. AB 131 is the California state law that enables undocumented students who qualify for AB 540 to receive state-based financial aid such as Cal Grants, State University Grants and Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers. This bill went into effect on January 1, 2013. Check out the California State-Based Financial Aid Programs to see all of the applicable programs.
ABOUT THESE MATERIALS As a financial aid counselor at a public university in California and an educator advocate for undocumented students, I see TOO MANY students lost in the financial aid maze. If a student doesn’t complete all the required steps correctly, they lose out on grants they could be eligible to receive, putting their journey through college in jeopardy. The following materials highlight the necessary steps to apply for the California Dream (Cal Dream) Act Application, making the application process more manageable for students, educators and families and hopefully increasing the number of grants awarded. Broken down into four phases, we’ll be releasing multiple materials this Spring that will help students address some of the specific hurdles that can prevent them receiving their financial aid, such as income verification, registering for the selective service, and obtaining AB 540 approval. Paying for college is a huge stressor for anyone, and especially so for undocumented students. My goal is to dramatically increase the number of eligible students who successfully apply for and receive state grants through the California Dream Act. I invite you to join me in this goal by using and sharing the materials below with as many other students and educators as possible. Forward together, Nancy Jodaitis
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Director of Higher Education Initiatives
For almost twenty years, Nancy has been working to increase admission and graduation rates for underrepresented students in higher education. She most recently served as an AB 540 / Undocumented Student Advisor at San Francisco State University, where she was also advisor to SFSU’s chapter of Improving Dreams, Equity, Access and Success (IDEAS), a student-run group providing resources and support for AB540 students. Prior to that, Nancy served as a pre-admissions advisor, transfer counselor, financial aid officer, and scholarship specialist. Through these varied roles, Nancy has developed a comprehensive understanding of the enrollment process and a solid track record of institutional advocacy.
Nancy has worked tirelessly to build educational pathways for undocumented students within California, conduct trainings about applying for the California Dream Act, identify key challenges that colleges and universities face when supporting undocumented students, and elevate institutional best practices. She has also developed a library of educational materials to help undocumented students in California successfully enroll in CA public colleges and universities, and be sure they receive all financial aid for which they are eligible.
Since 2009, Nancy has been active with E4FC, beginning as a volunteer with our Educator Action Group, and later serving in various capacities as a trainer, researcher, and consultant. Nancy joined E4FC as Director of Higher Education Initiatives in July 2016.
Navigating the California Dream Act
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Phase One: Apply for the CA Dream Application
These materials explain exactly where and how to submit the application online, including basic requirements for submission, including parental information, if required.
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The California Dream Act Application Flowchart was created to help students and educators understand the four phases and all the steps necessary to successfully apply for state financial aid.
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The California Dream Act Guide is a comprehensive resource for students, parents and educators navigating the California Dream Act application. This guide covers basic information about the CA Dream Act, eligibility requirements, detailed information on grants, application steps and frequently asked questions.
Use this guide together with the other materials for a solid understanding of the California Dream Act application process!
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Ready to apply for the California Dream Act? Be sure to check out these TOP 8 STEPS to make sure your application is complete and move one step closer to getting financial aid for college!
Click here to access the Cal Dream application!
Phase Two: Apply for the Cal Grant
Explains the steps necessary to apply for and receive a Cal Grant at an accredited California college or university.
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You've submitted your Cal Dream application - congrats! Now let's move on to applying for a Cal Grant. This checklist walks you through the TOP 10 crucial steps of applying for, confirming and receiving your financial aid through a Cal Grant. Best of luck!
*Confused? Check out our Cal Dream flowchart - we'll walk you through each step of the process.
Click here to access the Cal Grant portal!
Phase Three: Claim Your Financial Aid
Explains the requirements for students to provide individual schools with any documentation requested, including income, household size, parental information, and/or AB 540 status.
Explains the steps a student must take to use financial aid at their college or university, including calculating costs, accepting the aid and ensuring all documentation has been successfully processed.
California Cash for College (CCFC)workshops provide students and their families an opportunity to receive FREE, professional help to complete the California Dream Act Application & Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).