Undocumented Students (AB 540): Paying for College - Counseling Department

Ohlone College - AB 540 Safe ZoneIn 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills (AB130 and AB131) called the California Dream Act allowing qualifying AB 540 students to access state and non-state resourced funds to help pay for college. AB130 would allow eligible AB 540 students to apply for and receive scholarships at California public colleges and universities derived from non-state funds. AB131 would allow eligible AB 540 student to apply for and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities partially derived from state funds. This includes Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW), and Cal Grant. AB 540 students do not qualify for federal financial aid.

To learn about specific types of financial aid available through the California Dream Act, visit the Ohlone Financial Aid Dream Act page.

California Dream Act Application

AB 540 students may apply for state financial aid by completing the California Dream Act Application. Review the AB 540 qualifications and information about the California Dream Act Application below.

Qualifying as an AB 540 Student

If one or more of the following statements is applicable to you, you will be considered and AB 540 eligible student:

  • Attend high school in California for at least three full years. The three years do not have to be consecutive.
  • Earn a high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED) certificate or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE).
  • Enroll or be accepted for enrollment in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • If you are without lawful immigration status, you will have to file an affidavit with the college or university you are attending stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status, or that you will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.

AB 130 allows AB 540 students to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 allows AB 540 students to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant. To be eligible for the Cal Grant, please be sure to complete 2013-2014 California Dream Act Application by March 2.

A note about the CSAC Cal Grant GPA Verification: Any student who has been enrolled at Ohlone College within the last five (5) years and has completed 16 or more degree applicable units will have their GPA (grade point average) information sent directly to the California Student Aid Commission. Reports are sent out twice per year, no later than March 2 and September 2 respectively.

What is a California Dream Act Application?

The California Dream Act Application is used to determine the California state financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540). The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will process this application. Any aid received can only be used at eligible California institutions.

Who should submit a California Dream Act Application?

Students who have a Social Security card with words "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization" or "Not Valid For Employment" should complete the California Dream Act Application.

Students who received their Social Security Number through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) should complete the California Dream Act Application.

The California Dream Act Application is not an application for federal financial aid. Students who have a permanent Social Security Number must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will assure that the applicant is considered for both federal and state assistance. The FAFSA application is located online at: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Students should file either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application, not both.

Complete the California Dream Act Application

AB 540 students may complete the California Dream Act Application online (recommended) or by paper. The online and paper version of the California Dream Act Application as well as its instructions and worksheets maybe be found at: www.caldreamact.org.

For maximum aid consideration, please complete the 2013-2014 California Dream Act Application by March 2.

California Dream Act Resources

Questions?

If you have any questions or are in need of assistance, email us at dreamers@ohlone.edu!

Scholarships

Applying for scholarships can be a lot of work. However, it can pay off. If you spend 10 hours applying for one scholarship and it leads to a $1000 scholarship, you just paid yourself $100 for each hour of work you put into that application.

The following are a few places to start but there are many scholarship websites and databases available. Remember, students should never have to pay money to access scholarship opportunities.

Questions?

If you have any questions or are in need of assistance, email us at dreamers@ohlone.edu!

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