California Dream Act - with graduation cap and state of California outline.

California Dream Act Information - Financial Aid Office

What is the California Dream Act?

The Dream Act is really two laws that were passed in 2011 and allow AB 540 students to apply for and receive several types of financial aid, including:

  • Fee Waivers
  • State financial aid like Cal Grants and Chafee Grants
  • Assistance from EOPS, CARE or CalWORKs
  • Institutionally-funded scholarships

How to apply for California Dream Act financial aid?

For 2017-2018 Academic Year (Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018):

  1. Apply online using the web-based California Dream Act Application. Use the 2017-2018 Dream Act Application Worksheet (PDF) prior to completing the online application; or
  2. Download the 2017-2018 California Dream Act Application (paper version) (PDF). Complete and send the application to the address provided on the form before or by March 2, 2017.

To apply for any or all of the financial aid programs requiring the California Dream Act Application, yyou only need to complete and submit one completed Dream Act application per academic year and list Ohlone School Code on your application.

Ohlone School Code is: 004481.

What is an AB 540 student?

You are an AB 540 student, and exempt from paying non-resident enrollment fees, if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attended a California high school for at least three years;
  • Graduated from a California high school, got a GED or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam;
  • Are registered or enrolled at a California community college;
    and
  • Complete an AB540-affidavit (PDF) saying you have filed (or will file when you are eligible to do so) for legal immigration status.

Available Types of Aid

Several types of state and institutional aid are available to AB 540 students as a result of the California Dream Act. Check out the list below for additional information, eligibility and application timing.

Privately Funded Institutional Scholarships

Beginning January 1, the Ohlone College Foundation has scholarships available which help pay for education-related expenses.  Apply using the online scholarship application system for Ohlone College Foundation scholarships.

Students can find more information on scholarships at the following sites:

Board of Governors Fee Waiver

AB 540 students can apply for the BOG fee waivers which, waives the community college enrollment fees for eligible students using the California Dream Act Application.

Assistance from EOPS, CARE or CalWORKs

AB 540 students can be eligible to apply for special services through these programs that may include services such as tutoring, book vouchers or other types of financial aid for those who meet specific eligibility requirements. More information can be found at the following web sites: EOPS, CARE, or CalWORKs.

Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B Community College Transfer Entitlement

(Available for students who plan to transfer directly from Community College to a 4-Year University.)

Students must:

  • meet AB540 requirements and the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements
  • under 28 by December 31 of the awarding year
  • Attend Community College in the academic year immediately before the awarding year
  • Submit a CC GPA of 24 transferable completed units or more (2.40 GPA or higher)
  • Include a 4-year university on Dream Act

Students can apply between October 1 and March 2 for the Fall semester using the California Dream Act Application and submit a CA Community College GPA based on 24 completed transferable units.  

If you've taken at least 24 transferable units at Ohlone College, Ohlone will submit your GPA verification to the California Student Aid Commission.  Grant award covers tuition and education-related expenses when transferring to an eligible Baccalaureate degree granting institution.

Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B High School Entitlement

(Available to students who are current high school seniors and last year’s high school graduates.)

Student must:

Students can apply between October 1 and March 2 for the Fall semester using the California Dream Act Application and submit high school GPA Verification Form to the Student Aid Commission.  It is students’ responsibility to check with the high schools to confirm HS GPA Verification Status.

Cal Grant C

(Available to students who enroll in occupational or technical program.)

Student must:

  • Meet AB540 requirements and the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements
  • Indicate an occupational or technical program on Q#30 on Dream Act
  • Enroll in an occupational or technical program courses
  • If qualify, student will receive an email or letter of notification to complete the Cal Grant C Supplement Form online by the deadline.

Student can apply between October 1 and March 2 for the Fall semester using the California Dream Act Application.

Chafee Grant

Apply as soon as possible (awards are limited) using California Dream Act Application and Chafee Grant Application.  This grant award covers education-related expenses for current and former foster youth residing in California.

Where Do I Start?

Follow the steps below to get started on the road to fulfilling your college dreams!

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