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?

Apply using the web-based California Dream Act Application or download the 2014-2015 California Dream Act Application (paper version) (PDF). Use the Dream Act Application Worksheet (PDF) prior to completing the online application.

To apply for any or all of the financial aid programs requiring the California Dream Act Application, you only need to complete and submit one Dream Act application.

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 affidavit 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 STARS online scholarship application system for Ohlone College Foundation scholarships.

Board of Governors Fee Waiver

Starting January 6, AB 540 students can apply for the BOG fee waivers which, waives the community college enrollment fees for eligible students.  Apply using the California Dream Act Application.

Assistance from EOPS, CARE or CalWORKs

Starting January 6, 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

Apply between January 1 and March 2 for the Fall semester using the California Dream Act Application and GPA Verification Form from your high school.  If you've taken at least 24 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 B - Entitlement

Apply between January 1 and March 2 for the Fall semester using the California Dream Act Application and GPA Verification Form.  Grant award covers education-related expenses for recent high school graduates.

Cal Grant C

Apply between January 1 and March 2 for the Fall semester using the California Dream Act Application and GPA Verification Form.  Grant award covers education-related expenses for occupational or career technical programs.

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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