California Dream Act

The California Dream Act of 2011 became law through the passage of Assembly Bills 130 and 131. AB 130 and AB 131 allows students who meet AB540 criteria* to apply for state and institutional grants, and privately funded scholarships.  Students must submit the California Dream Act Application to be considered for these financial aid programs.

Notice: The California Dream Act Application website is having problems with the Mozilla Firefox browser. Please use a different browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari) when accessing the website.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students are not eligible for Federal Student Aid but can use their DACA issued Social Security Number to complete the California Dream Act Application in order to be considered for state-funded financial aid. Students must be California residents and qualify under AB540 criteria.

*AB540 Requirements

In order to meet the AB540 criteria, you must meet all of the following:

  • You must have attended a minimum of 3 years of school (public or private) in California AND;
  • You must have graduated from a California High School or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (i.e. passed the GED or California High School Proficiency exam), AND;
  • File an AB540 Affidavit  with the Admissions Office.

California Dream Act Application Process

To apply for the state aid available under the California Dream Act, you need to complete the California Dream Act Application. The application will collect basic personal and income information to determine eligibility for funding. To be eligible for priority consideration, the application should be completed every year between October 1 and March 2.   

If you are an incoming freshman or continuing undergraduate not already awarded a Cal Grant, complete the Cal Grant GPA verification for Cal Grant consideration by March 2.

Note: Males between the ages of 18-25 are required to register with the Selective Service.

If you have a Social Security Number, you can register online at the Selective Service website.

If you do not have a Social Security Number, you can print and mail your Selective Service System Registration Form.

To be eligible for aid at Cal Poly, students completing the California Dream Act Application must:

  • Be admitted to Cal Poly.
  • Meet AB 540 requirements.
  • Complete Cal Poly’s AB540 Affidavit with the Admissions Office.

Types of Aid Available to CA Dream Act Applicants:

Award Process

If you have been admitted to Cal Poly, the Financial Aid Office will compute your eligibility and make your award. Check the MyCalPoly portal on the 'Money Matters' tab to see your award detailing the types and amounts of financial aid and scholarships you are eligible to receive. Awards may be viewed the beginning of April. Scholarships are awarded April through August.

Please complete any items requested on your 'To Do' list on MyCalPoly and submit all documents to the Financial Aid Office.

Once your paperwork is complete, your file has been reviewed, and you are enrolled in the expected number of units, your financial aid is ready for disbursement. Financial aid money is sent to your student account to pay university fees. If there is insufficient aid to cover registration fees, the balance due must be paid once aid has disbursed.
If you are selected for verification, no aid (other than scholarships) can disburse until all required documents are submitted and reviewed.  Documents should always be submitted as soon as possible but must be submitted no later than the last day of enrollment for the year to be eligible for any aid.

Additional Resources:

Undocumented students face unique challenges.  There are several Cal Poly and local support resources available.  Students should take advantage of any or all resources that might assist in completing your degree at Cal Poly.

UndocuAlly Working Group

Cal Poly University Diversity and Inclusivity (OUDI) 

Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success (CCC-USS)

Information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Off Campus Scholarships for Undocumented Students:

Below are a short list of scholarship opportunities for undocumented students.

We Own the Dream

The DREAM.US Scholarship

Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)

Scholarships Open to Students Regardless of Immigration Status

Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Got Papers?  Got Dreams? Click here for details.

Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara

Chafee Grant for Foster Youth

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