Policies and Terms to know...
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal.
What we know now:
- Currently USCIS is NOT accepting NEW DACA applications.
- If you never had DACA in the past, you are not eligible to apply at this time.
- DACA Renewals ARE being accepted
- If your DACA is set to expire within 151 to 365 days, you should apply to renew ASAP.
- If your DACA is set to expire in more than a year then you can consider renewing as the future of the program is unclear.
- If you had DACA previously but it expired or was terminated, you should consider applying for DACA.
CA 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. Including but not limited to:
- State Grant
- California College Promise Grant (CCPG)
- Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
- Authorizes AB 540 students to apply for UC, CSU, and CCC administered scholarships
Application and Guidelines
California Dream Act Application
California Dream Act Application Guidelines (PDF)
- The California Dream Act Application (CADAA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are unrelated and students who use the CADAA are still able to receive state financial aid.
- Students to complete the CADAA. This application allows AB 540 eligible students to receive state financial aid while attending colleges in California.
- Losing DACA status will not affect most state financial aid.
- Dream Act students do not need to be DACA-certified.
- CADAA is only used to determine eligibility for state financial aid.
- The Commission will protect student information to the greatest extent of the law.
Assembly Bill 540
According to the California state law entitled Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540, California Non–Resident Tuition Exemption), some California non-residents may be eligible to pay in-state fees. This law aids students who are California high school graduates, including undocumented students. Although AB 540 does not make undocumented students eligible for federal or state financial aid, it does allow AB 540 students to pay in-state tuition. AB 540 was signed into state law on October 12, 2001, and authorizes any student, including undocumented students who meet specific criteria, to pay in-state tuition at California’s public colleges and universities.
Any student who meets the following AB 540 eligibility requirements shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition at all public colleges and universities in California.
AB 540 Eligibility Requirements:
To qualify, a student must meet all the following requirements:
- Attend a California high school for three or more years
- Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent General Education Diploma (GED)
- Register as an entering student or be currently enrolled in a California Community College, California State University, or a University of California
- In the case of a person without lawful immigration status, sign a statement with the college or university (notwith INS) stating that they will apply for legal residency as soon as they are eligible to do so. (This requirement does not apply to those with legal residency.)
- All information provided by the student will be kept confidential by theCollege.
- AB 540 only provides an exemption to the requirement to pay non-resident fees at California public colleges and universities. The law does not provide any immigration benefits.
Students with current non-immigrant visas (example: tourist or student visas) are not eligible for this fee exemption. Non-immigrant students, as defined by federal immigration law, may hold one of the following visas: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, TN, TD, and V, and TROV and NATO.
Senate Bill 68 (SB 68)
SB 68 expandes in-state tuition elgibility in California beyond the current requirements for AB 540/AB 2000. Due to this new law, more students will now be able to pay in-state tuition at California public colleges and universities (CCCs, CSUs & UCs) and apply for state-based financial aid.
- SB 68 allows students to use full-time attendance at California Community College, Adult School, Department of Rehabilitation & Correction School, and High School or a combination of these schools to meet the 3 years required to be eligible for in-state tuition.
Resources for up-to-date information...
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is an agency of the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security that administers the country's naturalization and immigration
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The mission of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is to work with and educate
immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic
society that values diversity and the rights of all people.
Immigrants Rising's mission is to empower undocumented young people to achieve educational
and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation.
National Immigration Law Center
Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading
organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights
of immigrants with low income.