California Dream Act consists of two bills and these bills were signed into law in 2011, by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 130, which is the first part of the California Dream Act, allows non-resident students to receive privately funded scholarships and this applies to students who are exempt from paying non-resident tuition under the Assembly Bill 540 and who are ineligible for financial aid from the government. Undocumented and non-resident students in California who meet AB540 requirements, can file applications to receive funds from certain state and institutional financial assistance programs and AB540 was passed in 2001 and this law allows undocumented students to pay the same fees as resident students.
Similarly, AB 131, the second part of the California Dream Act, allows students who are eligible for AB540, to apply for Cal Grants, University of California Grants, State University Grants and Board of Governor’s fee waivers. However, grants and scholarships that the students receive can be used only at the institutions in California. Nevertheless, students who are applying for scholarships and grants must remember that the Dream Act Application may not be used to apply for federal financial aid. Moreover, students who are eligible to file the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” must not use the California Dream Act application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is meant for US citizens and lawful residents of the country. Non-resident and undocumented students who are eligible for AB540 fee exemption and who are ineligible for FAFSA, may file their Dream Act Applications, to receive certain types of financial aid.
Undocumented students and non-resident students must also meet few other prerequisites to file this application and these students must have attended California private or public schools, for at least three full years, to become eligible to file this form. High school graduates and undocumented students who hold GED certificates and students who have passed the California High School Proficiency Exam, can also file the California Dream Act application. Undocumented students who file this petition, must file affidavits with their colleges, stating that they have already filed applications to obtain lawful status or they will file applications to obtain lawful status as soon as they become eligible for lawful status in the country.
Students who are eligible for financial aid, must file their California Dream Act applications before each academic year and they need to file their applications before 4th March. For information about the requirements and filing deadlines, students may contact their colleges or universities. This California Dream Act application also requires tax information and the students must file their 2012 income tax returns as soon as possible. People who have not yet filed their tax returns, may complete their Dream Act applications using the estimated information and can correct that information after filing their tax returns. However, it is mandatory to file applications before the filing deadline.