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California DREAM Act

Stay informed by learning what the California DREAM Act is, who is eligible, when you can apply, and what types of financial aid are available to DREAMERs. 

What is the California DREAM Act?

Assembly Bills 130 and 131, known as the California DREAM Act of 2011, are laws that increase access to financial aid for undocumented students who attend a public university, community college or private college in California.

The DREAM act allows undocumented students to receive scholarships administered by public institutions (AB-130) and state-funded grants including Cal Grants, Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers and university grants (AB-131). To qualify, students must meet the requirements for AB 540 and not be eligible to apply for the FAFSA.

Application Period

The application period for submitting to determine financial need for each academic year is from October 1 to March 2.

Important Points

  • Incoming first-year students must submit a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by March 2, in addition to the online DREAM Act application (check with your high school counselor).
  • Students must resubmit the DREAM Act application every year before March 2 to be considered for financial aid in the upcoming academic year. 
California DREAM Act Application Timeline
 October 1  March 2 Continuously
Begin Submitting CA DREAM Act Application Deadline to Submit California DREAM Act to be eligible for CAL Grant Check your MyECC account for award letter. If selected for verification, you may need to submit extra documentation.

Submitting Application

Please remember that in order for your DREAM Act application to be processed at El Camino College, you must also file an AB 540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form and upload a copy of your high school transcripts for verification.

To check if you might be eligible for AB 540, you can use the California In-State Tuition Tool (please note that the ECC Admissions Office makes the final determination).

This process occurs after you apply to be a student at El Camino College. 

Submit California Dream Act Application

Types of Financial Aid Available to DREAMERS

  • California Community College (CCC) California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver), EOPS book vouchers/grants
  • Cal Grants, Chafee Grant, Middle Class Scholarship
  • UC Grants, State University Grants
  • University Scholarships
  • Private Scholarships
  • CA DREAM Loan Program at UC and CSU