Undocumented and College Bound

If you are a Dreamer and want to attend college, you can! Learn about the different resources available to you.


"The California Dream Act is distinct from the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. Regardless of what happens at the federal level, state financial aid for Dreamers remains legal in California. A Dreamer student does not need to be DACA-certified to be eligible for a public education or state financial aid. Losing DACA status will not affect most state financial aid." - California Student Aid Commission

If you are a Dreamer living in California with AB 540 resident status, want to go to college, and need financial assistance - you have the opportunity with the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). This application, instead of the FAFSA, will be used to assess your financial need and will be used for applying to:

Cal Grant: Dreamers are eligible for all Cal Grants except for the Competitive Cal Grants. You can learn more about the Cal Grants here.

Chafee Grant: In addition to Cal Grant requirements, you must be a current or former foster youth.

Middle-Class Scholarship: In addition to Cal Grant requirements, you must be attending the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses.

UC Grants or State University Grants: In addition to Cal Grant awards, some UC campuses have their own grants and scholarships for Dreamers. Check with your Financial Aid office.

California College Promise Grant (formerly BOG Fee Waiver): This grant permits tuition to be waived. Read our article about attending Community College for Free here.

Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP/EOPS): Most colleges/universities have an EOP that provides academic counseling, support services, and more.

Some University/Private scholarships: Check with your Financial Aid office for Dreamer opportunities or use our scholarship search tool, My College Dollars.

Do you meet AB 540 status requirements? 
It is not enough to say that you live in California to qualify for AB 540 resident status. Here are the basic requirements:

  1. High school attendance in California for at least three years
  2. High school diploma, GED, High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC)
  3. Registered or enrolled in a qualifying California college or university

For more in-depth requirements related to attendance, affidavits, or visa status go to ab540.com

To get help on your application, check out Cash for College workshops.

If you are undocumented and hold residency outside of California, check out these resources: