Livermore High School

California Dream Act

Cal Grants available to AB 540 students

The California Dream Act of 2011 was passed in 2 laws - AB 130 and AB 131 which allow AB 540 eligible students to apply for and receive:

  • Privately funded scholarships at public colleges & universities
  • Institutional financial aid like UC Grants, State University Grants, EOP and EOPS grants & fee waivers, and community college BOG fee waivers
  •  State financial aid like Cal Grants and Chafee Grants

You are an AB 540 eligible student if you...

  • Have attended a CA high school for at least three years or graduated early from a CA high school with the equivalent of three or more years of credit*, AND
  • Graduated from a CA high school, or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), or obtained a certificate of General Education (GED), AND
  • Enroll in an accredited and qualifying CA college or university, AND
  • If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible.

*if you graduated early from high school under this provision, you must also have attended CA schools (elementary and secondary) for a cumulative total of three or more years.

California Dream Act Myths & Facts

Myth #1:  All Dream Act students are illegal immigrants

The Facts:

Dream Act students must meet the requirements of AB 540 law found in Education Code 68230.5(a).  Two groups of students potentially meet those requirements:  (1) US citizens who have attended and graduated from a CA high school, but don't meet state residency requirements, and (2) undocumented students whose parents brought them to the U.S. when they were minors, and who attended and graduated from a CA high school.


Myth #2: State grants are being taken away from U.S. legal citizens

The Facts:

The Cal Grants A & B for which Dream Act students are eligible are entitlements.  Every CA high school graduate (or the equivalent) who meets the qualifications receives an award.


Myth #3: Dream Act financial aid is a waste of state resources, because these students will not be able to work once they leave college

The Facts:

As stated under Myth #1, a portion of Dream Act students are U.S. citizens, and there are no occupational restrictions to them, except as pertain to general economic conditions.


The Facts:

All undocumented Dream Act students must file an affidavit stating they have or intend to (as soon as they are able) apply to legalize their immigration status as a condition of the AB 540 and AB 131 laws.  That legal process may result in permanent residency before the students leave college or shortly thereafter.


The Facts:

The U.S. Congress has attempted to pass various federal DREAM Acts with bipartisan support.  The federal Act would create a pathway to permanent residency and work authorization.  That law may be put into place before students leave college or shortly thereafter.


The Facts:

For all secondary students, the college experience expands knowledge, identity and community; develops workforce skills; and builds educated and engaged residents and citizens.


Myth #4: Dream Act Cal Grants can only be used at California public colleges and universities

The Facts:

Dream Act Cal Grants can be used at any eligible Cal Grant participating institution.

1.  Apply for a Dream Act Cal Grant online starting October 1


2.  Submit a verified GPA form by the Cal Grant March 2 deadline. Check with your school about submitting your GPA form.