California Dream Act Application and How to Apply

What is a California Dream Act Application?

The California Dream Act Application is used to determine the California state financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540).

  • The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will process this application.
  • Any aid received can only be used at eligible California institutions.

What is AB540?

AB540 was passed in 2001 to allow AB540 eligible students in California to pay the lower resident fees at California's public colleges and universities.

In October 2011, AB131 was signed into law to allow students eligible for AB540 to also start applying the 2012-2013 year for state financial aid like University of California Grants, State University Grants and California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the Board of Governors Fee Waiver).

Effective January 2013, students can apply for Cal Grants. To be eligible to apply for Cal Grant, please be sure to complete the CA Dream Application by March 2nd deadline.

What is AB 130 and 131?

AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.

Do You Meet the AB540 Criteria?

If one or more of the following statements is applicable to you, you will be considered as one meeting the AB540 criteria:

  • Attend high school in California for at least three full years. The three years do not have to be consecutive.
  • Earn a high school diploma, General Educational Development (GED) certificate or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE).
  • Enroll or be accepted for enrollment in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • If you are without lawful immigration status, you will have to file an affidavit with the Office of Admissions and Records stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status, or that you will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.

Contact the Office of Admissions and Records to determine if you are eligible for AB 540.

Who should submit a California Dream Act Application?

Students should file either the FAFSA or the Dream Act Applicationnot both.

Students who have a Social Security card with words "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization" or "Not Valid For Employment" should complete the Dream Act Application.

Students who received their Social Security Number through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA); please complete a CA Dream Application.

The Dream Act Application is not an application for federal financial aid.

Students who have a permanent Social Security Number must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For more information visit Complete the FAFSA

​To submit the California Dream Act Application, visit For helpful tips when completing the application visit: California Dream Act Application: Accessing the Application