California Dream Act​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students who meet AB540 criteria to apply for and receive certain state and institutional financial aid, if eligible.  

About the California Dream Act and AB 540

Assembly Bills 130 & 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. In order to qualify, students must meet the requirements of AB 540 and not be eligible to apply for the FAFSA.

AB 130 allows eligible AB 540 students to apply for and receive scholarships derived from nonstate funds at all California public colleges and universities. These include scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions and individual departmental efforts. Students must apply and compete for available awards as determined by their respective college or university. This bill went into effect on January 1, 2012.

AB 131 allows eligible AB 540 students to access state-funded financial aid programs such as Cal Grants, university grants and Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) developed the California Dream Act Application, a FAFSA-like application, to determine the financial need of students who are not citizens, legal permanent residents or eligible non-citizens. Students may complete a Dream Act Application online at in order to determine eligibility to receive state financial aid.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, OR Attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years.
  • Must have or will graduate from a California High School or have attained a G.E.D.; or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE).
  • Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California.
  • In the case of a person without lawful immigration status, the student must file or will file an affidavit as required by the college (available in the Admissions office) stating that the student has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so (student information obtained in the implementation of this section is confidential).
  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E etc.). Students eligible for the AB 540 program must submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form to the Admissions and Records Office the college where you are enrolled, or intend to enroll.​
For complete information on AB 540 and Non Resident Tuition Waivers or to complete an AB 540 Application, please visit the Admissions and Records page by clicking HERE​.

Apply EARLY!

  • The California Dream Application for the 2017-18 Academic Year will be available beginning October 1st! Apply early to avoid missing important deadlines.
  • Complete the California Dream Act Application no later than March 2nd every year. Even if you completed the Dream Act Application a year ago, you need to complete it again during the current filing period to be eligible for aid.​​ 
  • In order to be considered for a Cal Grant, students must submit a Non-SSN GPA Verification Form in addition to the online Dream Act Application.
Already Applied?  
Click the links below for information on how your California Dream Application is processed:

Need Help Applying?

Student Financial Services staff is available to assist during FAFSA and Dream Application Workshops.  FAFSA and Dream Application Workshops are held every Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm in the Welcome Center located in the Dr. Charles A. Kane Student Services Building.  

The following link contains useful information from the state of California for students interested in applying for the Dream Application, including help with applying for California State aid, Frequently Asked Questions, and much more:

Be sure to review the RCC Student Financial Services Consumer Guide for complete information regarding the California Dream Act, eligibility, and application process.