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Dreamers Student Resources: Applying to College

A guide to general information and resources for DACA students and faculty.

What's Available For You

The California Dream Act extends eligibility certain types of UC and California financial aid to students, including undocumented students, who qualify for a nonresident tuition exemption under AB 540.

Undocumented students with AB 540 status qualify for many forms of financial aid, including exemption from nonresident tuition. This means you’ll be eligible for in-state tuition and fees, scholarships, and private scholarships.

Students that qualify for AB 540 can apply for state financial aid through the California Dream Act (Apply by March 2nd!) It is NOT an application for Federal financial aid.

Important Links for Dreamers


The Hispanic Scholarship Fund contains links to various scholarships as well as downloadable resources for Dreamers.

The Smart Cookie Scholarship is a wonderful scholarship opportunity by great friend of Cañada College, Karen Trilevsky.


Need More Information?

Financial Aid/Scholarship & Transfer Institution Resources

E4FC scholarship resources for undocumented students

California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website to apply for the CA Dream Act Application for financial aid

TheDream.US website to learn more about scholarship opportunities for local Bay Area students

Immigration/Legal Resources

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) 

We Own the Dream

 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for detailed information about DACA

How Do I Get Started?

Some undocumented students qualify for a nonresident tuition exemption under AB 540 and for some forms of financial aid under the California Dream Act.

Here's how to apply:

  1. Submit your application for admission to Cañada College.
  2. Submit the "California Nonresident Tuition Exemption" affidavit (to qualify for a nonresident tuition exemption under AB 540). You will need to submit this form to Admissions and Records, Building 9, First Floor.
  3. Submit the 2017-18 California Dream Act Application at between October 1, 2016 and March 2, 2017 to qualify for financial aid. (If you're an undocumented student, you must file a California Dream Act Application for state and school financial aid.
  4. Apply for scholarships when available

California Laws

AB 540 Eligibility

AB540 Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Students must have attended a California high school for 3 or more years
  2. Students must have graduated or attained the equivalent of a High School diploma (GED)
  3. Students must be registered or currently enrolled in a California community college, a California State University, or a University of California institution
  4. Students must file an AB540 affidavit with the College(California Non-resident Tuition Exemption Request Form) stating that he/she will  apply for legal residency as soon as he/she is eligible to do so.
  5. Students may not be non-immigrants holding a valid lettered non-immigrant visa with the exception of "T" and "U" visa holders



What about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

DACA entitles students to be employed legally, making it easier for students to find jobs and help with educational costs.

If you have DACA status, you should not fill out a FAFSA, even if you have a Social Security number. If you’re anticipating being eligible for AB 540, you should still fill out the Cal Dream Act application.

DACA has no effect on eligibility for the AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption or financial aid.

To Learn more about DACA at  visit  US Citizenship and Immigration Services