CA DREAM Act

The California DREAM Act (AB 130 and AB 131) will make higher education significantly more affordable for undocumented students in California.  The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that by 2025, California will have 1 million fewer college graduates than are demanded by its economy. Therefore, providing access to affordable education for all our state’s students will become even more critical over the coming decades.

The UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment also reports the average annual income for an undocumented family in California in 2003 was only $29,700, compared to $54,600 for U.S. – born families.  This low socioeconomic status, combined with the ever-increasing cost of college attendance, keeps higher education elusive for many undocumented students, even if they qualify for in-state tuition. The California DREAM Act has the potential to help make higher education much more accessible for undocumented children, which is estimated to number more than 430,000 in California alone.

AB 130

AB 130 will allow students that meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds, i.e. private scholarships in public universities and colleges.  Eligible students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must have attended a California high school for 3 or more full academic years (between grades 9 through 12, inclusive and does not need to be consecutive years.
  2. 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).
  3. Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California.
  4. If undocumented, the filing of an affidavit with the college or university stating that they have applied for a lawful immigration status or will apply as soon as they are eligible to do so.

* This bill will take effect on January 1, 2012.

AB 131

AB 131 will allow students that meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities. The types of financial aid these students would be eligible for include:

  1. Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver
  2. Institutional Student Aid: Student aid program administered by the attending college or university (i.e. State University Grant, UC Grant)
  3. Cal Grants. These students would not be eligible to apply or receive any Competitive Cal Grants unless funding remains available after all California resident students have received Competitive awards they are eligible for.

Eligible students are those who may qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in California and meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. Secondary school attendance in California for three or more years; at least one year of which shall have been at a California high school.
  2. Graduation from a California secondary school or attainment of the equivalent thereof.
  3. If undocumented, the filing of an affidavit with the college or university stating that they have applied for a lawful immigration status or will apply as soon as they are eligible to do so.

* This bill will take effect on January 1, 2013.

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