The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants.
The California Dream Act Application allows students interested in attending eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Completion of the California Dream Act Application is required to determine financial aid for California AB540 eligible students.
Completed and submitted applications will be processed by the California Student Aid Commission. The following questions will determine whether this is the best financial aid application for you or whether you should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Do you have a social security number?
- Did you obtain your social security number after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted you Deferred Action status and you received your social security number through an Employment Authorization Card and your card states it is for work purposes only?
- Do you meet the AB540 criteria?
- Have you already filed a 2023-24 FAFSA?
- If you are eligible to complete a Dream Act Application, you will be allowed to start the Application.
Step 1. Go to https://dream.csac.ca.gov/ and select new or returning user, Answer the first three (3) questions and fill out your student demographics section, also create your username and password, select and answer three (3) challenge questions and then “Continue.”
Confirm your information is correct. If your data is incorrect, make the needed changes. Make sure to keep these credentials in a safe place.
Step 2. Select the appropriate school year and confirm your selection. Read the given instructions, save and click “Next.” For every section you complete, first click “SAVE APPLICATION” and then “Next” to move onto the new section.
Step 3. Make sure to complete all of your demographic, academic and applicable information on the “Student Tab”. We strongly recommend you save your application every time you move between each tab. Enter Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and your Statewide Student Identification Number (SSID) if you have it. Your driver's license number is optional. If you graduated from high school, make sure to type the name and state or search for it. Use the search button if you need to.
Step 4. Supply all of your own financial information. Make sure you have your applicable federal tax forms next to you when completing this section.
Step 5. List the school and code to which you want your Dream Act application to be sent to. Use the search button if you need to and select your housing plans, save, and click “Next.” AHC's school code is 001111.
Step 6. Accurately answer all your dependency status questions, save, and click “Next.”
Step 7. If you are considered a dependent student, fill out all of your parents’ information and enter their SSN or ITIN.
Step 8. If you are considered a dependent student, supply all your parent’s financial and asset information. Make sure you have your parents’ applicable federal tax forms next to you when completing this section, save and click “Next.”
Step 9. Verify all your information for accuracy.
Step 10. If all your and your parents’ information is correct, check the signature box, save and submit your Dream Act Application. If information is missing or inaccurate a tab will be shown in red color. You need to go back to that tab, scroll up and review all the given data. The missing or wrong data will be listed with yellow highlighted text(s). Make sure to enter the proper data, save and go back to the signature tab to re-submit.
Step 11. If you are a dependent student, click at the “Parent Signature” button so that your parents can e-sign your Dream Act Application. If you have one from a previous year, enter your Dream Act ID and your parent PIN. If you do not have a parent PIN, select award year, sign your application and parent’s information. Click “Continue” to request your parent PIN. Your parent's new PIN will be displayed. Make sure you keep it safe and use it. Request your parent to sign the form and submit their signature.
Review your Dream Act Student Aid Report. If you are considered dependent and your parent does not e-sign your Dream Act, your Dream Act Application will be rejected, and will not be used by your college(s).