California Dream Act
For students who cannot complete the FAFSA but qualify to pay in-state fees though CA law AB540, the California Dream Act extends eligibility for certain types of Cal Poly and California financial aid. In addition to paying in-state tuition and fees, these students are also considered for Cal Grants and Cal Poly grants and scholarships.
In order to meet the AB540 criteria, you must meet all of the following:
- You must have attended a minimum of 3 years of school (public or private) in California,
- You must have graduated from a California High School or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (i.e. passed the GED or California High School Proficiency exam), and
- You must file an AB540 Affidavit with the Admissions Office.
Completing the California Dream Act Application
1. Gather Your Materials
- Social Security and Driver’s License Numbers for you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) (if you/they have one). If you are considered an independent student, no parental information is necessary.
- Your prior year tax return or W-2 (if you have one). For the 2020-21 academic year, you will use your 2019 return and for the 2022-23 academic year, you will use your 2020 return.
- Account statements for all investment assets and bank statements, such as stocks, bonds, business assets, etc. (if applicable).
- Records of untaxed income, such as child support and interest income (if applicable).
2. Submit Your California Dream Act Application
Submit your application between October 1 and March 2 for priority consideration for the upcoming academic year. We recommend you submit your application online, but you can also download and complete the paper application.
3. Make Sure Your GPA Has Been Submitted
You must submit your GPA to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2. Community colleges and most California high schools automatically submit students’ GPAs for Cal Grants. Check with your school to make sure; if they don’t automatically submit your GPA, download the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and have your school submit it to the California Student Aid Commission.
4. Make Corrections (if applicable)
A few days after filing your application, you will receive an email notification with a link to your California Student Aid Report. Make sure to check your junk/spam folder if you haven't received an email. Review the information carefully and follow the instructions if you need to make any corrections.
Types of Aid Available to CA Dream Act Applicants
- Cal Poly Scholarships
- Cal Poly State University Grant and EOP Grant
- Cal Grant
- CA Middle Class Scholarship
- The California DREAM Loan Program
Dream Act Award Process
If you have been admitted to Cal Poly, the Financial Aid Office will determine your eligibility and make your award. Learn more about the Financial Aid award process.
Additional Resources for Undocumented Students
Undocumented students face unique challenges. There are several Cal Poly and local support resources available. Students should use any or all resources that might assist in completing their degree at Cal Poly.
- Cal Poly UndocuAlly Working Group Student Resources
- Cal Poly University Diversity and Inclusivity (OUDI)
- Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success (CCC-USS)
- Information about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA()