Loans for AB 540 Students
Students who meet the California Dream Act requirements are only eligible for state and university aid and not any federal programs, including loans. The state-funded DREAM loan program aims to close that gap and provide eligible students with the opportunity to borrow student loans to help pay for their education.
If you're an AB 540 undergraduate and meet certain qualifications, you are automatically offered a DREAM loan. You are not required to accept the loan. Loan amounts are based on available funding and the number of eligible students. At Cal Poly, the loan amount is typically $2,000. You can borrow every year you're an eligible student at Cal Poly or until you receive a maximum of $20,000 in DREAM loans. Interest will not accrue on the loan as long as you're a student enrolled at least half time. Once you graduate (or you cease being at least a half-time student), there is a 6-month grace period before you have to start paying back the loan.
2021-22 Loan Information
Interest rates vary annually with the rate fixed for the lifetime of the loan borrowed each year. For loans received between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, the interest rate is 4.99%.
To be eligible for a DREAM loan, the student you must:
- Meet AB 540 Criteria and file a Dream Act Application.
- Have financial need.
- Enroll in at least half time at Cal Poly.
Receiving Your Loan
- Apply for financial aid by filing a California Dream Act application. You’ll need to apply for this every year to be considered for the DREAM Loan Program.
- Accept the loan in your My Cal Poly Portal and complete the requirements on your To-Do list within 30 days of it being offered. If you don't complete these requirements within 30 days, the loan will be canceled and offered to another eligible student.
- Read the email you receive from ECSI, the loan servicing center, and follow the instructions to log into to their website.
- Complete the ECSI loan entrance counseling and Dream Loan Promissory Note. ESI will notify Cal Poly that you've completed the requirements, and your loan funds will be able to disburse.
- Make sure to check your email and your student portal on a regular basis in case the financial aid office contacts you.
An income-based repayment plan is available. For more information, visit heartland.ecsi.net.