Cal Grant Dream Act
The California Dream Act, which was passed in 2011, is a package of California State Laws that allow children that attended school on a regular basis and who were brought into the US under the age of 16 without proper visas or immigration documentation are now eligible to receive state financial aid benefits if they meet in-state tuition and GPA requirements. The Dream Act is short for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. The first part of the bill (AB130) was signed into law on June 25, 2011, while the second part of the bill (AB131) was signed on October 8, 2011.
AB130 grants undocumented students acces to an estimated $88 million in private financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants. AB 131, which allows undocumented students who meet criteria for in-state tuition to apply for financial aid.
AB130 is effective as of January 1,2012 and allows students attending a california college that are exempt from paying nonresident tuition and who are ineligible for federal fianncial aid, to become eligible to receive a Undergraduate Dream Act Scholarship. All scholarship funds can be used towards school expenses.
AB131 assists undocumented immigrants who graduate from High School and who show “merit and need.” These students are now eligible to apply for and participate in all student financial aid programs administered by the State of California. Cal Grants represent the major source of aid that these students would gain access to.
To be eligible for a Cal Grant under the Dream Act AB 131, students must be the below requirements:
- Student must qualify for a nonresident tuition exemption. This exemption requires students to have attend a California high school for at least three years and have graduated from a California high school.
- Student must be a high school senior attending a four-year college in 2013-2014
- Students that have already graduated, must have graduated on or after June 2012
- California community college students transferring to a four-year college in 2013-14
- Former community college transfer students who attended a four year college during the spring semester 2013
Students must also complete the GPA Verification Application and submit before March 2nd.
If a student meets all of the able Cal Grant qualifications then they are eligible to receive the maximum Cal Grant award amount starting January 2013.
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