The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students who meet AB540 criteria to apply for and receive funds from certain state and institutional financial aid programs. Students must submit the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to be considered for these financial aid programs.

What are the AB540 Requirements?

In order to meet the AB540 criteria, you must meet all of the following:

  • You must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, AND;
  • 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;
  • Enroll in an accredited California Institution of Higher Education. In the case of students without legal immigration status, file an AB540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request Form) (PDF, 52KB) with the Admissions Office stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status (or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so).

How Do I Apply?

The CADAA needs to be completed every year between October 1st and March 2nd. Apply at

In addition to the CADAA, you must have an AB540 Affidavit on file with the Admissions Office to begin the review of your residency status and eligibility for state and privately funded financial aid. Be sure to review your "To Do" list in your CI Student Records Center, you can access this list via the myCI portal for additional information on the paperwork and/or requirements you may need to complete for your application.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and who qualify under AB540 criteria, should complete the CADAA in order to be considered for state-funded financial aid. DACA students are NOT eligible for Federal Student Aid, and should NOT complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Additional Resources

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