Students encouraged to apply for Dream Act college funds
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) are urging all eligible students to apply for the California Dream Act program, which allows undocumented students to receive state financial aid for college. Torlakson said applications for the program are down significantly.
The application deadline is March 2. As of Feb. 17, CSAC had received approximately 20,000 applications, down nearly 60 percent from the more than 34,000 applications submitted the prior year. The California Dream Act is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Torlakson said students should be reassured that CSAC will take all available legal precautions to protect California Dream Act information, which is used solely to determine eligibility for state financial aid and is not shared with any other government agency. Regardless of what happens at the federal level, state financial aid for Dreamers remains legal in California, Torlakson said. Students do not need to be DACA-certified to be eligible for a public education or state financial aid. Losing DACA status will not affect state financial aid eligibility.
For information, call the California Student Aid Commission at (916)464-8271 or the California Department of Education, College Preparation and Postsecondary Programs Office, Career and College Transition Division at (916)323-6398. Information is also available by visiting csac.ca.gov.