The California Dream Act is the name for two Assembly Bills (AB 130 and AB 131) that were passed into law in 2011. These Assembly Bills allow AB 540/AB 2000 students to apply for and receive state based financial aid and institutional scholarships. AB 130 became effective in January 2012, while AB 131 became effective in January 2013.

AB 130: Allows eligible AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 students to apply for & receive privately-funded scholarships at California public colleges and universities 

AB 131: Allows eligible AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 students to apply for and receive several types of state financial aid programs, such as the California College Promise Grant (CCPG, formerly known as the Board of Governors’ Fee Waiver - BOGW) and Cal Grant, at California public colleges and universities

The CA Dream Act Application is available to undocumented students (including DACA recipients), U-Visa holders, and TPS individuals. U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, T-Visa holders, and eligible Non-Citizens must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How to Apply 

The California Dream Act becomes available October 1st  of every year, and must be submitted for every year you plan to use financial aid. Please note that submitting the application prior to the March 2nd priority deadline will maximize the amount of finanical aid you may be able to receive.

  1. Access the California Dream Act Application online
  2. First-time applicants must create a User ID and Password, while renewal applicants can retrieve a forgotten User ID and reset a forgotten Password
  3. Start an application for the correct academic year:
    • 2020-2021: Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021
  4. Provide the requested tax & income information from two years prior:
    • 2020-2021: 2018 tax & income information
  5. Add CCSF to your application using the School Code 00450200
  6. If you cannot answer “Yes” to any of the Dependency Questions, you must provide parent information
  7. Electronically sign your application
    • If you are considered Dependent, have your parent electronically sign by creating a Parent PIN for first-time signers, or retrieving a forgotten PIN for renewal signers
  8. Once you receive your CalSAR (California Student Aid Report), if you are selected for verification, login to your myRAM Portal to view what financial aid documentation, if any, you need to provide
  9. Once available, login to your myRAM Portal  to view your financial aid award
  10. View the Disbursement Calendar to learn more about when and how you will receive your financial aid award.

AB 540 / AB 2000 / SB 68 Eligibility

AB 540 and its amendments AB 2000 and SB 68, are California Assembly Bills passed in 2001, 2014, and 2017 respectively. These bills allowed for students who are considered a Non-Resident student in a CA public college or university to be considered a resident for tuition purposes. 

AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Attend a California high school for a minimum of three or more years; OR

  • Attend a California elementary, middle, and/or high school for a combination of three or more years; OR
  • Attend or attain credits at a California high school, California adult school, and/or California Community College for a combination of three or more years (only two years maximum of a California Community College can be used); 


  • Graduated from a California high school; OR
  • Received a GED or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam; OR
  • Complete or will complete an Associate’s Degree from a California Community College; OR
  • Complete or will complete the minimum transfer requirements at a California Community College for transfer into the CSU or UC system;


  • Are registered or enrolled at a California Community College;


Important Information Regarding AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68

The law prevents public colleges and universities in California from discriminating against a student’s admissions based on a student’s immigration status. Therefore, students are not required to provide a Social Security Card for admission purposes. 

To support this, the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form is worded as to protect undocumented students from having to declare their immigration status. Undocumented students (including DACA recipients, permanent residents, and U.S. citizens must all state they are not a “nonimigrant allien.” 

Though AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 establish residency for tuition purposes, these laws do not establish legal residency in California. For additional questions, please refer to CCSF’s AB 540 FAQs