California Dream Act (AB540)
The passage of part two of AB130 bill allows undocumented (immigrant) students to qualify for California state grant programs. The bill went into effect January 2013. Visit the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website for additional information and access to the Dream Act Application.
What are the AB540 requirements?
- The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years (does not need to be consecutive years)
- The student must have graduated form a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example: passed the GED or California High School Proficiency exam)
- A student who is without lawful immigration status must file an AB540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) with the Registrar’s 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. Complete and submit the affidavit to the Registrar’s Office.
Males between the ages of 18-25, are required to be registered with Selective Service. Forms are available at any U.S. post office.
Students must complete and submit the AB540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form) in order to begin the review of eligibility. The form is submitted to the Office of the Registrar. Students should also routinely view their MySJSU for any additional paperwork needed to complete their application.
What assistance is available to AB540 students?
AB130 allows students who qualify under AB540 to apply for non-state funded scholarships. This law took effect on January 1, 2012. Visit the scholarship web page for more information on scholarships available to students.
AB 131 allows students who qualify under the AB540 to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant. At San Jose State University, the grants that a student could be eligible for are the State University Grant (SUG), and the Graduate Professional Business Grant. This law took effect on January 1, 2013. As such, eligible AB540 students at SJSU who complete the Dream Application will be considered for funding.
How do I apply?
Use the Dream Act Application to apply for the programs available under AB131. The California Dream Act Application will collect basic personal and income information to determine student eligibility for funding under AB131. The California Dream Act Application must be filed every year to determine eligibility for state and institutional aid. View the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website for additional information.
Now that I have applied, what happens next?
The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will receive a student's CA Dream Act data, a message is sent to the student's MySJSU within 2 weeks instructing the student to complete and submit documents from his/her To-Do list. View Seven Steps to Financial Aid for more information.
California Dream Loan
The California (CA) Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The CA Dream Loan is a subsidized loan program for undergraduate students with a valid CA Dream Act application and a valid AB540 affidavit or “U” Visa on file with San Jose State University (SJSU). You must attend at least half-time (6 or more units per semester) in order to receive the CA Dream Loan.
Interest Rate, Deferment, and Grace Period
The interest rate for 2015-16 is 4.29%. The interest rate for the CA Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change for new loans annually. The CA Dream Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half-time, during periods of approved deferment, and during the 6-month grace period before you enter repayment. You will be responsible for the interest charged at all other times.
Repayment of Loans
California Dream Loans are setup to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period and have a minimum payment of $50 a month. You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty. You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period. The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.
The CA Dream Loan is subject to annual, semester, and aggregate limits set by the state legislature, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and SJSU. The annual loan limit is $4,000 and the semester limit is generally $2,000. The aggregate limit of $20,000 is the maximum that you can borrow from the CA Dream Loan program at SJSU.
Eligibility for the CA Dream Loan
Because funds are limited, you will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if you meet the eligibility criteria for the CA Dream Loan. The application process will be explained in emails sent to your SJSU email account, and in the To Do List items in MySJSU.
You may decline the loan offer or accept less than what is offered to you, but funds are limited and you may not be able to increase your loan at a later time. Students who accept the CA Dream Loan must complete a promissory note and entrance counseling. If you fail to complete all the required steps to receive your loan disbursement by the assigned deadline, we may cancel the loan offer. Funds are limited and you may not be awarded the funds again at a later date.
Receipt of funds in one year does not guarantee availability or receipt of funds in subsequent years.
San Jose State University is a Partner College of TheDream.US which provides up to $25,000 to help cover tuition, fees, books, supplies and transportation.
Apply to TheDream.US college scholarships!
Resources and Additional Information
View Student Affairs website for additional information on AB540
Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth
United We Dream - an organization for undocumented youth - view information on DACA recipients and filing taxes