Mesa Journeys




Financial Aid
California Dream Act

Starting with the 2013-2014 academic year, AB540 students may apply for the Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant. You must submit the 2013-2014 Dream Act Application starting on January 14th 2013 but before the Cal Grant March 2nd deadline. If the Dream Act Application is submitted after March 2nd, you may still qualify for the Board of Governors Enrollment Fee Waiver and Chafee Grant (if former foster youth).

To learn more about the Dream Act Application please visit The California Student Aid Commission website:

To apply for the Dream Act Application go to:


CA Dream Act vs. Deferred Action (DACA)

  • CA Dream Act is not the same program as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) relief
  • DACA does not confer a new status for students and does not affect AB 540 status
  • CA Dream Act application is a free application
  • DACA application does have a fee of $465
  • Students wanting more information on DACA should visit 


The California Dream Act Application allows students interested in attending eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Here is a quick way to get you to the website where you can apply for the CA Dream Act!

2022-23 English Paper Application
2022-23 Spanish Paper Application
2022-23 Dream Application Worksheet

2021-22 English Paper Application
2021-22 Spanish Paper Application
2021-22 Dream Application Worksheet

What is the CA Dream Act? 

The California Dream Act allows students who are AB 540 eligible to apply for certain financial aid programs in the state of California. 

AB 540 is a law that allows non-resident students who are living in California to pay resident fees at public colleges and universities in California.

Watch this video for more information on the specific programs made eligible by the California Dream Act.

What is AB 540?

Assembly Bill 540 (AB540) was signed into law in October 2001 and provides an exemption from the payment of non-resident tuition for certain non-resident students who meet the eligibility requirements. If you are granted an AB540 exemption, you will be charged in-state tuition and fees. Check with the Admissions Office after you have been admitted to see if you need to complete the AB540 Exemption Request. 

What is a Cal Grant?

A Cal Grant is money for college from the State of California that you don’t have to pay back. Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University, or California Community College. They can also be used at qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California. There are three kinds of Cal Grants: A, B, and C. Even though there are three different types of grants, you only need to apply once. Your eligibility for all Cal Grants will be determined once you complete all application requirements.

To apply, you must complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by March 2nd for the upcoming application year. You will also be requested to submit a verified Cal Grant GPA by this date. You must meet the minimum GPA requirements, as well as eligibility and financial requirements along with satisfactory academic progress. 

Click here for a step by step video on completing the California Dream Act application.  [Video tutorial walk-through in Spanish, completing the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) [as uploaded by Butte College].

Mesa Campus DREAMer resource center

Borderless Scholars headers

Borderless Scholars supports undocumented, AB540, Dreamer, DACA, students from mixed-status families, faculty/staff, and allies as well as the community at large. Here you will be able to learn more about our staff, events, and resources specifically for undocumented students. 


The Dream Act application has been updated and enhanced to make the application easier for students to understand and for parents to sign: 

  • ·        Question 23a has been added to assist students in registering for Selective Service. (The “Register Me” question is now on this application)
  • ·        Question 31 has been added to assist students in learning about loans available for CSU and UC Dream students. SB1210 California DREAM Loan Program
  • ·        Application help text and Student Aid Report (CalSAR) text has been clarified for greater understanding
  • ·        The parent PIN process has been streamlined
  • ·        Assembly Bill AB540 information has been updated to include the AB2000 changes
  • ·        The resource page link is easier to find from the main page; resource organization has been updated on the resources page

Check out our Dream Act information & resources