AB 540/Dream Act

Dream Act

What is the California Dream Act?

The California Dream Act of 2011, authored by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles), became law through the passage of two Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131.

AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.


What is AB540?

You are an AB 540 eligible student if you...

  • Attended a CA high school for 3 or more years;
  • Graduated from a CA high school or attained the equivalent
  • Registered or are currently enrolled at an accredited CA college or university; and
  • Filed an affidavit with your college or university (Admissions & Records Office) stating that you have or intend to file an application to legalize your immigration status, if applicable.

How do I apply?

Complete the 2016-2017 Dream Act Application between January 1, 2016 to March 2, 2016 if you will be graduating from high school in June 2016 for college admission in Fall 2016, or if you will be transferring to a CSU or UC for the Fall 2016 semester.

The California Student Aid Commission’s Dream Act Application is used to determine the financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of AB 540, and who are without a valid immigration status. The application collects basic personal and income information to determine student eligibility for funding under AB 131.

Students who received a Social Security Number through the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA) should complete the CA Dream Act Application in order to be considered for state financial aid at Ventura College.

  • Apply between January 1, 2016 and March 2, 2016 for consideration for the 2016-2017 Cal Grant Award.
  • Students MUST submit a GPA Verification to the CA Student Aid Commission before March 2, 2016. Most schools submit this for you electronically, but it is the student's responsibility to be sure the GPA Verification has been submitted. 
  • Once you have applied, the Ventura College Financial Aid Office will receive your application information and will notify you by e-mail regarding the status of your application. Your account on MyVCCCD portal will specify what other information or documents you must submit so that we may determine your eligibility.
  • Students should login to the WebGrants for Students portal to view important Cal Grant information. 
  • Students must complete an AB 540 Affidavit with Admissions and Records and have their AB 540 status confirmed. Visit their website for more information and to download the affidavit.

To better prepare you for completing the Dream Application, we recommend downloading the Dream Application Worksheet from The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) Resources Website.

Students will need to complete the Dream Application every year to determine eligibility for state and institutional aid.

Can I still apply after March 2nd?

Yes. The California Dream Act Application is open throughout the school year. You may not qualify for consideration for a Cal Grant if you apply after March 2nd, but you may still qualify for any of the other aid programs listed below.

What financial aid will I qualify for?

Financial aid eligibility is based on your financial need that is determined by the information provided on your California Dream Act Application and the Financial Aid Office.

You may qualify for:

What additional resources are available for Dream Act applicants?

Ventura College has a Dreamers Club for AB540 students to support each other and participate in the college community. The club, VC Dreamers, meets regularly. Please contact the club leader, Ivan Vega, at VCDreamers@gmail.com for more information.

Also, the Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) website has a great selection of materials available to help navigate this process. Check out: THE CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT: A FINANCIAL AID GUIDE FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS.

Other helpful links:

What if I have other questions?

If you are an AB540 / California Dream Act Applicant and would like more information about financial aid at Ventura College, please contact:

Areum Chin
Financial Aid Specialist/AB540 Liaison
Phone: (805) 289-6124
Email:  achin@vcccd.edu