California Dream Act

10 cosas que debes saber sobre la Ley Dream Act

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Under the California Dream Act Laws AB 130 and AB 131, undocumented students who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: institutional scholarships, state administered financial aid, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants.

Eligibility for AB540

  • Attended: 
    • 3 or more years of attendance in a California Elementary or Secondary school or combination there of.
    • 3 or more years at a California high school.
    • 3 or more at a California Adult School with a minimum of 420 hours of attendance per school year.
    • A combination of these schools with a total of 3 or more years of attendance.
  • Graduated from a California high school or
  • Received a GED or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam;
  • Are registered or enrolled at a California community college and
  • Completed an affidavit saying you have filed (or will file when you are eligible to do so) for legal immigration status.
  • Student cannot hold a valid non-immigrant visa ((F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.)

At Hartnell College, AB 540 & DACA* students who complete a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) have a different disbursement process than students who complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

CA Dream Applicants DO NOT receive a BankMobile Refund Kit. Applicants receive a check approximately 3-6 weeks after their Financial Aid Files are complete AND Hartnell receives Cal Grant funds from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).

Because Dreamers are only eligible for State Aid, we highly recommend that students complete their California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by March 2nd of every year. Completing the application before the March 2nd deadline will ensure the student be considered for a Cal Grant Award.

New students who complete their CADAA after March 2nd will only be considered for the California Promise Grant (formally known as BOG). Second year returning students who did not apply their first year, will need to have their high schools re-send GPA to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to be considered for a Cal Grant Award.

Steps to Apply

Step 1: Apply online using the CADAA Application and list the Hartnell College School Code (00120900). Application should be filled out by May 2nd for 2024-25 school year.

Step 2: Complete the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form with the Admissions & Records Office IMPORTANT STEP! 

Step 3: Create a WebGrants Account at to check for Cal Grant updates and certify information.

Step 4: Check Hartnell Gmail for notifications from the Financial Aid Office.

Step 5: Submit any requested Verification Documents to the Financial Aid Office ASAP.

Step 6: Visit the Hartnell College Dreamer Center in Building B, Room 204A AND the EOPS Office in Building B, Room 130 for additional resources.

Important Things to Remember

  • AB540 Students, even those with DACA information, must complete the CA Dream Act App and NOT the FAFSA.
  • Apply early! Applications now available starting in October 1st of each year.
  • Submit your application by May 2 
  • Make sure the name you use on the Dream Act App matches your Admissions Application.
  • Include Hartnell College on your application. School Code: 00120900
  • Complete the AB 540 affidavit (see AB540 eligibility requirements at the top of this page).
  • Create a Webgrants Account for updates on Cal Grant Award.
  • Reapply every year!