California Dream Act
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The California Dream Act of 2011 consists of two bills, Assembly Bill 130 (AB 130) and Assembly Bill 131 (AB 131). AB 130 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on June 25, 2011, and AB 131 was signed into law by Gov. Brown on Oct. 8, 2011.
- AB 130 was effective Jan. 1, 2012, and allows students attending UC Merced who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) and are ineligible for federal financial aid, to be eligible to receive UC Merced scholarships that are derived from private, non-state funds.
- AB 131 (the second part of the Dream Act), went into effect Jan. 1, 2013, and allows students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under AB 540 and who are ineligible for federal financial aid to receive all grants and scholarships that are derived from UC Merced or state funds.
- You must be ineligible for federal financial aid.
- You must be a California resident.
- You must apply for and qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption in order to be eligible for grant aid.
- Prospective students must have an entry 3.25 grade point average (GPA) or above in order to be eligible for institutional scholarships.
- Continuing students must have a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or above in order to be eligible for institutional scholarships.
- Complete the California Dream Act Application no later than March 2nd every year
- Complete the Continuing Student Scholarship Application between February 1st - March 2nd every year
Visit the University of California's page for more detailed information on the DREAM loan program
DREAM loan details
- 4.29% interest rate for 2015-16 (same as Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan)
- Interest rate for future loans may differ
- Interest will not accrue as long as you're enrolled at least half time
- Once you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half time, you will have a 6-month grace period before repayment begins
Who is eligible for a DREAM loan?
- Undocumented AB 540 undergraduates who:
- Have financial need
- Are enrolled at least half-time at UC Merced
- Apply for financial aid by completing a CA Dream Act application every year
- Check your UC Merced email frequently for updates from our office
Undocumented students cannot complete or submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and should instead submit the California Dream Act Application
Students who ARE eligible to complete the FAFSA should NOT complete the California Dream Act Application.
Here are Top 10 things you need to know about the California Dream Act.
Check out this College Guide for Undocumented Students for more information and resources available.
- How to Apply
- Types of Aid
- Receiving Your Aid
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