WHAT IS A DREAMER?
The term "DREAMer" is often used to describe undocumented students who wish to pursue higher education after graduating from high school. However, these students often face many challenges trying to pursue higher education, such as lack of information or they may have difficulty discussing their situation with others due to the fact that they will likely need to disclose their citizenship status. This page is intended to provide information and resources that may make their dream of pursuing post-secondary education a reachable long-term goal versus just a dream.
UPDATE ON DACA RENEWALS
Due to recent federal court rulings, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals. If you have never applied for DACA, you will not be eligible to apply. Below is information taken from the USCIS website. Click on the info to be directed to the USCIS website to read the entire update.
- "Feb. 14, 2018, Update: USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Due to federal court orders on Jan. 9, 2018, and Feb. 13, 2018, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA." (Learn more about the Feb 14th ruling)
- "If you have previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request. Please list the date your prior DACA ended in the appropriate box on Part 1 on the Form i-821D."(Learn more about the Sept 5th ruling)
- "If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal (because renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA), but may nonetheless file a new initial DACA request in accordance with the Form I-821D and Form I-765 instructions."(Learn more about forms i-821D and i-765)
The state of California, as well as other states, does offer financial assistance to undocumented students. In California, several assembly bills have been passed to offer financial support, AB 540, AB 2000, AB 130, and AB 131. Comparison chart from the California Student Aid Commission (PDF)(CSAC) which compares the bills side-by-side. If you are eligible to apply for the California Dream Act, you will not fill out the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). Students who plan to apply to out-of-state universities must check with the university to verify the information needed to request financial assistance.
- “Cómo obtener ayuda financiera para asistir a la universidad, por medio de FAFSA o de DREAM ACT”: https://youtu.be/OElBhFUwWmE
- “Taller: Cómo llenar formas de FAFSA y DREAM ACT. Apoyo financiero para estudiantes universitarios”: https://youtu.be/V1wwXS1R_dI
- “Cómo funciona WebGrants 4 Students de la Comisión de Ayuda Estudiantil de California (CSAC)”: https://youtu.be/iX8Z9R0v9pw
CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT
The California Dream Act is an application that allows qualified students the ability to apply for in-state financial aid, be eligible for school-funded scholarships, and the board of governors (BOG) fee waiver within the community colleges, private schools, and public universities in California. A student must meet the following requirements to qualify for the California Dream Act:
- attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, or
- attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle, and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years 2 and
- graduated or will graduate from a California high school or attainment of General Education Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), and
- Will register or enroll in an accredited and qualifying California college or university, and
- If applicable, complete an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as eligible, and
- Not hold any of the following non-immigrant visas (A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J, etc.)**
- **If you have Temporary Protected Status or hold a U Visa select you may be eligible.
If you qualify to apply, Fill out the California Dream Act.
UNDOC FRIENDLY UNIVERSITIES/COLLEGES
As students begin to research universities/colleges they may decide to apply to, students will want to verify what type of services or support they have on campus for undocumented students, in hopes to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for students, no matter what their citizenship status may be. The two public university systems in California, California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC), will likely have a liaison or a resource center dedicated to undocumented students. Students wishing to attend a private or out-of-state university will need to research and verify if the university/college offers financial assistance and if they offer additional support/services to undocumented students. In the quick links section, you will find a list of possible universities that may be "undocu" friendly. Again, it is the student's responsibility to verify with the schools to determine eligibility.