California Dream Act

Important Information

We're here to help! The priority deadline for filing a 2021-22 CA Dream Act is March 2, 2021. However, the application is available until June 30, 2022. Don't miss this opportunity to get aid for college!

To get started visit California Student Aid Commission!

Visit SWC Dreamer Center for resources for Undocumented Students

Visit the California Student Aid Commission's California Dream Act webpage, which has extensive resources for students and parents, including worksheets, tutorials, forms, and application resources. Many are available in English and Spanish.

Benefits of Applying for The California Dream Act

The California Dream Act of 2011 became law through the passage of Assembly Bill AB 130 and AB 131. It allows AB540 students to apply for and receive several types of financial aid, including:

  • California College Promise Grant (CCPG)
  • State financial aid, such as Cal Grants and Chafee Grants
  • To get a Cal Grant, students must also meet all other Cal Grant eligibility criteria. Visit the Cal Grant page for additional information on Cal Grant eligibility.
  • Assistance from EOPS or CARE
  • Private and institutionally-funded scholarships

AB540 Qualifications

AB540 Key ImageTo qualify as an AB540 student and be eligible for Dream Act, AB130 and AB131 benefits, students must meet all of the following criteria:

1.   The student must have:

  • attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for the equivalent of three years or more, or
  • attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school coursework AND attended a combination of elementary, middle, and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years, and

2.   The student must have:

  • graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term, or
  • completed an associate degree from a California Community College, or
  • completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California, and

3.   The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.

California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) has launched the California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program (DSIG) for the 2021-22 academic year. The 2021-22 DSIG program opened on July 1, 2021 and will continue through June 30, 2022. This program is ONLY for Cal Grant B recipients.

Program Overview

The California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program encourages California Dream Act Applicants (CADAA) with a Cal Grant B award to perform community or volunteer service. The program awards up to $3,000 per academic year to 2,500 eligible students. The grant will be available to the student for up to 8 semesters while they have an active Cal Grant B award. Eligible students must apply annually and complete community or volunteer service hours in that academic year. Students shall perform at least 150 hours per semester.

Eligible Students

  • Must have a completed and submitted California Dream Act Application (CADAA) for that academic year.
  • Must be enrolled at a Cal Grant eligible school.
  • Must be an active recipient of a Cal Grant B Award for that academic year.
  • Must have sufficient financial need (determined by the student’s school of attendance).

Qualifying Community or Volunteer Service Organization

  • A nonprofit as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Any federal, state, or local government entity.
  • Any school on the Cal Grant Eligible Schools list on the CSAC website. 
  • Established for a minimum of two years before the first date on which a participating student begins performing service hours.

How to Apply?

Students will need to complete and submit the 2021-22 Grant Application found on our California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program website. Financial Aid Administrators will help students verify their eligibility to participate in the DSIG program by validating the Grant Application and the Payment Request form. The student will submit the completed form to Students will need to reapply annually for continued participation in the program.

Have any questions?

If you have questions regarding whether or not you qualify for AB540 status, please go to the Admissions office or visit the AB540 webpage.

If you are already an AB540 student and have questions about your California Dream Act Application or eligibility, please contact the Financial Aid Office.


Did you know there is a student club for AB540 students? It's called IDEAS @ SWC (Improving Dreams, Equity, Access and Success). You can check it out on Facebook (Ideas At Swc) or contact club advisor Javier Madrigal at if you are interested.