Dream Act gives financial help for students

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By Nereida Perez

The California Dream Act allows undocumented students who meet requirements to apply for and receive state financial aid at California public and private colleges as well as private scholarships administered by California public colleges.

The Dream Act of 2011 is the result of two assembly bills, AB130 and AB131. Together, these bills allow undocumented and documented students who meet certain provisions of the AB 540 law to apply for and receive private scholarships funneled through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants and community college fee waivers.

AB 540 passed in 2001. It allows students meeting certain criteria to pay the same tuition and fees as resident students at California public colleges and universities.

Students must have attended a California high school for a minimum of three years, graduate from a California high school and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam or have a GED.

Students without legal immigration status have to fill out an affidavit stating that they have file or will be filing an application to legalize their immigration status as soon as they are eligible to do so.

Students who meet the requirements qualify for the fee waiver, EOPS, CARE and CalWORKS programs.

Starting with the 2013-2014 academic year students may qualify for the Cal Grant program.

To receive a Cal Grant, students must meet all other Cal Grant eligibility, or to apply for both the Cal Grant and Fee Waiver programs they must fill out applicatuins found at www.caldreamact.org.

After completing the Application, check with the financial aid office for further details.Cal Grants are free money for students to pay for collegeand which does not have to be paid back.

Students may receive up to $12,192 annually for up to 4 years of college. Amount varies depending upon the college of attendance.

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