As of February 27th, the total number of applicants for the California Dream Act was 25,656; 10,476 applications short of the total amount of applications received last year. Students have until midnight, Friday, March 2nd to submit their California Dream Act Applications. The California Dream Act is unrelated to DACA, as it is a state financial aid program for undocumented students, who meet certain criteria.
Given the national political climate about immigration, our undocumented students’ concerns and fears are valid, and they must be acknowledged. About 122 people are losing DACA status every day, and national conversations continue to create an environment of fear and confusion for many of our students. Undocumented students and their families are encountering immigration raids and deportations. Additionally, the failure to reach a consensus on any immigration reform for undocumented youth in Congress may induce our students to not file for the California Dream Act.
It is important that as fellow students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community, we reassure new and renewing student applicants that California will not share with federal authorities any personal data, such as addresses and family identifications, which could lead to deportation. The California Student Aid Commission has never shared any personal information that would indicate a student’s immigration status, either documented or undocumented. The California Student Aid Commission promises to protect student’s information to the fullest extent of the law.
State officials, legislative leaders, school districts, and university systems have been encouraging undocumented students to apply for the California Dream Act.
Time is of essence, and we encourage our undocumented students to apply to the California Dream Act by today, March 2nd deadline by 10 PM PST. The California Dream Act provides financial aid to undocumented students who are not eligible for federal aid and cannot use the traditional Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Students can receive a state Dream Act grant for a public or private college in California whether or not they have DACA status. The California Dream Act is a state program and all information submitted is processed in the state and all student and parent information is protected and is never shared with the U.S. government
If you have any questions the California Student Aid Commission is temporarily extending the hours for the Student Support Line effective until March 2, Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM. Please call the Student Support line at 1-888-224-7268 for assistance. For more information about the CA Dream Act please visit: http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/california_dream_act_faq.pdf
Fear and confusion should not keep you from pursuing your aspirations or higher education, and the financial aid you deserve. We strongly urge our undocumented students to complete the California Dream Act application. You do not need to be DACA certified to be eligible for state financial aid, losing DACA will not affect state financial aid eligibility. No matter what occurs at the federal level, state financial aid for undocumented students is protected by state law. Please do not hesitate to apply.
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