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Berkeley Undergraduate Dream Act Aid

Berkeley Undergraduate Dream Act Aid is a financial aid program made possible by the passage of the California Dream Act of 2011.  The program provides grants and scholarships to make college more affordable for students who qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption

The Facts

You may be eligible to receive scholarships, a Cal Grant, institutional grants (including Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan awards), and/or UC Berkeley Director’s Work-Study.

You apply for this aid by completing the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) California Dream Act Application at dream.csac.ca.gov. The application is available January 1, and the priority deadline for submitting it is March 2.

You are required to qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption to be eligible.

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will send you an email acknowledgement after your California Dream Act Application has been received. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 30 days, please contact CSAC Student Support Branch at (888) 224-7268. In addition, your school should receive your application record within eight business days.

If you are a male, age 18-25, you are required to be registered for Selective Service. If you are not registered, complete the Selective Service Registration Form. Mail this form as instructed. You will receive a confirmation card four to six weeks after you mail in your registration, so be sure complete this process as early in the summer as possible so that your fall semester aid is not delayed.

Helpful Resources

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. I am a prospective student applying to UC Berkeley. What types of aid will I be eligible for under the California Dream Act? How do I apply?

As a prospective student, you may be eligible for scholarships, a Cal Grant, institutional grants (including Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan awards), and/or UC Berkeley Director's Work-Study. You apply for this aid by completing the California Student Aid Commission California Dream Act Application at dream.csac.ca.gov. The application is available January 1 each year, and the priority deadline for submitting it is March 2. Apply now! For information about how to apply, please watch the California Dream Act Application video tutorial. If you have any questions, please contact us at studentcentral.berkeley.edu/open-case.

To be eligible, you are required to qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption and you are required to be ineligible for federal financial aid.

We encourage you to complete and submit the University of California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form as soon as possible after you have been notified of your admission to UC Berkeley and have submitted your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR).


2. I live in another state now, but I am planning to move to California to attend college. Am I eligible for California Dream Act aid?

No. You are required to qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption in order to receive California Dream Act aid. To receive an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption, you are required to have attended a California high school for at least three full years and to have graduated from a California high school.


3. I am from another state and am currently a nonresident student at UC Berkeley. Am I eligible for California Dream Act aid?

No. You are required to qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption in order to receive California Dream Act aid. To receive an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption, you are required to have attended a California high school for at least three full years and to have graduated from a California high school.


4. I am an international student. Am I eligible for California Dream Act aid?

No. You are required to qualify for an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption in order to receive California Dream Act aid. To receive an AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption, you are required to have attended a California high school for at least three full years and to have graduated from a California high school.


5. Is this a one-time award, or can I apply every year?

You can apply each year, or each semester, if your circumstances change.


6. Can a Dream Act student receive work-study?

Dream Act students who have applied for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and been approved can request up to $4,000 in non-federal work-study. To do so, please contact us at studentcentral.berkeley.edu/open-case. Be sure to include your student ID number, how much work-study you want, and mention that you are DACA-approved.


7. Does the California Dream Act affect all undocumented students?

No. The California Dream Act affects only students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540). To qualify, students are required to have attended a California high school for at least three years and to have graduated from a California high school. In addition, undocumented students are required to attest that they have filed an application to legalize their immigration status, or will file an application as soon as they are eligible to do so.


Still Have Questions?

Contact us at:

Cal Student Central
120 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 664-9181

Send us your question at: studentcentral.berkeley.edu/open-case