CADAA - California Dream Act Application

Graduating Students

The California Dream Act is:

  • The financial aid application for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, or for nonresident students who are eligible for AB 540

  • The first step to finding out if you qualify for state financial aid grants, waivers, loans, and other funding.
  • Given by the state of California on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis, meaning the sooner you complete your CADAA for the year you want to go to college, the more likely you will be to get the maximum amount of financial aid money you qualify for.

 

We recommend completing your CADAA as soon as the application is available for the academic year you plan to go to college.

  • You must complete the CADAA each year you attend college and want financial aid.
  • You do not need to be a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient to complete the CADAA.
  • The financial aid you get from each year’s CADAA covers your time in college between July 1st through June 30th of that academic year. 
  • The CADAA is valid for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms, in that order.
  • LASC’s School Code is 0074700.

 

Applying to the CADAA

Here are the steps to take to apply for the California Dream Act:

Step 1: If you haven’t yet, apply to LASC today!

Step 2: If you are unsure, find out if you are AB 540 eligible or take this quick quiz to see if you should complete the CADAA.

Step 3: Complete your CADAA online or fill out a paper copy.

Go to Before You Begin below for information and tips on how to complete the CADAA:

       ONLINE CADAA    PRINT A PAPER COPY

Even if you don’t think you’ll qualify for financial aid, you should still complete the CADAA, as not all aid is based on financial need!

Step 4: Complete an AB 540 Affidavit  (also known as a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption)

Submit it: 
  • to Admissions and Records Office, Room 102, SSB
  • with your official High School Transcripts or High School Equivalency Certificate

Step 5: Develop Your Student Education Plan with your college academic counselor or one of our Dream Resource Center counselors to help you achieve your goals.

If you do not meet AB 540 guidelines, visit the Dream Resource Center to explore other options.

The California Dream Act allows nonresident students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents and nonresident U.S. citizens who meet AB 540 eligibility (see below), to apply for in-state financial aid and fee waivers, such as the Cal Grant, California College Promise Grant, and the Chafee Grant (if former foster youth), as well as out-of-state privately-funded scholarships.

You do not need to be a DACA recipient to qualify for the California Dream Act.

Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a California state law that allows nonresident students who meet specific requirements to receive a tuition fee waiver so they pay the same in-state tuition and fees as students with California residency.

Here are the AB 540 requirements:

  • Satisfied one or a combination of the following: 
    1. attended a high school (public or private) in California for three (3) or more years, and/or 
    2. have earned credits in California from a California high school equivalent to three (3) or more years of fulltime high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle, and/or high schools in California for a total of three (3) or more years, or a combination of those schools, and/or 
    3. have earned credits at a California adult school, and/or 
    4. have credits at a California Community College.
  • Graduated or will graduate from a California high school, or 
    1. received a General Education Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), or
    2. received an associate degree from a California Community College, or
    3. fulfilled the minimum transfer requirements to transfer from a California Community College to a University of California or California State University, and
  • Will register or enroll in an accredited and qualifying California college or university, and
  • If applicable, complete the affidavit stating that you will legalize your immigration status as soon as you are eligible, and
  • Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (A, B, C, D, E, F, J, H, L, etc.; exceptions: those with Temporary Protected Status or with a valid U Visa are eligible).

If you meet these requirements, you could be eligible for many types of in-state financial aid grants, fee waivers, and scholarships. And, all of these are cash awards you receive to pay for college that don’t have to be paid back! Complete the CADAA to find out if you qualify.

Before You Begin 

Here is information and tips on how to complete your CADAA. If you have questions, contact the Dream Resource Center or set up an appointment through our Financial Aid Office’s QLESS app for assistance:

In the first section, you’ll be asked to enter your personal identification information, such as your name, permanent mailing address, email, phone number, and citizenship status. 

You’ll also be asked for your Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer ID Number, Statewide Student ID Number, or Alien Registration Number. You can leave these blank if you do not have them.

You will need to create a username, password, and security questions and answers for the CADAA. Save this information in a safe place.

If you are a male between 18-25 years of age, in order to receive state aid, you must register with the Selective Service.

As you are completing the application, you’ll see these sections next. If this is your first year in college, select Never attended college / 1st year for your grade level.

And, even if you plan to earn a more advanced degree, you’ll still want to select the degree or certificate you plan to earn while at LASC. 

LASC’s School Code is 0074700

Entering this code ensures LASC receives your application information. You can list all of the school codes where you have applied. Submitting your application with at least one school code allows you to be considered for a Cal Grant. Entering LASC’s code allows LASC to notify you of your financial aid award(s).

Also, if you plan to go to LASC or another California community college, your CADAA will automatically check your eligibility for the California College Promise Grant. Go to Types of Aid for more information.

If you answered ‘No’ to all of the questions in this section, you will need to have at least one of your parents complete the parent information questions and sign the form with you. They will need to create their own username, password, security questions and answers, and State Student Aid PIN number that is separate from yours.

For your family, you’ll want to include yourself, your parents, or the parent you are currently living with more than half the time, and any other member of the household who receives more than half of their financial support from your parent(s).

To answer how many college students are in the household, include yourself, even if you are only taking a few units, and anyone else in your household, except for your parents, who is attending college at least half-time for the school year you are applying for.

Parents financial information: if you are a dependent, you will want to give your parents’ income, bank statements, or tax information from two years earlier than the application year. For example, if you are completing the 2021-22 CADAA, you will want to use your parents’ income, bank statements, or tax information from 2019. 

If your parents didn’t need to file taxes, select ‘Will not file’ and they can submit untaxed income information from their W-2 forms. If they plan to file taxes but haven’t completed them yet, select ‘Will file’ and use an estimate of your household income. Once your parents file their taxes, log back into your CADAAand update your application.

Your financial information: if you have any, you will want to use your income, bank statements, or tax information from two years earlier than the application year. For example, if you are completing the 2021-22 CADAA, you will want to use your income, bank statements, or tax information from 2019. 

If you are a non-tax filer, select ‘Will not file’ and use information from your W-2 forms, if you have them, or list all untaxed income for the household. Be aware that IRS income limits do apply.

Online CADAA: if you are completing the CADAA online, you can sign the application electronically. You, and either parent if you are a dependent, will be asked to create your own State Student Aid PIN to sign the application. If you need a parent’s signature, your parent will need to create their own PIN.

You can also print the signature page, sign (along with a parent, if needed), and mail the signature page to the address given on the application. Make sure to get proof of mailing from the U.S. Post Office.

Paper CADAA: if you are completing a paper copy of the CADAA, you, and either parent if you are a dependent, will need to sign the application, and mail the entire application to the address given. We recommend making a copy and sending the original. Make sure to get proof of mailing from the U.S. Post Office.

We have informative CADAA Workshops to help answer your questions and help you complete your application!

You can use the CADAA Worksheet to help you prepare all of your information before completing your CADAA.

Financial Aid you can receive through the CADAA!

Once you complete the CADAA, here are some of the financial aid awards you may be eligible for:

  • Cal Grants – Cal Grant C, High School Entitlement Cal Grant A & B, CCC Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A & B
    • To apply, make sure you submit your CADAA, as well as submitting a Non-SSN GPA Form to the Financial Aid Office, by March 2nd for the upcoming academic year.
  • California College Promise Grant – waives enrollment fees for first-time, full-time students who qualify.
  • EOPS Grant – qualifying students receive additional resources to succeed in college, including book vouchers and grants, priority registration, and extra support services.
  • Chafee Grant – up to $5,000 per year for students who were foster youth between the ages of 16-18.
  • Middle-Class Scholarship – is for middle-class students going to LASC who plan to transfer to a UC or CSU. This scholarship covers between 10 to 40 percent of their tuition and fees.
  • Private scholarships, and certain scholarships administered by LASC (go to the Scholarships page).

Plan to transfer to a university? After you transfer, you can also get:

  • UC Grants, CSU Grants, Middle-Class Scholarship, and some university and private scholarships.
  • Be an undocumented student, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student, U Visa Holder, have Temporary Protected Status, or are a U.S. Citizen without California residency.
  • Be enrolled or plan to be enrolled in college.
  • Your Enrollment Status helps to determine your eligibility for financial aid. You can still apply for Financial Aid if you have not yet enrolled in LASC or registered for classes. LASC checks your Enrollment Status after the Add/Drop Class Deadline date of each semester.
  • Have chosen a degree or eligible certificate program at LASC that’s also listed in your Student Information System (SIS) account. If you have not yet enrolled at LASC or chosen a degree or certificate, you can still apply. You will need to meet with a counselor and choose one before you can receive your financial aid. Also, if what is listed in your SIS account is inaccurate, please contact Admissions & Records at 323-241-5321.
  • If it’s required of you, registration with the Selective Service.

Congratulations! Here’s what’s next:

  • Review your application confirmation page as soon as you submit your CADAA with your (and your parent’s, if you are a dependent) electronic signature (mailed signatures take 2-3 weeks to process once received). The confirmation page will go over any additional steps you may need to take to finalize your CADAA. 

You can print your application and review it to ensure all of the information is correct. To make changes or add, change, or remove school codes, look for the Cal SAR tab (California Student Aid Report) on your CADAA application. 

Please note: if your parent has signed the application, anytime you make a change, you and your parent will need to re-sign it with your PIN and your parent’s PIN.

  • Complete your AB 540 Affidavit (also known as a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption) and submit it to Admissions and Records Office, Room 102, SSB, along with your official High School Transcripts or High School Equivalency Certificate by March 2nd to be considered for the Cal Grant.
  • There are two ways you can check your financial aid status:

Once LASC receives your reward, we will notify you through your SIS account along with all of the financial aid options available to you.

Make sure you understand what is expected of you for any grant or scholarship you accept so you don’t go on academic probation or need to repay your award. You can find out more information about the Cal Grant, California College Promise Grant, Chafee Grant, or others on our Types of Aid page. 

You can also attend a workshop about Satisfactory Academic Progress to learn detailed information on what you need to do to keep your financial aid.

  • Create Your Student Education Plan with a college academic counselor or one of LASC’s Dream Resource Center counselors to help you reach your academic goals.
  • Visit LASC’s Dream Resource Center, if you haven’t already, to learn about other resources available to you to help you succeed in college.