Dream Scholars

  • What is the California Dream Act?

    California Assembly Bills 130 and 131 are known as the CA Dream Act. The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet the certain provisions to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through the public universities, state-administered financial aid, university scholarships, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants.

  • How do I Apply for Financial Aid Under the California Dream Act?

    The CA Dream Act Application is used by undocumented students who meet the eligibility requirements of AB 540. Non-resident documented students file the FAFSA. AB540 status must be confirmed prior to receiving an award. Refer to Applying for more information.

  • What is AB 540?

    Students may be granted an exemption from the nonresidential supplemental tuition by meeting AB 540 requirements. Please visit the University of California AB 540 website for more information.
  • What Types of Aid can I get?

    Cal Grant

    Cal Grants are administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Refer to Grants for more information.

    UCSB Scholarship

    This scholarship is made available by the University of California. It is awarded to California resident undergraduate students who are considered on-time applicants and who are determined to have sufficient financial need. Refer to Grants for more information.

    Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan

    It is a Financial Aid Initiative for University of California undergraduate students. The goal of the new “Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan” is to ensure that UC system-wide fees do not deter the half of California households with incomes below $80,000 from aspiring to a UC education. Refer to Grants for more information.

    University Scholarships

    Refer to Scholarships for more information.

    Private Scholarships

    Refer to Scholarships for more information 

    Monarch Opportunity Scholarship

    The Monarch Opportunity Scholarship is a program designed to help students gain professional experiences. This opportunity is available to Dream Scholars who have not been granted Deferred Action Status (DACA).

    Once you find a program, you must print the Monarch Opportunity Scholarship Referral Form and submit to the program coordinator. This is the only way to access your Monarch Scholarship Opportunity funds.

    UCSB Work-Study

    Work-Study is a need-based form of Financial Aid that you earn through on or off campus employment and receive in the form of a paycheck.

    Students who submitted a CA DREAM ACT application and are eligible to receive Work-Study can activate this award only if they obtained a social security number after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted them Deferred Action Status and received an Employment Authorization Card, otherwise known as DACA recipients.

    Additionally, all qualifying Work-Study recipients must maintain a minimum study load of six (6) units each quarter.

    Refer to Work-Study for more information.

    Middle Class Scholarship

    The Middle Class Scholarship provides undergraduate students with a scholarship to attend the University of California or California State University. Families with incomes up to $177,000 and a maximum annual household asset amount of $177,000 are eligible for the Middle Class Scholarship. Refer to Scholarships for more information.


    The California Dream Loan Program provides eligible undocumented AB 540 undergraduates with the option to borrow loans to help cover the cost of attending UC.
    To be eligible for the CA Dream Loan students must have financial need and be enrolled at least half time at UCSB.

    Through the CA Dream Loan Program applicants may receive a maximum of $4,000 per academic year, however offered amounts will be determined from year-to-year based on funding. Additionally, applicants can receive a maximum of $20,000 in CA Dream Loans at UCSB throughout the duration of their academic career. 
    The CA Dream Loan's interest rate matches the Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan interest rate for the given academic year. Interest will not accrue on the loan as long as the applicant maintains a half-time enrollment status (between 6-8.9 units). Once the applicant graduates, or ceases to be half-time, there is a 6-month "grace period" before repayment begins. For additional information regarding the CA Dream Loan Program, visit the University of California website.

    How to Accept the Loan

    You can start the process by accepting your CA Dream Loan through My Aid Status.

  • Financial Aid Timeline

    Early October

    Dream Act Application becomes available. OFAS begins receiving CA Dream Application information from the California Student Aid Commission. Check your status on My Aid Status.

    March 2nd

    • CA Dream Act Application Priority Filing Deadline
    • Cal Grant GPA deadline


    Continuing Students

    Financial Aid Verification begins. We begin sending requests for required documents for students who are selected for verification. Check your status on My Aid Status.

    Newly Admitted Students

    • Unofficial Financial Aid Award Letters available through Admissions
    • Required documents will be added to My Aid Status for students who are selected for verification after a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) is submitted
    • Submit Statement of Legal Residence (SLR) and begin the AB540 process with the Office of the Registrar

    Early Summer

     Financial Aid Award Letter : We will begin awarding aid for the academic year once the student’s AB540 status is confirmed. This process will continue throughout the summer, as students submit required documents. This is our highest volume processing season, and you should not expect to receive an award letter for at least a month from the time you submit required documents.


    Disbursements : OFAS will begin crediting funds to your UCSB BARC account. Grants and Scholarships are automatically credited. Loans must be accepted on My Aid Status.

    Late September

    • BARC Office begins generating refunds for the Fall term
    • Fall quarter begins
  • Contacts and Campus Resources

    Dream Scholars Resource Team

    The Dream Scholars Resource Team mission is to develop an awareness and understanding of the experiences of undocumented and AB 540 eligible students and to develop campus responses and processes to address their needs related to persistence, retention, and graduation.

    Visit the Student Affairs Dream Scholars page for more information.

    IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success) Student Organization

    IDEAS was established in 2006 by undocumented students that felt an absence in representation on the UCSB campus and longed for a support group. IDEAS provides financial, academic, and emotional support to all of our students through scholarships, workshops, and by simply having a safe place for undocumented student to share their experiences.

    Visit the IDEAS Facebook page or e-mail IDEAS for more information.

    Undocumented Student Services