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Dream Act Scholars


What is the California Dream Act? (Español)

The Dream Act is really two laws that were passed in 2011 and allow AB 540 students to apply for and receive several types of financial aid, including:

  • Board of Governors Fee Waivers
  • State financial aid like Cal Grants and Chafee Grants
  • Assistance from EOPS or CARE
  • Privately-funded scholarships

Check with the SBCC financial aid, scholarship, and the EOPS/CARE offices to see what is available.

What is an AB 540 student?

You are an AB 540 student, and exempt from paying non-resident enrollment fees, if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attended a California high school for at least three years;
  • Graduated from a California high school, got a GED or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam;
  • Are registered or enrolled at a California community college;
    AND
  • If required, complete an affidavit saying you have filed (or will file when you are eligible to do so) for legal immigration status.

Grant/Scholarship

Eligible to Apply

Who do I contact, or where do I apply?

What is it?

Type of Application Required

Privately Funded Institutional Scholarships

Beginning January 1, 2012

SBCC Financial Aid Office

Helps pay for education-related expenses

Institutional application(s)

Board of Governors Fee Waiver

Registration period for Spring 2013

SBCC Financial Aid Office

Waives community college enrollment fees for eligible students

BOG Fee Waiver Form or California Dream Application*

Assistance from EOPS or CARE

Spring 2013

SBCC EOPS Office

Varies; may include services such as tutoring, book vouchers and other support services

Institutional application(s)

Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B
Community College Transfer Entitlement

January 1 – March 2, 2013 for the Fall 2013 term

SBCC Financial Aid Office or California Student Aid Commission

Grant award covering tuition and education-related expenses when transferring to an eligible Baccalaureate degree granting institution.

California Dream Application* and GPA Verification Form

Cal Grant B -Entitlement

January 1 – March 2, 2013 for the Fall 2013 term

SBCC Financial Aid Office or California Student Aid Commission

Grant award covering education-related expenses for recent high school graduates

California Dream Application* and GPA Verification Form

Cal Grant C

January 1 – March 2, 2013 for the Fall 2013 term

SBCC Financial Aid Office or California Student Aid Commission

Grant award covering education-related expenses for occupational or career technical programs.

California Dream Application*, Cal Grant C Supplemental Application and High School or Community College GPA Verification Form

Chafee Grant

Apply as soon as possible (awards are limited)

SBCC Financial Aid office or the California Student Aid Commission

Grant award covering education-related expenses for foster youth

California Dream Application* and Chafee Grant Application

* To apply for any or all of the financial aid programs requiring the California Dream Application, you only need to complete and submit ONE application.

Where do I start?

Follow the steps below to get started on the road to fulfilling your college dreams!

  1. Complete the SBCC admissions process.
  2. Apply for financial aid.
  3. Meet with a college counselor to discuss your educational objectives and develop a plan to help you achieve your goals.


SBCC Resources

Transfer Achievement Program (TAP): Transfer Achievement Program students eligible for AB 540 status receive several benefits, including financial aid assistance, on-campus involvement through clubs/organizations, and off-campus resources dealing with documentation.

TAP provides financial assistance to AB 540 students in two ways: (1) TAP Book Grants (see TAP's financial aid/scholarships page) and (2) through The Michael and Diane Giles Grant. This grant is available through a gift from Santa Barbara community members who have provided assistance to SBCC students and programs for years.

Students interested in applying for grants must meet specific guidelines. Keep in mind that most grants are competitive. To ensure that you are eligible to receive these grants, make and appointment with a TAP counselor or advisor.

Outreach and Orientation: Contact Allie Martinez at (805) 965-0581 ext. 2282 or abmartinez@sbcc.edu

Admissions & Records: Contact Rosa Ruiz at (805) 965-0581 ext. 5151 or riruiz@sbcc.edu

Academic and Career Counseling at  Continuing Education


Additional External Resources

AB 540 Coalition of Santa Barbara

Adsum Education Foundation: Preference given to students who are eligible for AB 540 benefits.

I Can Afford College - Dream Act Information

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