Paying for College as a Dreamer
Several types of financial aid are available to AB 540 students as a result of the California Dream Act. The California Dream Act includes Assembly Bills 130 and 131 which gives AB 540 qualifying students the right to apply for state financial aid, including the California College Promise Grant, Cal Grant, and scholarships. Take a few moments to review the information below to learn how to apply for financial aid.
How do I apply?
You are eligible to apply for the California Dream Act Application or California College Promise Grant if you are a California resident. For students who do not have California residency, please contact the Dream Center for further assistance.
Step 2: Submit the AB 540 Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form to Admissions & Records
Step 3: If you are selected for verification, you may be asked to submit a verification form and provide tax documents and/or additional documentation to support the information you reported on your CADAA.
Financial Aid available for DREAMers who complete the CADAA
Once you apply for the California Dream Act, you may also qualify for the following financial aid:
- California College Promise Grant
- Cal Grant
- Student Success Completion Grant
- SRJC for Free
- Doyle Scholarships
- Emergency Grant
Need help paying your enrollment fees? The California College Promise Grant waives the $46 per unit enrollment fees and 50% of the parking permit for eligible students. If you are only interested in applying for the California College Promise Grant, you may complete the 2021-2022/2022-2023 California College Promise Grant Application without filling out the CADAA. Download, complete and submit the application in person, by mail or email to financialaid.santarosa.edu.
California Promise Grant (CCPG) Application
- California College Promise Grant Qualifications
You may be eligible for a California College Promise Grant (CCPG) if you are a California resident or qualify for AB 540 status and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- You or your parent(s)* are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)/CalWORKs, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP), or General Assistance
- You or your parent(s)* meet income standards
- You have filed a California Dream Act Application (CADAA) and have remaining financial need
- You meet one of the following:
- You qualify for a Dependent's Fee Waiver through the California Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Guard Adjutant General
- You are a dependent or a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor
- You are a dependent of a victim of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack
- You are a dependent of a deceased law enforcement/fire suppression personnel killed in the line of duty
*Parental information only applies to students who are dependent. Not sure if you are a dependent? Find out here.
California College Promise Grant Income Standards*
Base Year Income
1 $19,140 2 $25,860 3 $32,580 4 $39,300 5 $46,020 6 $52,740 7 $59,460 8 $66,180 Each Additional
* You and/or your family must have a total income in the prior year that is equal to or less than 150% of the U.S. Department Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines based on family size.
- How do I stay eligible?
To maintain your California College Promise Grant, you will need to meet the below academic and progress standards:
1. Academic — Maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher
2. Progress — Successfully complete more than 50% of all cumulative units attempted.
Cumulative Units Attempted
All units on your transcripts count as attempted, whether they were completed with a Withdrawal (W), Excused Withdrawal (EW), or No Pass (NP), were repeated for a better grade, or eliminated from the GPA calculation through the Academic Renewal policy.
Exemption for Foster Youth: Foster youth up to 24 years of age are exempted from these standards and are not subject to the loss of CCPG eligibility.
- I lost eligibility for the California College Promise Grant, can I appeal?
A student may lose CCPG eligibility only after they have not met any combination of the minimum academic and progress standards for two consecutive terms and only after the student has attempted 12 units. Learn how to submit an appeal by contacting the Financial Aid Office. You may submit an appeal to have your California College Promise Grant eligibility reconsidered if you meet one of the following circumstances:
Terms shall be considered consecutive on the basis of the student's attendance so long as the break in the student's attendance does not exceed one primary term. For example, a student who attends for the fall 2019 semester, sits out for spring 2020 semester then attends for fall 2020 would be considered as attending consecutive terms (fall and fall). The counting of two consecutive primary terms starts over if a student does not attend in the district for two consecutive primary terms.
- Experienced an extenuating circumstance
Extenuating circumstances may include but are not limited to the death of an immediate family member, accident, illness, or other circumstances beyond your control.
To be considered, please provide documentation which may include: medical records, a copy of the death certificate, or insurance claims.
- Changes in your economic situation
To be considered, please provide documentation which may include: layoff/termination notice, unemployment statements, or a letter from your employer verifying the circumstances and dates of loss or change in employment.
- Unable to obtain essential support services
To be considered, please provide documentation which may include: canceled appointment notices and/or a statement from a third-party professional on a letterhead.
- Be a CalWorks, EOPS, DSPS, or Veteran student
Special consideration will be given to CalWORKS, EOPS, DSPS, and veteran students. To be considered, please provide documentation that are you currently receiving these support services.
- Be a student with disabilities and applied for but did not receive accommodations in a timely manner
To be considered, please provide documentation which may include a copy of the accommodation requested and/or an explanation of services you feel you did not receive in a timely manner.
- Your academic significantly improved
To be considered, please provide a copy of your unofficial transcripts. You may get a copy of your unofficial transcripts through your Student Portal, under MY RECORDS.
- Experienced an extenuating circumstance
There are three types of Cal Grants a student can be considered for and your eligibility will be based on your California Dream Act Application (CADAA) responses, your verified Cal Grant GPA, and whether you're a recent high school graduate. Please explore the tabs below to learn more about Cal Grant.
- Types of Cal Grants
Cal Grant A pays tuition for a student attending a University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), or private college in California. While attending SRJC, your award can be held in reserve for up to two years until you transfer to a four-year college.
Cal Grant B pays a stipend of up to $1656 per academic year to assist with living expenses, transportation, books, and supplies for California Community College students. For transfer students who plan to attend a four-year college in California, Cal Grant B provides funds to help with tuition and fees.
Cal Grant C pays a stipend of up to $1094 per academic year to assist California Community College students who are enrolled in an occupational or technical program.
Note: Cal Grant A and B funding is limited to four academic years. In order to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in four years, you must complete 15 or more degree-applicable units per semester. We encourage all students to create an education plan early on by meeting with an academic counselor.
- Eligibility Requirements
- Be a California resident or have AB 540 status with A&R
- If you are selected for verification, you may be asked to submit a verification form and provide tax documents and/or additional documentation to support the information you reported on your CADAA.
- Enrolled in at least 6 units
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
- Cal Grant Checklist
- Complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
- Submit GPA to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) | How do I get my Cal Grant GPA verified?
How do I get my Cal Grant GPA verified?
SRJC will electronically verify your GPA if you have attended SRJC within the last three years and have completed 16 or more applicable units.
If you did not attend SRJC within the last three years and/or have not completed 16 applicable units at SRJC, you will need to contact the previous school (high school, community college, or university) you have attended to get GPA verification.
- Create a WebGrants4Students (WG4S) account. Through your WG4S portal, you will be able to:
- Monitor and manage your state grant awards
- See your "To-Do" items
- And much more!
SRJC uses several portals to help students manage their financial aid awards. Please take a few moments to review these portals and the purpose of each one on our financial aid home page.
- Cal Grant Disbursement
- Cal Grant awards will be posted mid-June and bi-weekly thereafter for newly awarded recipients
- The first disbursement is made 45 days after the term begins (September/February), bi-weekly thereafter
Students will need to meet all eligibility requirements (see above) and have no outstanding documents with the California Student Aid Commission to receive their disbursement.
- How to Decline a Cal Grant Award (Leave of Absence)
If you’re not enrolled in at least half-time (6 units) for any term, you will need to request a leave of absence from the Cal Grant program. You are allotted a maximum of 4 semesters/6 quarters (200%) of leave of absence throughout the lifetime of your Cal Grant award.
Steps to decline a Cal Grant Award:
- Log in to your WebGrants4students (WG4S) account or create an account
- Scroll down until you find the “Cal Grant” section with four panels displayed. The final panel will be your “Est. Remaining Eligibility.” On this panel, you will find a “Place Hold” button, select to place award on hold.
You can view your leave of absence remaining balance and request leave of absences by logging into your WebGrants4Students account.
The Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG) is awarded to Cal Grant C or B recipients who enroll in 12 or more units. The purpose of this grant is to provide students with additional financial aid to help offset the total cost of community college attendance and to encourage students to attend full-time. Learn more about the Student Success Completion Grant.
Are you a first or second-year student? If you answered yes, you may qualify for tuition-free education for two years! Learn more about SRJC for Free.
The Doyle Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that may be used for college-related expenses, such as books and supplies. Learn more about the Doyle Scholarship Program.
Students who are experiencing financial hardship due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply to the Emergency Grant. Learn more about SRJC Student Emergency Grant.
Scholarships can help cover college expenses that are not covered by state financial aid. There are many scholarships available to undocumented/AB 540 students; be sure to check out AwardSpring often to see current scholarship opportunities. Also, visit our scholarship essay tips page for help with your personal statement.