Financial Aid for Undocumented Students

two students holding scholarship certificate; student with SRJC staff; student holding financial aid check

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?

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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 1: Complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) | Learn more about CADAA requirements.

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:

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 2023/2024 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 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.

    2021-2022
    California College Promise Grant Income Standards*
    Family Size
    Base Year Income
    1 $20,385
    2 $27,465
    3 $34,545
    4 $41,625
    5 $48,705
    6 $55,785
    7 $62,865
    8 $69,945
    Each Additional
    Family Member
    $7,080

    * 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:

    Consecutive Terms

    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 2022 semester, sits out for spring 2023 semester then attends for fall 2023 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.

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 $1648 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
    • 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
    1. Complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
    2. 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.

    3. 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:

    1. Log in to your WebGrants4students (WG4S) account or create an account
    2. 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.

The California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant (DSIG) Program encourages California Dream Act Applicant (CADAA) students with a Cal Grant A or a Cal Grant B eligibility award to perform community or volunteer service. The grant will be available to the student for up to 8 semesters while they have an active Cal Grant A or B award.

  • DSIG Program Overview

    Students must apply annually to participate in the California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant (DSIG) Program. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will award up to $4,500 per academic year (up to $2,250 per semester) to 1,667 eligible students. The application period for the new academic year opens July 1. Applications accepted through the end of the academic year, June 30 or until all annual awards are exhausted, whichever comes first. Students must also meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and complete any necessary verification for their Cal Grant A or B award. Cal Grant A recipients must have met Cal Grant B eligibility.

  • Eligibility Requirements
    • Have AB 540 status with A&R and be enrolled in 6 or more units.
    • Have enough financial need and be an active recipient of a Cal Grant A with Cal Grant B eligibility or Cal Grant B Award for that academic year.
    • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress and complete any necessary verification for my Cal Grant A or B award.
    • Semester students shall perform service hours in 150-hour increments of community or volunteer service (July 1 through June 30).
    • Submit payment request and verification of completed service hours signed by one of the certifying officials for payment.
    • Initial California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program award payment will occur after at least one Cal Grant A or B payment during the academic year.
  • DSIG Checklist
    1. Login to MY FINANCIAL AID PORTAL , to check the status on the following required items.
      • Completed the California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
      • If awarded a CAL Grant A or B
      • Satistactory Academic Progress
      • Completed Verification, if selected
    2. Contact the SRJC Undocu Immigrant Dream Center, for a complete list of participating SRJC Department/Offices and Service Organizations.
    3. Apply to the DSIG Program
    4. Track Service Hours and request Payment

    SRJC uses several portals to help students manage their financial aid awards and available to the right hand-side.

  • DSIG Payment
    • Student may request, a first payment once 150 hours have been completed and a second payment once 300 hours have been completed during, July 1 to June 30.
    • Student will be notified via email when they are approved for payment by CSAC.
    • Payment will be mailed by the institution of attendance and can take 4-6 weeks.
    • Initial DSIG payment will occur after student receives at least one Cal Grant A or B payment. As a reminder, Cal Grant A recipients must have met Cal Grant B eligibility.

    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.

 

Scholarships

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.