Financial Aid for Undocumented Students

California’s community college Chancellor Oakley took the time to assure students that there will be ongoing support for our state’s DACA students.

“This pandemic and the economic fallout continues to impact students on the ground.” Chancellor Oakley stated. He encouraged students to take advantage of all the resources provided by the colleges, he emphasized that DACA students need to get their financial aid and California Dream Act papers submitted on time. 

When asked what resources or plans the chancellor’s office has to help make sure our uncocumeted students are returning Oakley shifted attention to the current plans that need to be re-emphasized, the financial aid applications, federal advocacy, and support a legislative bill that was introduced by senator Limon for revisions of AB 540 to improve aid. 

From Chabot College Student Services webste: “CA Assembly Bill AB 540 is a California law passed in 2001 that exempts students (including undocumented students) who meet eligibility requirements from out-of-state tuition fees.  In 2014, AB 540 was expanded through AB 2000.  It was further expanded in 2017,  through SB 68, to include adult schools and CA Community Colleges (non-credit and credit classes) attendance and other graduation or degree requirements.

Qualifying for AB 540/SB 68 provides students with the ability to pay resident fees and apply for the state-based financial aid through the CA Dream Act, if eligible.” 

More information and services can be located online on the student services page under “Dreamers” 

Immigrants Rising is a group based in San Francisco that’s dedicated to improving the financial aid support system for uncodumeted students, they believe that the application process has many holes and obstacles that discourage many from applying in the first place. 

“Thousands of undocumented immigrants living in California will be unable to move forward with clarity about their ability to be eligible through SB 68/AB 540. This will directly impact their ability to enroll and succeed in higher education.”

According to the California Aid Student Commision in Aug. 2020 although Califorina has over 92,000 undocumented students, over 40% of these students did not appy for the Califorina Dream Act Applcation. 60% of the students that did apply were not offered state financial aid, and 30% of those that were offered aid, did not receive their state aid. 

Immigrants Rising added, “These efforts are an important first step in ensuring that all eligible students are able to adequately and accurately prepare to pursue a college education in California, regardless of their immigration status”

Image courtesy of California Community Colleges

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