Dream Act Students
College is possible for everyone, and there are a variety of financial aid options available to help with the costs. Cal Poly Pomona and the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships are highly committed to the success of our Dream Act eligible students, and are proud of those who have been selected to join our campus.
As you consider the value of a Cal Poly Pomona education, be sure to visit the California Student Aid Commission’s website, as it contains useful information on the available types of funding and resources that are available to you.
Completing the DREAM Application is the first step toward getting financial aid for college.
The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students who meet AB540 criteria to apply for and receive funds from certain state and institutional financial aid programs. Completing and submitting the DREAM Application is free and quick, and it gives you access to California State and Cal Poly Pomona financial aid programs. In addition, your DREAM Application is used by some scholarship providers to determine whether you qualify for their awards. When completing the DREAM Application please make sure that you indicate you will be attending Cal Poly Pomona when listing your schools of attendance; our school code is 001144
The DREAM Application becomes available every October 1 and the deadline to apply is the following March 2 (for the 2019 – 2020 academic year, the application became available October 1, 2018 and the priority deadline was March 2, 2019).
Complete a California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
To get started with the CADAA application process you have two options to complete the application:
- Online - Highly recommended as the application process is faster and easier
- Paper Dream Act Application - If you do not have a computer with Internet access at home, you can find Internet access at your local library, high school, or a college financial aid office.
Gather the following documents:
- Federal Tax information or tax returns – including IRS W-2 information for you and your spouse (if married) or for you and your parents if parent information is required on the application (dependent students)
- Current stock, bond, and other investment records (if applicable)
- Current business and farm records (if applicable)
If you missed the DREAM Application Deadline, your financial aid options will be limited (as most CA State and Cal Poly Pomona aid programs require filing by the Priority Filing deadline). You may wish to still complete the DREAM Application, as some scholarships, including the DREAM.US scholarship, require you to complete the DREAM application to be considered.
Filling Out the Application Correctly
Dependent students are required to include information about their parents on their application. The CADAA will ask several questions to determine whether you are considered dependent or independent for financial aid purposes.
You are considered an Independent Student if any of the below applies to you:
- You are or will be 24 years of age or older by the cut-off date specified on application
- You are married, or separated, but not divorced
- You will be enrolled in a master's or doctorate program
- You are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- You have children or are currently expecting a child for whom you will provide at least 50% of the support for
- You have dependents for whom you provide at least 50% of the support for
- At any time since you turned age 13, both your parents were deceased, you were in foster care or you were a dependent or ward of the court
If you are a Dependent Student, you MUST report information about your parents, regardless of whether you live with them. The following people should NEVER be listed on your application unless they have legally adopted you: grandparents, siblings, uncles or aunts, widowed stepparents, family friends, counselors, and so on.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances (see below), if none of the conditions above apply to you, you are considered a Dependent Student for financial aid purposes and must supply information about your parents on the CADAA.
What kind of information must my parents provide for the Dream Application?
For each parent you are listing on your CADAA, they will be required to provide:
1. Basic biographical information:
- Social Security number or ITIN (if parent(s) have neither enter 000-00-0000)
- Date of birth
2. Household Information
- Current marital status
- State of residence
- Household size
3. Financial Information
- Tax information (Filing Status, Income, and Tax information)
- Asset information (if applicable)
- Untaxed income (if applicable)
If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, in most cases you are required to register with the Selective Service System (SSS) and show proof of registration to your college/university before receiving state financial aid. The SSS does not share your immigration status.
You do not need to have a Social Security Number (SSN) to register for Selective Service. If you do not have a SSN, or have been issued a SSN through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, you can register for Selective Service by completing a paper “Selective Service Registration” form, which can be picked up at any U.S. Post Office or can be downloaded for print here: https://www.sss.gov/Portals/0/PDFs/regform_copyINT_1.pdf
If you are a student over the age of 25 and you never registered for Selective Service, you fall under a special circumstance identified on the Selective Service website.
When reporting parent information on the CADAA it is not always clear who you should include or how to specify their marital status, below is some information to clarify the process. "Legal parents" refers to biological and/or adoptive parents, or parents as determined by the state.
- If your legal parents are married to each other, specify "Married or remarried" and answer the questions about both of them.
- If the legal parent who provides the majority of your support has remarried, specify "Married or remarried" and answer the questions about that legal parent and the stepparent.
- If your legal parents are not married to each other but live together, specify "Unmarried and both parents living together" and answer the questions about both of them.
- If your legal parent is widowed, specify "widowed" and answer the questions about the living parent.
- If the legal parent who provides the majority of your support has never been married and is NOT living with your other legal parent, specify "never married" and answer questions about the parent providing your support.
- If your parents are divorced or separated and don’t live together, specify "divorced or separated" and answer the questions about the parent who provided the majority of your support in the last 12 months.
- If your divorced parents live together, specify “Unmarried and both parents living together,” and answer questions about both of them.
- If your separated parents live together, specify “Married or remarried” and answer questions about both of them.
After you have completed the California Dream Application, you and your parent will need to sign the application.
- If parent information was required, navigate to the link on the CA Dream Act website that says “Sign Student Application.” Your parent must create a Parent PIN and answer the verification questions if they do not already have a CSAC Parent PIN. Your parent will be issued a 4-digit electronic PIN code to sign your application. Keep this code in a safe place, because your parent will need it to re-sign the California Dream Application each time you make a correction to your application or file a new one the following year.
- Every time a California Dream Application is submitted or correction is made, you must sign your application.If your parent does not receive a PIN, your parent must provide a signature page to the California Student Aid Commissioner.
In situations such as the ones below, you may be able to submit your application without parent information despite being considered a dependent student:
- Your parents are incarcerated.
- You have left home due to an abusive family environment.
- You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them (and you have not been adopted)
- You are older than 21 but not yet 24, are unaccompanied, and are either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.
The online application will ask you whether you are able to provide information about your parents. If you are not, you will have the option to indicate that you have special circumstances that make you unable to get your parents’ information. The site then allows you to submit your application without entering data about your parents.
Once you’ve submitted your Dream Application, you will need to reach out to our office to discuss your options – and whether or not a Dependency Override Appeal is an option. Be sure to gather as much information and supporting documentation about your situation as you can (legal documents; letters from a school counselor, a social worker, or clergy member; any other relevant information that helps document your special circumstance).
After you apply
Once your EFC has been determined our school will receive the results so long as the application was successfully processed and our school code is listed on the CADAA. You will need to complete your application by the March 2 deadline, meet residency requirements, maintain satisfactory academic progress, register for Selective Service (males between ages 18-25), and submit any required verification documents in order for financial aid to be determined and posted to your account. In the event that your income has made you ineligible for state aid, you may not see any award posted to your account.
AB 540 exempts certain students from paying nonresident tuition fees and allows them to apply for different types of California Dream Act financial aid. The Admissions Office can help students determine whether they meet AB 540 eligibility requirements and complete any required forms.
Students who are not meeting SAP requirements will be notified each year after Spring grades have posted. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress in any of the areas below will result in ineligibility for financial aid of any kind. A Disqualification Notice will be emailed to the student detailing the reason(s) for denial and the appeal process.
- Current cumulative Cal Poly Pomona GPA must be above a 2.0 for undergraduate programs and a 3.0 for credential, graduate, and doctoral programs.
- Must complete 80 percent of the number of units attempted each academic year
- May not exceed the unit cap allowed for their specified program (includes transfer and CPP units)
Students selected for verification are required to provide the Office of Financial Aid with very specific documents. These documents are compared to the information provided on your CADAA. If the information provided is different than what the student originally reported on the CADAA, our corrections may result in a change to your eligibility. Failure to do submit all required documents in a timely manner will result in the prolonged determination and disbursement of your financial aid.
Any documents you need to submit to our office will be listed on your to-do list. The to-do list can be found in the Student Center on Bronco Direct, or accessed through MyCPP.
Types of Aid
- Cal Grant - You must apply for the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by the March 2 deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements.
- Chafee Grant - If you are or were in foster care for at least one day, between the ages of 16 and 18 as a dependent or ward of the court and have financial need, you may qualify for up to $5,000 a year.
- Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) - The MCS provides undergraduate students, including students pursuing a teaching credential, a scholarship if they meet certain income/asset and other financial aid standards; maintain satisfactory academic progress; are not in default on a student loan; and, are not incarceratedand; you can not be receiving a Cal Grant, State University Grant or any other award designated to cover tuition/fees.
- State University Grants - To qualify you must be an eligible students who applied for financial aid by March 2 deadline; have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $4,000 or less; and you can not be receiving a Cal Grant or other award designated to cover fees.
- EOP - Please refer to their website for admission and award requirements.
- Some scholarships - Please refer to the Bronco Dreamers Resource Center for specific scholarship resources.
- Dream Loan - A subsidized loan program specifically developed to assist the California Dream Act students. The loan is deferrable and does not accrue any interest while a student is enrolled at least half-time.
- CA Dream Loan borrowers have a standard repayment and income based repayment plan available.
- For more information visit heartland.ecsi.net. Under Download Forms search for California State University (Dream Loans).
In addition to financial aid, there are several other options available for making payments towards your tuition and fees. Cal Poly Pomona offers a payment plan for those who would like to spread their fees over multiple payments, and there are also a limited number of short-term loans to assist students with registration fees or purchasing books. Contact Student Accounting & Cashiering Services for more information.
Additional Online Resources
- Cal Poly Pomona Dreamers Resource Center - On-campus center that is committed to helping undocumented students meet their educational goals. One of the many resources they provide is a scholarship listing with both on- and off-campus scholarships.
- CSAC Dream Act Info (pdf) - Ten things to know about the CADAA form the CA Student Aid Commissioner.
- Cal Grant FAQ - Frequently asked questions answered by the CA Student Aid Commissioner.
- Tax Benefits for Education