Financial Aid and Scholarships

How to Apply for Aid (DREAM): Newly Admitted Undergraduate Students

Costs  |  Aid Programs  |  How to Apply for Aid (FAFSA)  |  How to Apply for Aid (DREAM)  |  After you Apply  |  Award Notification  |  Getting your aid  |  Keeping your aid 

Priority filing deadline March 2, 2023 (for the 2023-2024 year)!

School Code 001144 

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. 

The Dream Application becomes available every October 1st – and the deadline to apply is March 2nd (for the 2023 – 2024 academic year, the application became available October 1st, 2022 and the priority filing deadline is March 2, 2023). 

Apply Now - Dream Application!

If you missed the Dream Application Deadline, you will not be eligible for any CA State or Cal Poly Pomona Institutional Grants for the academic year.  You may wish to still complete the DREAM Application, as some scholarships require you to complete the DREAM application to be considered. 

In order to  be eligible  to be considered  for funding through the DREAM Application : 

The California Dream Act Application is intended for those students that are undocumented, have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or have a U Visa and meet the eligibility requirements.

Determine if You Should Complete the Dream Application

If you have further questions, including how to ensure you are completing the correct financial aid application, you can visit the  Immigrants Rising website   and review  FAFSA VS CA Dream Act: Apply to the Correct Financial Aid .

Additional Resources:

The  Dream Application asks for important personal identification information as well as financial information. You may be asked to provide identification and financial information for your parents as well .    

Be sure to use the exact name and date of birth on the Dream Application that you use on your Admissions Application!  

You should have the following information and documents with you as you fill out your Dream Application:

  • Your Social Security Number (if you have one)
  • Your Driver’s License number (if you have one)
  • Your parent’s Social Security Numbers (if they have one) – if parent information is required on the  application.  
  • Federal Tax information or tax returns – including IRS W-2 information for you (and your spouse if married), and for your parents if parent information is required on the application.  
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits for you and for your parents if parent information is required on the application.  
  • Information on cash, savings, and checking account balances; investments – including real estate (not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if parent information is required on the application.  

To be considered for California State or Cal Poly Pomona Institutional Grants, a completed financial aid application must be submitted by the March 2 deadline.

Additional Resources:

All applicants for financial aid are considered either “independent” or “dependent.” Students who are under the age of 24 as of December 31 of the award year and do not meet any other very limited criteria, are considered “Dependent” for financial aid purposes.

Dependent students are required to include information about their parents on the application. By answering a few questions, you can get a good idea of which category you fit into.

You are considered an Independent Student if any one of the following applies to you: 

  • You are or will be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year (For example, born before January 1, 2000 for the 2023-2024 Aid Year/Application)
  • You are married, or 
  • You have children or dependents for whom you provide more than 50% of the support for, or
  • You are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having served on active duty, or
  • You are a ward of the court or both of your parents are deceased. 

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 your Dream Application. 

The following resources from Federal Student Aid provide additional help in understanding your dependency status for financial aid:  


Fact Sheets:

If you’re a dependent student, you’ll need to report parent information on your Dream Application. Visit Federal Student Aid’s page on reporting parent information to find out who counts as your parent, what to do if you don’t live with your parents, and what to do if you don’t have access to your parents’ financial information (even though the page is from Federal Student Aid - the information applies to the Dream Application as well). 

Dependent students are required to report parent information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). If you’re not sure whether you are a dependent student, go to  For reporting purposes, “parent” means your legal (biological or adoptive) parent or stepparent, or a person that the state has determined to be your legal parent.  Use this guide to figure out which parent’s information to include (depending on your family situation).  Question 1: Are your parents married to each other?  If yes, then report information for both parents on the FAFSA.  If no, then answer question 2.  Question 2: Do your parents live together?  If yes, then report information for both parents on the FAFSA, even if they were never married, are divorced, or are separated.  If no, then answer question 3.  Question 3: Did you live with one parent more than the other over the past 12 months?  If yes, then report information on the FAFSA for the parent you lived with more. Also, if this parent remarried, you will need to report information for your stepparent on the FAFSA.  If no, then report information on the FAFSA for the parent who provided more financial support over the past 12 months or in the last year you received support. Also, if this parent remarried, you will need to report information for your stepparent on the FAFSA.  The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you:      Widowed Stepparent      Grandparents      Foster Parents      Legal Guardians      Older Brothers or Sisters      Aunts or Uncles  If you’re not sure whom to report as a parent, you can visit or call 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243).  Federal Student Aid  An Office of the U.S. Department of Education  Proud Sponsor of the American Mind®

Below are some general guidelines to help you with the information that will be needed: 

  • If your legal parents (your biological and/or adoptive parents, or parents as determined by the state—e.g., a parent listed on your birth certificate) are married to each other, answer the questions about both of them, regardless of whether your parents are of the same or opposite sex.
  • If your legal parents are not married to each other and live together, answer the questions about both of them, regardless of whether your parents are of the same or opposite sex.
  • If your legal parent is widowed or was never married, answer the questions about that parent.
  • If your parents are divorced or separated and don’t live together, answer the questions about the parent with whom you lived more during the past 12 months.
  • If you lived the same amount of time with each divorced or separated parent, give answers about the parent who provided more financial support during the past 12 months or during the most recent 12 months that you actually received support from a parent. 

Divorced or Separated Parents Who Live Together 

  • If your divorced parents live together, you’ll indicate their marital status as “Unmarried and both parents living together,” and you will answer questions about both of them on the Dream Application.
  • If your separated parents live together, you’ll indicate their marital status as “Married or remarried" (NOT “Divorced or separated”), and you will answer questions about both of them on the DREAM Application. 

What if I live with someone other than my parents? 

It doesn’t matter if you don’t live with your parent or parents; if you are a Dependent Student, you still must report information about them. The following people are not your parents unless they have legally adopted you:

  • grandparents
  • foster parents
  • legal guardians
  • older brothers or sisters
  • uncles or aunts
  • widowed stepparents. 

What kind of information must my parents provide for the DREAM Application? 

For each parent, you’ll report similar information to that you report for yourself: basic information about your parent’s identity (e.g., name, Social Security number–if he or she has one, date of birth); living situation (e.g., marital status, state of residence, household size); and financial circumstances (e.g., tax information, certain assets, certain untaxed income).

Additional Resources:

After you have completed the Dream Application, you (and your parent – if Dependent) will need to sign the application.   

Parent Signature: 

If parent information was required, navigate to the button on the CA Dream Act website that says “Parent Signature.”  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 in a subsequent year. 

If your parent does not receive a PIN, they must provide a signature page for every correction that is made. 

Keep in mind every time you submit a correction to your California Dream Application, you (and your parent, if dependent) must sign your application.

Your family is primarily responsible, to the extent they are able, for paying for your college expenses.  Under very limited circumstances, an otherwise dependent student may be able to submit the Dream Application without parent information due to special circumstances.

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  
  • 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. 

If you are unable to get your parent information, complete the application as much as you can and contact our office (Cal Poly Pomona Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships) as soon as possible. We will evaluate your situation and determine if we can override the need for parent information. CSAC does not have the authority to override dependency or financial information.

Completing the Dream Application is not the last step; your application has to be processed, and then you get an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which Cal Poly Pomona uses to determine out how much aid you are eligible to receive.

After initial successful submission of your application, the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will send you an email with your nine-digit Dream ID number. If you do not receive an email from CSAC, be sure to check your spam/junk mail folders. Keep your Dream ID number in a safe place because you will use it to log back into the Dream Application, when you correct errors on the Dream Application, or when you talk to CSAC or to Cal Poly Pomona.

  • Review the Confirmation Page within your application to see if there are any errors that need your attention.
  • Review your California Student Aid Report (CA-SAR). Your SAR will list the information that you provided on the California Dream Act Application, as well as an Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Check your CA-SAR for accuracy. For corrections, return to the California Dream Act website and make the changes immediately. If no changes are needed, save the form for your records.

Additional Resources:

Eligibility for a Cal Grant is based on the information in your FAFSA as well as your academic history.  Cal Grants may be renewed for up to four years of full-time enrollment (dependening on your academic level when you were first awarded the grant).  

In order to be considered for a Cal Grant, you must have your GPA verified by the appropriate college or high school office. The following table shows which school should complete your GPA verification based on your current status. After reading these instructions, please contact our office if you have any questions. 

Cal Grant GPA Verification
Cal Poly Pomona Current Student Status  GPA Verified by
Newly Admitted First-Time Freshman   Your High School 
Newly Admitted Transfer Student with no units earned at Cal Poly Pomona as of March 1st  Your Former College

Be sure you contact the appropriate school to have your GPA Verification sent to CSAC by the March 2nd deadline.  More information is available on the CSAC Cal Grant page. 

CSAC and Your WebGrants Account

Are you wondering if your Cal Grant GPA has been received by CSAC? After you have filed a FAFSA, you can go on-line and check the status of your Cal Grant application by logging on to WebGrants for Students and creating an account. This secure site provides you with resources, information and tools to assist you with the college financial aid process. It will also let you view the status of your Cal Grant or Chafee Grant application, update your address, submit corrections, view your payment history, update your college of attendance, or satisfy outstanding requirements. 

Creating an Account (WebGrants 4 Students):

Recovering Your Account (WebGrants 4 Students):

Additional Resources:

CSAC Webgrants Information Guides

DREAM Students who are pursuing an Undergraduate Degree are typically eligible for the following types of financial aid at Cal Poly Pomona: 

  • California Middle Class Scholarship
  • Cal Grant (Tuition and/or Access Grant) 
  • CA Dream Loan 
  • State University Grant (SUG) 

If you missed the Priority Filing Deadline (March 2, 2023), you will have missed the opportunity to be considered for the above types of aid for the academic year.   We do encourage you to still complete the Dream Application, though, as many scholarship programs or private loans may require submission of the Dream Application in order to be considered.   

You will have the opportunity to be considered for Cal Poly Pomona and California State funding next year – when you complete the Dream Application again (you must complete a new application for each academic year). The Dream Application becomes available every October 1st. 

Be sure to complete the Dream Application prior to the Priority Filing Deadline, so that you can be considered for the full scope of funding available.