CA Dream Act Myths & Facts

Myth #1: All Dream Act students are illegal immigrants

The Facts: Dream Act students must meet the requirements of AB 540 law found in Education Code § 68230.5(a). Two groups of students potentially meet those requirements: (1) U.S. citizens who have attended and graduated from a CA high school, but don’t meet state residency requirements, and (2) undocumented students whose parents brought them to the U.S. when they were minors, and who attended and graduated from a CA high school.

Myth #2: State grants are being taken away from legal U.S. citizens

The Facts: The Cal Grants A & B for which Dream Act students are eligible are entitlements. Every California high school graduate (or the equivalent) who meets the qualifications receives an award.

Myth #3: Dream Act financial aid is a waste of state resources, because these students will not be able to work once they leave college

The Facts: As stated under Myth #1, a portion of Dream Act students are U.S. citizens, and there are no occupational restrictions on them, except as pertain to general economic conditions.

The Facts: All undocumented Dream Act students must file an affidavit stating they have or intend to (as soon as they are able) apply to legalize their immigration status as a condition of the AB 540 and AB 131 laws. That legal process may result in permanent residency before the students leave college or shortly thereafter.

The Facts: The U.S. Congress has attempted to pass various federal DREAM Acts with bipartisan support. The federal Act would create a pathway to permanent residency and work authorization. That law may be put into place before the students leave college or shortly thereafter.

The Facts: For all postsecondary students, the college experience expands knowledge, identity and community; develops workforce skills; and builds educated and engaged residents and citizens.

Myth #4: Dream Act Cal Grants can only be used at California public colleges and universities

The Facts: Dream Act Cal Grants can be used at any eligible Cal Grant participating institution.

Source: California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)