Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

California Dream Act

California Dream Act:

The CA Dream Act is a state-based financial aid program for eligible undocumented students. For more information view the California Student Aid Commission Undocumented/Dream Students website(opens in new window).

Use this helpful resource: Steps for CA Dream Act Applicants at Chico State (PDF)

California Dream Act Eligibility

Students DO NOT need DACA to apply for the CA Dream Act. DACA is a federal program, while CA Dream Act is a state-based financial aid program.

Student must:

    1. Apply for the CA Dream Act Application(opens in new window) (CADAA), which must be submitted every year to determine eligibility for state and institutional aid. 
    2. Submit by May 2 priority deadline for 2024-25. 
    3. California Dream Act Applicants (CADAA applicants) must submit a CSU California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (PDF) (AB 540 affidavit) to the Office of Admissions in order to be eligible for financial aid. Please contact the Office of Admissions at 530-898-6322 or in new window) if you have questions. For more information view the CSU webpage About AB 540 / AB 2000 / SB 68 and the California Dream Act

  1. Basic Eligibility Requirements
  2. Bookmark or download the Checklist for Dream Students (PDF) to help you keep track of where you are in the financial aid process, from applying through receiving funds.
  3. For more information see Dream Act Overview on the Immigrants Rising website.

What financial assistance is available to California Dream Act applicants?

State-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grants, Middle Class Scholarship, Chafee Grant, scholarships and Dream loan (see below).

Wildcat Scholarships

California State University, Chico provides scholarship awards to eligible students, and students are encouraged to apply. See Wildcat Scholarships for more information.


Scholarships do not have to be repaid, and are funded from a variety of sources including community organizations, local and national foundations, state and federal government agencies, and private donors. Consult the following organizations and ask a school counselor for referrals.

Eligible students should apply for private scholarships that do not require legal permanent residency, social security number, or U.S. citizenship. Please note that all scholarship programs have specific eligibility requirements and deadlines. Read and follow directions carefully.

Private Scholarship Resources:

You will find further sources for private scholarships and tips on how to use scholarship database searches at External Scholarships on our website.

California Dream Loan

California Dream Loan is a subsidized loan program for undergraduate students with a valid California Dream Act application and a valid AB540 affidavit on file with their University. If you are not offered a Dream Loan and want to request it, please contact us by phone or email. 

The California Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The interest rate for 2023-24 is 5.50%. The interest rate for the California Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change annually. The California Dream Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half-time, during periods of approved deferment, and during the 6-month grace period before you enter repayment. You will be responsible for the interest charged at all other times.

California Dream Loans are set-up to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period and have a minimum payment of $50 a month. You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty. You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period. The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.

If you are offered a California Dream Loan, you must accept it within 30 days of the offered dated. To accept your California Dream Loan, you must log in to your student portal and the Student Services Center and accept the loan offer. You may decline the loan offer or accept less than what is offered to you, but funds are limited and you may not be able to increase your loan at a later time. Students who accept the California Dream loan must complete a promissory note and entrance counseling. These items will show on your To-Do-List in the Student Services Center. If you fail to complete all the required To-Do-List by the assigned deadline, your California Dream Loan will be cancelled. Funds are limited and you may not be awarded the funds again at a later date.

Receipt of funds in one year does not guarantee availability or receipt of funds in subsequent years.

Please note: all financial aid recipients, including California Dream Loan borrowers, must meet basic eligibility criteria. For example a student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, cannot be in default on a student loan, must have a valid AB540 affidavit on file, and more.

Dream Student Resources

Chico State strives to support our Chico community members who are undocumented or come from mixed-status families. We have many resources to help you plan for a successful and pleasant Chico Experience. Hablamos Español 

The Dream Center serves students, faculty, staff, and community members by providing financial aid resources, health and wellness assistance, and academic guidance. The Center also provides tools for advocacy and trainings on issues regarding immigration. 

See Going to College on the Immigrants Rising website to help you make sure you are getting all the funding you are eligible for and the support you need for undocumented individuals pursuing an undergraduate degree.

The CSU Resources for Undocumented Studentsprovides campus services for prospective and enrolled undocumented students and their families that are available throughout the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.  

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