RCC DREAMers Program
Removing Barriers to Your Future
You dream of attaining higher education, we’re here to see it happen. The California
Dream Act, and RCC’s DREAMers program, help non-resident and undocumented immigrants
realize their dream by applying state grants, fee waivers and scholarships for qualifying
students. The RCC campus is a safe space dedicated to learning, without threat or
fear. We invite you to dream, and join us on the beautiful RCC Campus.
Get Answers to Your Application Questions
- Have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, OR Attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years.
- Have or will graduate from a California High School or have attained a G.E.D.; or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE).
- Register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California.
- (In the case of a person without lawful immigration status) you must file or will file an affidavit as required by the college (available below or in the Admissions office) stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status or will file an application as soon as eligible to do so (student information obtained in the implementation of this section is confidential).
- Not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E etc.). To be eligible for the AB 540 program, you must submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption form to the Admissions and Records Office of the college where you are enrolled, or intend to enroll.
The California Dream Act Application (CADAA) opens on October 1st each year for the
upcoming Academic Year. The deadline to apply for the Cal Grant program is March 2nd each year. You can complete the CADAA application year-round to apply for other state
and institutional financial aid.
Even if you completed the CADAA Application a year ago, you will need to complete it again during the current filing period to be eligible for aid. Contact the financial aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about which CADAA application to submit.
RCC’s Student Financial Services staff are available to assist you with financial aid applications. Please contact us at email@example.com for assistance.
Assembly Bills 130 & 131, known as the California Dream Act of 2011, are laws that
increase access to financial aid for undocumented students who attend a public university,
community college or private college in California. In order to qualify, students
must meet the requirements of AB 540 and not be eligible to apply for the FAFSA.
AB 130 allows eligible AB 540 students to apply for and receive scholarships derived from nonstate funds at all California public colleges and universities. These include scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions and individual departmental efforts. Students must apply and compete for available awards as determined by their respective college or university. This bill went into effect on January 1, 2012.
AB 131 allows eligible AB 540 students to access state-funded financial aid programs such as Cal Grants, university grants and Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) developed the California Dream Act Application, a FAFSA-like application, to determine the financial need of students who are not citizens, legal permanent residents or eligible non-citizens. You would need to complete an online Dream Act Application in order to determine eligibility to receive state financial aid (see link above).
Any student, other than one with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) nonimmigrant visa status (see exception below for students who have been granted T or U visa status), who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).
- A student is exempt from paying nonresident tuition if the student meets all of the following four requirements:
- The student must have:
attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for the equivalent of three years or more, or
attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years, and
- The student must have:
graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam), or
completed an associate degree from a California Community College, or
completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California, and
- The student must register as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California, and
- The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.
- Students who are nonimmigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption.
- Students who are nonimmigrants, other than those with T or U visa status as noted above, [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
- A year’s equivalence at a California Community College is a minimum of 24 semester units of credit or 36 quarter units of credit. For noncredit courses, a year’s attendance is a minimum of 420 hours, 210 hours for a semester, and 140 hours a quarter.
- The accumulation of credit and/or non-credit in any academic year shall be calculated in reference to a year’s equivalence. Partial completion in an academic year is allowed. (Example: 12 units of credit courses in an academic year is equal to a semester for purposes of determining eligibility.)
- Attendance in credit courses at a California Community College towards the attendance requirements shall not exceed two years of full-time attendance.
- The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
- Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
- Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be "nonresidents".
- The California Dream Act extends Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, the California Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG fee waiver), Chaffee grants, and institutional financial aid to students that meet these criteria as well as the applicable criteria for eligibility for specific types of financial aid. Refer to Student Financial Services' California Dream Act page for additional information.
- AB540 does not provide federal student financial aid eligibility for undocumented students. These students remain ineligible for federal financial aid.
- Exemption is not available for persons who are absent from California and who are taking distance education classes.
The RCC Promise Program is open to all recent high school graduates, regardless of immigration status (you must qualify for AB540). Full time students accepted into the Promise Program will receive FREE tuition and fees, book support, and a dedicated community of scholars and staff to support you on your path to completion. Certain restrictions apply.
Know Your Rights
- Immigrants Rights Workshop Part 1
- Immigrants Rights Workshop Part 2
- TODEC FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE
- MAKE TODEC APPOINTMENT
- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS POSTER
Your Campus Allies
Financial Aid Outreach Specialist
Director, Student Financial Services
elizabeth.Hilton@rcc.edu or 951-222-8712
Maria M. Maness
maria.Maness@rcc.edu or 951-222-8721
Assistant Director, Admissions and Records
Regina.Miller@rcc.edu or 951-222-8742
Dean, Enrollment Services:
Kyla.o’firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-222-8649
Program Manager, Title V Grant:
Benjamin.Vargas@rcc.edu or 951-222-8000 ext. 4118
California Dream Act Information and Resources
California Student Aid Commission
Free DACA Application Assistance
Fund Your Future (English)
Fund Your Future (Spanish)
Immigrants Rising Facilitated Group Activities
Information from the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
Naleo Education Fund
Resources for Undocumented Students
United We Dream
Dr. Charles A. Kane Student Services and Administration Building
Monday to Friday 8 am -5 pm
Thursday 8 am - 6 pm
Closed all major holidays