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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-15
February 21, 2017
Contact: Robert Oakes
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Urges Eligible Students to Apply for California Dream Act Before March 2 Deadline

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) announced that applications for the California Dream Act are down significantly and urged all eligible students to apply for the program, which allows undocumented students to receive state financial aid for college.

“Please apply right away. The California Dream Act is the key to success in college and 21st century careers. It would be a shame if fear or confusion keeps students from applying for financial aid that they have earned and they deserve,” Torlakson said.

The application deadline is March 2. As of Friday, CSAC had received about 20,000 applications, down from more than 34,000 applications from the prior year. The California Dream Act is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The California Student Aid Commission has redoubled its efforts to encourage Dreamers to complete the California Dream Act Application,” said Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Executive Director for the CSAC, which administers the California Dream Act. “California’s strength lies in its diversity and we will continue to support and advance our efforts to prepare all California students for academic and economic prosperity.”

Students should be reassured that CSAC will take all available legal precautions to protect California Dream Act information, which is used solely to determine eligibility for state financial aid and is not shared with any other government agency.

Regardless of what happens at the federal level, state financial aid for Dreamers remains legal in California, Torlakson said. A Dreamer student does not need to be DACA-certified to be eligible for a public education or state financial aid. Losing DACA status will not affect state financial aid eligibility.

The California Department of Education (CDE) and CSAC are proud to stand with Governor Brown, leaders of the State Legislature, multiple local governments, and our state’s public and private colleges and universities in upholding the rights of California’s Dreamer students, Torlakson said.

Torlakson sent a letter Tuesday to public school officials statewide and asked them to remind students and parents to file applications. The letter is posted on the CDE Web site.

For questions, please contact the California Student Aid Commission at 916-464-8271 or the California Department of Education, College Preparation and Postsecondary Programs Office, Career and College Transition Division at 916-323-6398.

More information on the California Dream Act, including Frequently Asked Questions for High School Counselors, may be found on the California Dream Act Web page External link opens in new window or tab..

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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