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California Dream Act

What is the California Dream Act?

The California Dream Act Application allows AB540 students enrolled in eligible California Colleges, Universities and Career Education Programs to apply for state financial aid. Many California colleges and universities require a completed CA Dream Act application to be eligible for additional institutional aid. This application is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Learn more: dream.csac.ca.gov

To complete the California Dream Act application:

Students will need you and your parents’ current or previous year’s tax returns and W-2’s.

When to apply: Deadline March 2

We strongly recommend students complete the application as early as possible before March 2. All financial data submitted are subject to verification.

Students who wish to apply for the 10,000 Degrees Undergraduate Scholarship must first fill out the FAFSA OR California DREAM ACT application. Eligible students must file the free application for federal student aid (fafsa) before completing the 10,000 Degrees application.

Step 1: CA Dream act f.a.q.

CA Dreamt Act FAQ - English

CA Dream Act FAQ - Spanish

Step 2: Creating CADA Account


Where can I create an account?

Go to dream.csac.ca.gov

What if I have a Social Security Number?

If you have a SSN through DACA, TPS, or U-Visa you file CA Dream Act.

Am I AB540?

You can review your AB 540 eligibility at: csac.ca.gov/post/california-nonresident-tuition-exemption

Reminders when creating your account:

  • Student must use their Full Legal Name as shown on their Birth Certificate. Be sure this name matches your high school record.
  • Do not use your school email for your account, it will get deactivated and you will not be able to reset your password or retrieve your username if needed.
  • Write down your username, password, contact info, security questions, and answers down in a safe place

How to create your account

  1. Find the website

  2. Answer Eligibility questions

    • If you have a SSN through DACA, TPS, or U-Visa you file CA Dream Act App, select “NO” for the first question
    • If you’ve attended a school in CA for 3 years and will graduate from a CA high school, select “YES” for AB 540.
  3. Personal & Contact Information

    • Make sure you use your Full Legal Name as shown on your Birth Certificate. Include any hyphens in your name (-) as shown on your SSN card. If you have a long last name it might not all fit, write as much as it fits even if it gets cut off.
    • Do not use a school email address. You will lose access to your school email after graduation and will not be able to access it if you need to recover your username or password
  4. Security Questions and Answers

    • Security Questions and Answers can be used to recover your username and change your password.
    • After selecting your Security Questions and inputting your answers, take a picture and/or write them down for future record.
  5. Confirm & Verify

    • Review all the information you provided.
    • you will review the information two (2) times.
  6. Complete

    • After you review your information, your account will be complete and you will be taken to a page to log in

Step 3: Fill out the CA Dream Act Application

Visit dream.csac.ca.gov to apply

Step 4: Order Tax Transcript


What is a tax return transcript?

An IRS tax return transcript is a document that shows the financial information from the requested tax year. It is a summary of personal and financial information.

Why do I need a tax return transcript?

Some colleges may request a parent and/or student tax return transcript to verify the information reported on a FAFSA or CA Dream Act. The student must provide the tax return transcript by the given deadline to the schools financial aid office in order to receive their financial aid rewards.

How do I order a tax return transcript?

A tax return transcript can be obtained by online, mail, and phone.

How to request Tax ID

Visit the IRS wesbite

If requesting by mail

  1. Enter all personal information as reported on your most recent taxes
  2. Selecting the transcript
    • Select “Return Transcript” and the year your school has requested
    • Leave “Customer File Number” blank
  3. Confirmation
    • Once you submit your request, you will see a confirmation page.
    • Your tax return transcript will arrive in 5-10 days to the address on your most recent tax forms.

If Requesting Online

  1. Create an account using the personal information as reported on your most recent taxes
  2. Write down your username, password, phrase, and image
  3. After you have created your account and logged in, select “Higher Education/Student Aid” as the reason. You can leave “Customer File Number” Blank
  4. Select the “Return Transcript” for the year your school has requested
  5. Download and save your Tax Transcript


Step 5: Download your Student Aid Report


What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?

A SAR is a summary of the information you provided on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act. This includes financial information, student dependency, and household size. It hides private information such as individuals SSN/ITINS.

Why does 10,000 Degrees Scholarship need it?

The SAR lists information as reported on your FAFS/CADA and this is the information that 10,000 Degrees Scholarship Team uses to award scholarships.

How do I retrieve my SAR and upload it on to 10,000 Degrees?

The student has to log in to their FAFSA or CADA to retrieve their SAR. Download their SAR as PDF, and re-upload it to 10,000 Degrees.

Download your Tax ID

Log in to your CADA account

  1. Once logged in, select “CalSAR”
  2. Download the most recent Transcript Number using Red PDF square along the right
    • Tip: title your document as “First Name Last Name, CalSAR”

Re-uploading to your 10,000 Degrees portal

  1. One your 10,000 Degrees Scholarship, click on “choose file” and select your PDF
  2. Answer the additional questions using the information on your CA Dream Act