GoldenGateXpress: Dream Act signed into law

By Sandra Lopez at San Francisco State University

  • AB 130 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July
  • AB 131 allows undocumented students to apply for state scholarships
  • More than 2,500 students are expected to qualify; qualification based on financial need and academic integrity

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Oct. 8 that will extend educational opportunities to undocumented students, granting them eligibility to receive state financial aid in California universities and community colleges.

AB 131, also known as the second part of the California Dream Act, will allow undocumented students who are accepted into state universities to apply for Cal-Grants and other state-based funds starting in 2013.

“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking. The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us,” said Brown in a statement.

In July, Gov. Brown signed into law AB 130, the first part of the California Dream Act, which allows students who are eligible for AB 540 to have access to $80 million in private scholarships.

The California Department of Finance estimates that 2,500 students under the reach of AB 131 will qualify for Cal Grants. The Cal Grant program is funded at $1.4 billion. As a result of AB 131, $14.5 million, or 1 percent of all Cal Grant funds, will be used for undocumented students once the law takes effect.

In order to be eligible for AB 131, students must qualify for AB 540 in addition to demonstrating financial need and academic integrity.

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