Taking action to expand educational opportunity to all qualified students, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed the California Dream Act.
AB 131, authored by Assemblymember Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) allows top students who are on the path to citizenship to apply for college financial aid.
"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 Governor Brown.
Under current law, undocumented students pay resident tuition rates if they have graduated from a California high school and affirmed that they are in the process of applying to legalize their immigration status. Effective January 1, 2013, AB 131 will make this limited pool of students eligible to apply for Cal Grants and other state aid.
The legislation builds on AB 130, also authored by Assemblymember Cedillo, signed into law by Governor Brown on July 25, 2011. AB 130 makes financial aid from private sources available to the same pool of students. The two laws are collectively known as the "California Dream Act."
The California Department of Finance estimates that 2,500 students will qualify for Cal Grants as a result of AB 131, at a cost of $14.5 million. The overall Cal Grant program is funded at $1.4 billion, meaning that 1 percent of all Cal Grant funds will be potentially impacted by AB 131 when the law goes into effect.