Dream Act - Aid Programs

Flowers on the northwest side of Stevenson Hall

Completing the California Dream Application establishes your eligibility for state-funded financial aid program through the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and the California State University (CSU). There are also scholarship programs that are open to Dreamers, but they most likely have separate application procedures and do not use the results of the CA Dream Application.

Please be aware that the amount of financial aid offered by state-funded grant programs is limited and will not cover your entire tuition, housing and other educational expenses. If you apply for scholarships, you may receive them in addition to state-funded grants.

The CSU is in the process of implementing a Dream Loan program that will provide additional financial aid to Dreamers, but the Dream Loan will have to be paid back after you complete your educational program or otherwise leave school. Some lending institutions may also have educational loan programs available to Dreamers if you have an eligible, credit-worthy cosigner.

State-Funded Grant Programs

These are the state-funded grant programs currently available to Dreamers at SSU:

  • State University Grant (SUG)
  • Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG)
  • Cal Grant A and B
  • Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)

Complete information regarding the state-funded grant programs is located on the Grants page of our website and in the Help Book sections Enrollment and Disbursement Requirements.

Scholarships

Filing the CA Dream Act Application is NOT an application for scholarships. There are different applications for scholarships. For information on applying for scholarships, please visit the SSU Scholarship Office website.

SSU has a University Scholarship Program for applicants for admission and for continuing students. The application is due January 15th for each academic year, and students must reapply every year.

Because state-funded financial aid is limited, finding external scholarships from organizations or businesses is a key part of obtaining enough financial aid to meet your educational expenses. The following websites are a good place to start to look for scholarships that support Dreamers:

  • MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund)
  • E4FC (Educators for Fair Consideration)

Loans

California Dream Loan

The California (CA) Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The CA Dream Loan is a subsidized loan program for undergraduate students with a valid CA Dream Act application and a valid AB540 affidavit or “U” Visa on file with Sonoma State University (SSU). You must attend at least half-time (6 or more units per semester) in order to receive the CA Dream Loan.

Interest Rate, Deferment, and Grace Period

The interest rate for 2016-17 is 3.76%. The interest rate for the CA Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change for new loans annually. The CA Dream Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled at least half-time, during periods of approved deferment, and during the 6-month grace period before you enter repayment. You will be responsible for the interest charged at all other times.

Repayment of Loans

California Dream Loans are setup to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period and have a minimum payment of $50 a month. You can pay off your loan earlier without penalty. You begin repaying your loan at the end of a 6-month grace period. The grace period begins once you graduate, leave school, or enroll less than half-time.

Loan Limits

The CA Dream Loan is subject to annual, semester, and aggregate limits set by the state legislature, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and SSU. The annual loan limit is $4,000 and the semester limit is generally $2,000. The aggregate limit of $20,000 is the maximum that you can borrow from the CA Dream Loan program at SSU.

Eligibility for the CA Dream Loan

Because funds are limited, you will be notified by the Financial Aid Office if you meet the eligibility criteria for the CA Dream Loan. The application process will be explained in emails sent to your SSU email account, and in the To Do List items in MySSU.

You may decline the loan offer or accept less than what is offered to you, but funds are limited and you may not be able to increase your loan at a later time. Students who accept the CA Dream Loan must complete a promissory note and entrance counseling. If you fail to complete all the required steps to receive your loan disbursement by the assigned deadline, we may cancel the loan offer. Funds are limited and you may not be awarded the funds again at a later date.

You must attend at least half-time (6 or more units per semester) in order to receive the CA Dream Loan.

Receipt of funds in one year does not guarantee availability or receipt of funds in subsequent years.

Alternative Loans

Visit the Alternative Loans page of our website for basic information on applying for an educational loan through a lending institution. SSU does not endorse any specific educational loan products.