How to Apply - Prospective Undergraduates

Which application do I file?

Comparison of FAFSA and DREAM Applications
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) California Dream Act Application (CADAA)
  • You (the student) have a valid Social Security Number
  • You (the student) are a U.S. Citizen; Permanent Resident; or eligible non-citizen
  • You (the student) do not meet criteria to file a FAFSA
  • You (the student) meet the conditions of California AB540 status
Submit a FAFSA
CSULB School Code 001139
Submit a California Dream Act application (CADAA)
Eligible to receive funding from federal, state, and institutional aid programs Eligible to receive funding from CA State and CA institutional aid programs
For help on submitting a FAFSA, watch these short FATv videos:
 Getting Started 2021-22
For help on submitting a California Dream application, watch these short FATv videos:
How do I apply for financial aid under CA Dream act

Submit or renew your financial aid application between October 1 and March 2 for the following academic year. Be sure to file before the priority filing deadline (March 2) in order to be considered for the maximum types of aid. Applications submitted after March 2 will not be eligible for CA State or CSULB Institutional Grants.

Your financial aid application is used to determine your eligibility for all types of aid, and some scholarship providers may use your application information to determine whether you qualify for their awards. You must reapply for financial aid (including loans, grants, and Federal Work-Study) each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAFSA Filers

In order to electronically sign your FAFSA, your parent(s) will need a valid Social Security Number in order to apply for an FSA ID. If your parent is not able to apply for an FSA ID, your parent will need to print, sign, and mail in a paper signature page.

Dream Application Filers

If parent information was required, navigate to the link on the CA Dream Act website that says “Sign Student Application." Your parent must create a Parent PIN and answer the verification questions if they do not already have a CSAC Parent PIN. Your parent will be issued a 4-digit electronic PIN code to sign your application. Keep this code in a safe place, because your parent will need it to re-sign the California Dream Application each time you make a correction to your application or file a new one in a subsequent year.

If your parent does not receive a PIN, your parent must provide a signature page for every correction that is made.

In situations such as the ones below, you may be able to submit your application without parent information, despite being considered a dependent student:

  • Your parents are incarcerated.
  • You have left home due to an abusive family environment.
  • You do not know where your parents are and are unable to contact them (and you have not been adopted).
  • You are older than 21 but not yet 24, are unaccompanied, and are either homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless.

The online application will ask you whether you are able to provide information about your parents. If you are not, you will have the option to indicate that you have special circumstances that make you unable to get your parents’ information. You will then be able to submit your application without entering data about your parents.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you will need to reach out to our office to discuss your options.  Be sure to gather as much information and supporting documentation about your situation as you can (legal documents; letters from a school counselor, a social worker, or clergy member; any other relevant information that helps document your special circumstance).

The CSULB Dream Success Center is a great resource for students who need support with the DREAM Act application or seek additional resources. The DSC commits to supporting the diverse undocumented student community by providing programs and initiatives that focus on academic support, mental health, career and professional development, and identity exploration. 

The CSULB Dream Success Center provides the following services for students:

  • General Counseling and Mental Wellness Support
  • Academic, Financial Aid, and Scholarship Guidance
  • Free Immigration Legal Services*
  • DACA Fee Assistance
  • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Butterfly Peer Mentor Program
  • Programs and Workshops
  • Computer and printing access
  • Laptop and graphing calculator loan program

Learn more about the Dream Success Center.