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How to Apply - Dream (Prospective Graduates)

School Code 001139

Completing the DREAM Application is the first step toward getting financial aid for college.

The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students who meet AB540 criteria to apply for and receive funds from certain state and institutional financial aid programs.  Completing and submitting the DREAM Application is free and quick, and it gives you access to California State and CSULB financial aid programs.  In addition, your DREAM Application is used by some scholarship providers to determine whether you qualify for their awards.

The DREAM Application becomes available every October 1st – and the deadline to apply is March 2nd (for the 2017 – 2018 academic year, the application became available October 1st, 2016 and the deadline to apply is March 2nd, 2017).  

If you miss the DREAM Application Deadline, you will miss your opportunity to be considered for CSULB Institutional Grants for the year.


Eligibility for Dream

DREAM students pursuing a graduate degree are eligible to be considered for the State University Grant; eligibility for SUG is determined by the DREAM Application. 

In order to be eligible for funding through the DREAM Application, you must meet the AB540 criteria:

You must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.


You must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of  the tern (i.e., passed the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).


Enroll in an accredited California Institution of Higher Education

In the case of students without legal immigration status, file an AB540 Affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request Form) (pdf) with the Admissions/Registrar’s Office stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status (or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so).

NOTE: Males between the ages of 18 – 25 are required to register with Selective Service.

For more information on DREAM eligibility – visit the California Student Aid Commission’s DREAM Website.

Gathering Documents

All students pursuing a graduate degree (Master’s or Doctoral) are considered to be “independent” for financial aid purposes.  As a result, parent information does not need to be reported on the DREAM Application.

The DREAM Application asks for important personal identification information as well as financial information. You should have the following information and documents with you as you fill out your Dream Application:

  • Your Social Security Number (if you have one)
  • Your Driver’s License number (if you have one)
  • Federal Tax information or tax returns – including IRS W-2 information for you (and your spouse if married).
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits for you (and your spouse if married).
  • Information on cash, savings, and checking account balances; investments – including real estate (not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you (and your spouse if married).

Be sure to use the exact name and date of birth on the DREAM Application that you use on your Admissions Application!

After the DREAM Application:Next Steps

Completing the DREAM Application is not the last step; your application has to be processed, and then you get an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which CSULB uses to figure out how much aid you can get.

  • After initial successful submission of your application, CSAC will send you an email with your nine-digit Dream I.D. number. If you do not receive an email from CSAC, be sure to check your spam/junk mail folders. Keep your Dream I.D. number in a safe place because you will use it to log back into the Dream Application, when you correct errors on the Dream Application, or when you talk to CSAC or to CSULB. Be sure to review the Confirmation Page within your application to alert you to error codes that need correction.
  • Review your California Student Aid Report (CA-SAR).  Your SAR will list the information that you provided on the California Dream Act Application, as well as an Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Check your CA-SAR for accuracy. For corrections, return to the California Dream Act website and make the changes immediately.  If no changes are needed, save the form for your records.



Students Admitted to the EdD or DPT programs

Both the EdD and the DPT Program begin enrollment with the Summer term, which is considered to be part of the previous academic year.  Degree Program Specific Grants may be available for the Summer – but requires completion of a separate process – which includes completing a separate DREAM Application (for the prior academic year).

Students applying for admission to the EdD or DPT program beginning with Summer 2017 must complete the following two DREAM applications in order to be considered for financial aid for the Summer 2017 semester:

  • 2016 – 2017 DREAM Application (For Summer 2017)
  • 2017 – 2018 DREAM Application (For Fall 2017 & Spring 2018)

Review the Information Guide for your program, which details the process, and required DREAM Applications, for students applying to the EdD or DPT Programs.