California DREAM Act

Assembly Bill 130

AB 130 is a new law designed to have no impact on the state budget and minimum impact on other students. It allows the university to award UC gifts and endowments designated for scholarships by the donor to the estimated 500-650 undocumented students who are eligible for AB 540 (about two-thirds of the undocumented students currently attending UC).

The effective date is January 1, 2012. However, most campuses have already fully committed these funds for the 2011-12 year; thus undocumented students will start receiving these funds in the 2012-13 academic year.

AB 130 means that UC campuses will be able to resume making scholarship awards from these funds to AB 540 undocumented students as they did prior to 1996 when federal law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act) prohibited undocumented students from receiving any awards from university funds. Campuses generally use scholarship funds from gifts and endowments to enhance the aid packages of individual students meet the academic and other criteria for the awards. Thus, these aline will not cover the total cost of attendance.

The average award is about $3,500 varied considerably across students, depending on campus policies and the terms of the fund.

However, AB 130 also means that UC will be able to seek and award private donations that are specifically designated for scholarships for AB 540 undocumented students. This new ability to raise funds for undocumented students should be emphasized as it could have a bigger impact than making undocumented student eligible to compete for already existing gifts and endowments that are open to other students.

Assembly Bill 131

AB 131 is a significant bill that makes all AB 540 students, including those who are undocumented, eligible for Cal Grant entitlement awards and makes undocumented AB 540 students eligible for awards from other institutional aid funds, including tuition and fee revenue (e.g., UC's aid program from "return-to-aid" that funds UC's systemwide minimum commitment to financial aid for all undergraduates).

Because this bill will require significant additional Cal Grant funds for AB 540 students in all segments, it is designed to go into effect for 2013-14 to avoid an immediate impact on the state's budget.

AB 131 would mean that UC could resume making awards from all UC funds to AB 540 undocumented students as we did prior to the federal prohibition.