California Dream Act (CDA) Application

The California Dream Act (CDA) Application is provided by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)Opens in new window and should be filed by students who may be eligible for California state aid programs only under the AB 540 student status.  The CDA applicationOpens in new window is available online.


To get started with the CDA applicationOpens in new window  process you should know you have two options to complete the application:

  • Online - Highly recommended as the application process is faster and easier
  • Paper Dream Act ApplicationOpens in new window - If you do not have a computer with Internet access at home, you can find Internet access at your local library, high school, or a college financial aid office.

To complete the Dream Act Application, you begin by gathering gather the following documents:

  • W-2 forms and other 2014 records of income (if you or your parents have any)
  • 2014 income tax return (s) (if you or your parents have one) For more information if you or your return(s) have not been completed, see the instructions on the Dream Act Application
  • Records of child support paid (if applicable)
  • Current bank statements (if applicable)
  • Current stock, bond, and other investment records (if applicable)
  • Current business and farm records (if applicable)

If you are applying online:

  • Before going online, print out and complete the Dream Act Application WorksheetOpens in new window . This will help you complete the application.
  • Then, go to the CDA applicationOpens in new window . You will first establish your user name and password before being guided through a step-by-step application process.

"California Dream Act Application information is not shared with federal databases. Student and parent information is protected by the same privacy and information security laws and safeguards as all other state financial aid applicants."

Information from the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)


After receiving your completed application, CSACOpens in new window  will analyze your Dream Act ApplicationOpens in new window information and, using a formula established by Congress, calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for you. The results of your application will be sent to the schools you list on your application. You can check your application status by going to caldreamact.orgOpens in new window . If you filed a paper Dream Act ApplicationOpens in new window , you can check the status 28 days from the date you mail the application. Another way to check the status of your application is by calling CSAC.