The California Dream Act allows undocumented students who meet certain provisions of Assembly Bill 540 (AB540) to apply for and receive state and institutional financial aid at California colleges and universities.

How to Apply 

  • 1 Complete the Dream Act Application
    Submit the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) online at

    Be sure to list the Merced College school code, 00123700, on your CADAA. Before you start the actual application, you will be prompted to create an account username and password. If you are a dependent student, at least one parent will need to create a PIN to sign which will be a 4 digit number given to you by CSAC.

    The California Student Aid Commission analyzes and summarizes the information you will provide on the CADAA and creates your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will receive an email once your CADAA has been successfully processed.
  • 2 Complete the AB540 Application
    Submit the AB540 application to Admissions & Records.

    AB540 Requirements:
    • Attend a California high school for a minimum of three years OR Graduated early from a California high school with the equivalent of at least three years of credits;
    • Graduate from a California high school or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED);
    • If applicable, fill out an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as eligible.

    If you have questions about the AB540 application process, contact Carmela Balcazar at or (209) 384-6197
  • 3 Check your student e-mail
    Check your Merced College student email often. You will receive an email regarding your next steps to your Merced College student email account from the Financial Aid Office once your CADAA information has been received.
  • 4 Submit documents
    Submit all required documents and keep checking your student email. You will receive a link to the verification system via email where additional documents need to be submitted. The link is login with your Merced College portal username and password.

    Create Your Account
    This is a one-time account creation. You will be asked for some basic information when creating your account. This information is used to validate your identity so that your electronic signature can be used on future forms.

    Four Easy Steps:
    1. Go to
    2. Login with your Merced College Portal Username and Password
    3. Enter/confirm your student information
    4. Click ‘Register Account’ button
    Once your account is created, any required tasks you need to complete will become available.

    Once you submit all documentation, the Financial Aid Office will review your file and e-mail you upon completion.


Types of Aid

  • California College Promise Grant (Fee Waiver)
  • Cal Grants (must apply by the March 2nd deadline)
  • Full Time Student Success Grant
  • Community College Completion Grant
  • Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)
  • Privately funded scholarships
  • Chafee Grant (for foster youth)


For more information or questions, please contact the Undocumented Liaison:

Arturo Garcia
Financial Aid Outreach Coordinator 
(209) 386-6686