Few Undocumented CA College Students Receive State Aid


According to a recent report, only 50% of California's 94,000 undocumented college students, who are eligible for state financial aid, apply for it, resulting in only 14% receiving some form of assistance. This low application rate can be attributed to various factors such as the lack of knowledge about the California Dream Act Application (CADAA), which is a state-based application that allows undocumented students to receive state financial aid, as well as the requirement for undocumented students to sign an affidavit confirming attendance of at least three years of high school in California. To simplify this process, a bill is being introduced in the California Legislature to integrate the affidavit into the CADAA.

Marlene Garcia, the executive director of the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), suggested that federal policies could also assist undocumented students by making them eligible for Pell Grants or providing work authorization after graduation. Without work authorization, the value of a college degree for undocumented students is questioned.

To increase awareness and access to financial aid for undocumented students, all high school seniors in California are now required to complete either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the CADAA from this year onwards.

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