Guerra & Johnson, P.C. Articles First Group of San Diego DREAM Act Students Apply for Cal Grants

First Group of San Diego DREAM Act Students Apply for Cal Grants

By Guerra & Johnson, P.C.  Apr. 16, 2013 5:05p

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) of 2011 made it possible for undocumented immigrants with specific circumstances to become citizens. The act was aimed at helping those who arrived in the U.S. under the age of 16, grew up here, attended and graduated from high school and have "maintained good moral character". Supporters of the legislation felt that there should be a pathway to citizenship for those who have grown up here and wish to attend college and contribute to the country despite the status of their parents. The Dream Act also eliminated the federal penalties imposed on states that provide in-state tuition or student aid regardless of immigration status. Do you have questions concerning citizenship and the Dream Act? Speak with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible to find out about your legal options.

California, Texas and New Mexico are the only states which offer state assistance to college-bound undocumented immigrants. The Cal Grant program has received over 20,000 applications from immigrants who satisfy DREAM Act qualifications. The California Student Aid Commission predicts that about a quarter of these applicants will qualify for the grants and receive financial aid for attending a California college. These grants are available to all high school seniors and those who have graduated within the last 12 months who satisfy certain financial and academic provisions. Included in the requirements is that the student must have attended a California high school at least three years before graduating. Students must also meet regular college acceptance standards that any applicant would have to satisfy in order to attend a particular college or university. Individual awards for the 2013-2014 college year are expected to be anywhere from $4,000 to over $12,000. The highest number of applications came from San Diego, Santa Ana, Los Angeles and San Jose. Nearly 1,000 undocumented high school seniors or graduates in San Diego County applied for the Cal Grant.

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An immigration attorney with us at the law offices of Guerra & Johnson, P.C. is well-versed in all aspects of immigration law. We ensure that we are fully familiarized with the ever changing legislation regarding immigration, citizenship and visas so we can help our clients achieve their goals. Contact our firm now to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled lawyer on our team who may be able to help you with your case!

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