» Undocumented Students

Undocumented students are individuals who were born abroad and may have entered the United States as children without the proper documentation to be considered a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the country despite having resided in the United States since childhood.

The Admission Office works closely with undocumented students and assisting them through the application process, and in sharing more information about financial aid resources available to them. As you are applying, we encourage you to submit your 2017-2018 California Dream Act Application (CADA) by March 2nd, 2017. In addition, your California Dream Act Application along with the NON-SSN Cal Grant GPA Verification Form for the 2017-2018 Academic Year will be available to the public starting October 1st, 2016. Your Cal Grant GPA verification forms and your CADA will be accepted through Thursday, March 2nd, 2017.

We would like to remind you, as is stated on the California Student Aid Commission website, in order to meet eligibility for the Cal Grant through the California Dream Act you: 

  • Must have attended a California high school for a minimum of 3 or more full academic years (between grades 9 through 12);
  • Must have or will graduate from a California high school or have attained a G.E.D.; or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE); 
  • Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in California;
  • Must file or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that the filer will apply for legal residency as soon as possible; (Applicable to public universities, not Chapman)
  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.)

The CA Dream Act Application is used by undocumented students who meet the eligibility requirements of California Assembly Bill 540 and come from a lower income household or qualify for need-based aid. The application can be found at The California Student Aid Commission processes the application and any aid received can be used at eligible California public or private institutions. Please use the site above as a resource at the time of applying.

Frequently Asked Questions:

+ - Am I eligible to apply for admission?

Of course! Any student regardless of citizenship background is reviewed for admission, as long as they complete their Common Application and turn in all the required documents for admission. Undocumented students nor DACA students follow the same application procedures as other first-year or transfer students and apply by the set deadlines.

+ - Am I eligible for scholarships?

Every student that applies to Chapman University is considered for merit scholarship. As a student is being reviewed for admission, they are also, being considered for merit scholarships that range anywhere from $10,000-$29,000 a year.  These awards are competitive gift awards that are based on a student’s overall academic profile.

Due to our large applicant pool and limited funds, we are unable to offer merit scholarships to every student that applies, and therefore, the awarding of merit aid is based on a holistic review process and is at the discretion of the admission committee. A student’s recalculated admission GPA, the rigor of their academic curriculum, standardized test scores, and grade trending patterns on their transcript are important factors used to determine their eligibility for merit aid.

If you are selected for a merit scholarship and recommended for admission to Chapman University, then you will receive your merit scholarship notification along with your admission packet at the time that our decisions are released. 

+ - How does Chapman help AB540/DACA students financially?

Undocumented applicants are not eligible for federal financial aid and are not eligible to complete the FAFSA. However, if a student meets eligibility for a merit scholarship during admission, they can receive anywhere from $10,000-$29,000 per year. Every student that applies and is reviewed for admission is concurrently being evaluated for a merit scholarship regardless of their citizenship status.

If the undocumented student is a resident of the state of California and has attended a California high school for 3 years, or considered a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student, then they should file the California Dream Act Application at Depending on the financial need of the student’s family and the student’s GPA as reported to the CA Student Aid Commission (yes?), he or she may potentially be eligible for a Cal Grant award. If a student receives a merit scholarship from Chapman University and a Cal Grant award, then they may be eligible for additional institutional grant money.

*Note for DACA students: The social security number provided to you for work purposes will not grant access to federal financial aid, nor should you apply for aid via the FAFSA.

+ - Who do I contact with questions that are directly related to my citizenship status during the application process?

Your first point of contact should always be the admission counselor who has been assigned to your school group and territory. Our territory assignments and contact information can be found here.

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Key California Dream Act Dates


  • Cal Grant GPA submission begins
  • Talk to your high school about submitting your GPA before March 2
  • Online CA Dream Act Application
  • Make sure you submit the CA Dream Act before March 2
  • Get help at a Cash for College workshop in your area

March 2

  • March 2, is the priority financial aid filing deadline for most colleges and universities and the absolute deadline for submission of your Cal Grant application (CA Dream Act Application + GPA)
  • If you or your school submits your certified GPA using your DACA SSN, make sure you include that DACA SSN on question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application
  • Better yet, submit a Non-SSN GPA to the CA Student Aid Commission

After March 2

  • Some colleges, especially community colleges, accept the CA Dream Act Application throughout the year. Check with your campus Financial Aid Office.