A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Saturday will allow illegal immigrants in the process of legalizing their immigration status to apply for college financial aid.
Currently, students in the country illegally pay resident tuition rates if they have graduated from a high school in California and are applying to legalize their status, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office. The bill, AB 131, takes effect Jan 1, 2013, and will make those students eligible to apply for Cal grants and other state aid.
“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking. The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us,” Brown said in a statement.
The bill is one of two laws known as the California Dream Act, authored by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles). AB 130 was signed by Brown on July 25, 2011, and makes financial aid from private sources available to the same pool of students, according to a press release.
The California Department of Finance estimates that 2,500 students will qualify for Cal Grants as a result of AB 131, at a cost of $14.5 million. The overall Cal Grant program is funded at $1.4 billion, meaning that 1 percent of all Cal Grant funds will be potentially impacted by AB 131 when the law goes into effect, according to a press release.