Undocumented Student Resources
Merced College is honored to serve undocumented students (Dreamers) to overcome challenges to access higher education opportunities and provide a safe and caring environment. We are proud to welcome you to our campus as we work to assist you with resources and information needed to reach your academic and personal goals.
What is an AB 540 Student?
California law AB 540 authorizes any student, including undocumented students who meet specific criteria to pay in-state tuition at California’s public colleges and universities. This applied to students who may be without lawful immigration status, as well as to students who have moved out of state and subsequently returned to California. A student is exempt from paying nonresident tuition if the student meets all of the following four requirements.
AB 540 Student Requirements
- Attended a California high school for 3 years or more;
- Graduated from a California high school with a high school diploma or attained the equivalent (GED);
- Be registered or currently enrolled in one of the three state institutions of higher education in California.; and,
- Filed an AB 540 affidavit with the college or university stating that they will file an application to adjust their immigration status as soon as they are eligible.
California Dream Act
Merced College Financial Aid office support undocumented students with the following three bills: Assembly Bill (AB) 540, Senate Bill 2000(SB 2000) and Senate Bill (SB 68) to receive certain types of financial aid.
Combined, these Bills constitute what is called the California Dream Act, and they allow undocumented students to:
- Pay the resident fees at public colleges and universities in California,
- Apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers and state-sponsored Cal Grants.
Apply for Cal Dream Act Application with Merced College.
Step 3 – Read about the California Dream Act Process at our Financial Aid Office to find out if you qualify for financial assistance.
Step 4 – Contact Counseling & Guidance and ask to speak to the Dream Act counselor.
What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
On June 15, 2012, President Obama signed a memo calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service here.
Who is eligible for DACA?
Individuals who meet the following criteria can apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals:
- Are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present. (For purposes of calculating this five year period, brief and innocent absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);
- Entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or individuals whose lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Applicants will have to provide documentary evidence of the above criteria. In addition, every applicant must complete and pass a biographic and biometric background check.
For More Information:
- Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhoold Arrivals (DACA) – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The UFW Foundation’s Community Colleges Project has partnered with Merced College to provide FREE immigration services to students, staff, and faculty. The UFW Foundation’s Community Colleges Project provides a wide array of immigration services and can assist with DACA renewals, naturalization, adjustment of status applications, removal proceedings and much more! The UFW Foundation’s Community Colleges Project is staffed by attorneys, Department of Justice accredited representatives, and qualified legal assistants. Their staff is devoted to helping all students, staff, and faculty attain quality legal advice and services.
UFW Foundation Office Hours: Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 9AM-5PM.
- Merced Campus: 2nd Thursdays of the month
- Los Banos Campus: 4th Thursday of the month.