By Janeth R. Sanchez
City College leaders and regional legislatures urged students to submit applications for the California Dream Act before the deadline at a press conference on Mission Campus on Feb. 28.
The California Dream Act allows students with AB540 status—undocumented students who have completed three years of high school in California—to receive California financial aid such as Cal grants and private scholarships throughout the state. It is not related to DACA or FAFSA, which are both federal programs.
The application deadline was March 2.
The meeting also reaffirmed City College´s support to undocumented students.
“We are a sanctuary college where every single student, every single human being has the opportunity to pursue their education in safety and security. That is our commitment,” said Chancellor Mark Rocha.
California Assemblyman David Chiu spoke about how critical City College was for the education of the immigrant community and the future of the state.
“It is so important to all of us to hang together because this time period will end; at some point, Trump will no longer be our president and I’m looking out to the next generations of our leaders,” said Chiu.
“When is enough, enough?” asked Alex Randolph, vice-president of the board of trustees, regarding the Trump administration policies. “There’s no better way to achieve a life in this country and follow the American dream than a pathway through affordable education.”
Alejandro Jimenez, the coordinator of the Voices of Immigrants Demonstrating Achievement student group, encouraged students to apply and take advantage of the resources and counseling available at City College.
“Having the California Dream Act is the difference between having to have two or three jobs and take one class at the time or moving along in your education,” said Jimenez. “We were here before Trump, we’ll be here after.”
Rocha promised that all the applications would be confidential. He also said DACA students could receive help with their DACA renewal application at the student services office.
Undocumented City College students Reina Aguilar and Miriam Trujeque came to learn about the financial aid available to students.
“I wanted to know what security measurements will take City College to protect us undocumented students. We want to feel secure in our school,” said Trujeque, through a Spanish interpreter.
“Now we know that we are protected; we know that they will help us and where we can get the help in case that we need it,” said Aguilar, through an interpreter.
Both students want to earn a college degree in the future and felt reassured by Rocha’s words.
“I know City College is a school that provides great opportunities to get ahead in life,” Trujeque said.
By March 2, the California Student Aid Commission received 37,612 applications from students throughout the state, showing a 4% increase compared to last year.