Advocacy Leadership for Immigrant Access support Services
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The ALMASS (Advocacy Leadership for imMigrant Access Support Services) is the voice of the AB540/DACA students at SJCC. The mission of the program is to provide access, built on the foundation of educational equity, social justice and opportunities for eligible students. The ALMASS program aims to empower AB540/DACA students, their families and college community in being informed leaders.
Assembly Bill 540 is a California law that allows qualified students to pay in-state tuition at the State's institutions of higher education. AB540 does not grant State or Federal financial eligibility, and only provides an exemption to the requirements of paying non-resident tuition.
For your convenience, please use the Immigrants Rising tool to check your eligibility.
To qualify as an AB540 student, undocumented students must meet the following:
- Have attended a California High School for 3 or more full academic years between grades 9 through 12 (they do not need to be consecutive years)
- Be (or will be) a graduate from a California High School or have attained a GED or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam CHSPEPE)
- Register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California
- File or plan to file an Affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that he/she will apply for legal residency as soon as possible
- Not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.)
Complete the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form. SJCC will determine your eligibility based on your application and the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request.
No. DACACA is not legislation DACACA is a modified process in which Homeland Security allows certain individuals, who meet specific guidelines, to request consideration of deferred action for USCISIS. Individuals who are eligible to received deferred action will not be removed from the United States during a specific period of time unless deferred action is terminated. If you received deferred action, you may be eligible for employment authorization.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):
DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion that provides temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and work
DACA is an exercise prosecutorial discretion that provides temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and work authorization to certain young people brought to the United States as children—often called "DREAMers." The Department of Homeland Security DHSHS) first launched the initiative in 2012, and since that time it has helped over 700,000 eligible young adults move into mainstream life in the United States, thereby improving their social and economic well-being. To qualify under the original initiative, individuals must demonstrate that they:
- Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012
- Arrived in the United States before turning 16
- Continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007 to the present
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of requesting deferred action from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCISIS)
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012
- Are either in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors occurring on different dates and arising out of different acts, omissions, or schemes of misconduct, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA):
DAPA is prosecutorial discretion program administered USCISIS that provides temporary relief from deportation (called deferred action) and work authorization to unauthorized parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents). DAPAPA program resembles the DACACA program in some important aspects, but the eligibility criteria are distinct. The program will be open to individuals who:
- have a U.S. citizen son or daughter as of November 20, 2014
- have continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010
- are physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014, and at the time of applying
- have no lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014
- are not an enforcement priority, which is defined to include individuals with a wide range of criminal convictions (including certain misdemeanors), those suspected of gang involvement and terrorism, recent unlawful entrants, and certain other immigration law violators
- present no other factors that would render a grant of deferred action inappropriate; and
- pass a background check
DAPA grants will last for three years. The DAPAPA program should be ready to receive applications within 180 days.
You cannot be denied admission to a California college or university based on your immigration
You are not required to pay out-of-state, international, capital outlay, or penalty fees (which may be
charged to out-of-state and/or international students) to enroll at a California college
or university if you qualify for AB540
You are not required to show proof of legal residency status or proof of application for legal residency
IF YOU NEED HELP: Some college employees may be unaware of AB540 or may interpret the law incorrectly. If you feel that your rights under AB540 have been denied, contact Fabio Gonzalez (email@example.com)
Although the AB540 law does give a student the opportunity to pay in-state tuition fees, he/she is not eligible for any traditional federal and/or California State financial aid programs. Therefore, SJCC is committed to making the dream of higher education possible for AB540 students by offering extra services.
The following are some of the services available to ALMASS Students:
Counseling (Academic, Career, and Personal)
*Financial Aid Assistance: CA Dream Act, CA Promise Grant, scholarships (See tab below)
Lending Technology (laptops/calculators)
College resources/school materials
Study Skills Workshops
University field trips
VTATA Eco Passes
Referral to legal immigration counsel
Other student conferences
Financial Aid Assistance: As of January 2013, AB540 students are eligible to apply for California State financial aid (not FAFSA). The primary benefit of this law is the eligibility to pay tuition at California resident rates.
Nonresident students taking 12 college units per semester pay approximately $3,008.
AB540-eligible students will pay approximately $572 per semester.
The California Dream Act of 2011 was passed in two laws:
- AB130 & AB131. These laws allow AB540-eligible students to apply for:
Institutional Financial Aid: As of January 2013, AB540 students are eligible for State Financial Aid grants like Cal Grants and Chafee. They are also eligible for State funded programs like the California Promise Grant fee-waiver, EOPS, and CARE.
Privately Funded Scholarships: SJCC offers various general and major specific scholarships. Starting January 2013, AB540 students will also be able to apply for SJCC scholarships that require CA Promise Grant fee waiver eligibility.