AB 540 Coalition
The College Dream Initiative
University of California
What to expect at the
University of California
PROS about the University of California:
  • All UC campuses are nationally ranked universities.
  • The local UC (UC Santa Barbara) is currently ranked #10 in the nation for public universities by US News and World Report.
  • UC campuses offer hundreds of options in majors from Art to Engineering, Science to History, and Languages to Cultural Studies.
CONS about the University of California:
  • The cost of a UC education is subject to fee increases (cost of attendance is about $34,000 a year for tuition, housing, books, supplies, etc.)
  • Most UC campuses are large universities (18,000 – 40,000) students. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle if you are not assertive.  Students who fear being in the spotlight because of their immigrant status and do not ask for help can do poorly academically.
UC campuses closest to SANTA BARBARA COUNTY:
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UC Los Angeles (100 miles south)
Admissions Information
  • WHEN TO APPLY: An online application is available August 1st. Submit the application NOVEMBER 1-30th (of the year prior to enrollment).  
  • UC APPLICATION HINTS: On the UC application place “No Selection” under the country of residency question when you start an application. 
  • RESEARCH! Look at the different UC campuses. Look at the different majors, campus sizes, and the student support programs which can help you be successful.  
  • ADMISSIONS FEE WAIVERS: The online application offers a fee waiver in the application. You must enter family income information to qualify.
  • ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS: All UC campuses have the SAME admissions requirements.
  • FRESHMAN Admissions – 1) Complete the A-G requirements with a grade of C or higher by the end of senior year. California students need to achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA from these classes in 10th and 11th grades. 2) Take required admissions exams by December of your senior year: SAT Reasoning or ACT with Writing
  • TRANSFER Admissions – 1) Achieve junior level standing (60 semester units) 2) Take 7 core courses, specifically two transferable English composition courses with a passing grade and one transferable math by the fall prior to enrollment. 3) Achieve a high GPA. Most UC schools will look for 3.0 and above for transfer admissions.
  • Click here for Frequently Asked Question about UC Admissions for undocumented students.
PAYING FOR a UC campus –
Financial Aid/Scholarship Information
  • File the California Dream Application! (Opens state grants and university aid to AB 540 students)
  • RESEARCH PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS!  Use www.latinocollegedollars.org to find other scholarships that are offered by non-profits, businesses, and other groups.
  • USE THE FINANCIAL AID WEBSITES! Look for the “undocumented student link” on most UC campus financial aid websites.
  • NEVER LIE!  If a financial aid or scholarship application asks you for your social security number, never list an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) number or any other number.  Just leave the field blank!
  • BE PERSISTENT!  If you find a scholarship that fits you but you are not sure if AB 540 students are eligible, call them and ask if they will accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number.
  • TRANSFERRING FROM A COMMUNITY COLLEGE?  Check out the financial aid office at your community college to find out about scholarships that you can take with you to your new school.
  • USE YOUR COMMUNITY! Many AB 540 students turn to their communities by setting up meetings with friends and other potential donors.  By sharing your story with individuals, you may be able to gather enough private contributions to pay for college.  During your meeting, share a copy of your resume and emphasize your dreams for the future. Don’t forget to send each contributor a thank you letter and an update of how you are doing in school.  Sending a good report card may help you get contributions for future semesters.

Campus Resource Information
  • Once admitted you will be asked to file an SLR (Statement of Legal Residency). BE HONEST! This will trigger the Residency Deputy to ask to the AB 540 affidavit.   TURN IN PAPER WORK REQUESTED!!
  • At UC Santa Barbara, call the Admissions Office: Cuca Acosta  (805) 893-2307 or click here to email me after you apply and stay in touch through the admissions process. Also refer to the UCSB Dream Scholars Resource Team, click here  to link to that website.
  • Look for support groups on campus. UC student organizations include I.D.E.A.S.  Look for the club leaders and ask about housing, book sharing, and other fund raising they may be doing.

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