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By California Student Aid Commission

Urgency legislation recently signed by Governor Newsom has extended California’s priority deadline for financial aid to May 2, 2024. Schools and districts are urged to help ensure that all graduating students complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application before this deadline.

The U.S. Department of Education has been working diligently to remedy technical issues students face when trying to complete the FAFSA. However, many students continue to face challenges completing the form, particularly students from mixed-status families — students who are U.S. citizens or FAFSA-eligible non-U.S. citizens with one or more parents without a Social Security Number (SSN). These students and families are facing a difficult identity verification procedure and prolonged processing times that jeopardizes their ability to apply for and receive financial aid that they are entitled to, which can derail their journey to higher education.

In response, the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, Gov. Newsom’s administration, the State Legislature, and the California Student Aid Commission announced this week that students from mixed-status families who have been unable to complete a FAFSA will be able to complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). This will allow more students who are applying for financial aid for the first time to complete a financial aid application before the May 2 state priority deadline for financial aid.

Opening up the CADAA provides an alternative pathway for students from mixed status families to help ensure they are able to complete their application and receive an offer letter for state and institutional financial aid before upcoming enrollment deadlines.

“Higher education can unlock so much potential for students when it comes to career opportunities and upward socioeconomic mobility,” said California Student Aid Commission Executive Director Marlene Garcia. “Students from mixed-status families navigate complex challenges in pursuit of higher education. Ensuring all students are able to access the financial aid they are entitled to is at the heart of what we do. Together we are making sure that impacted students from mixed status families have a viable path to access financial aid and the life-changing opportunities available at California colleges and universities.”

We need California educational leaders to help all students meet the May 2 deadline. Please help by: 

Informing all students and families about the new financial aid priority deadline of May 2 and the CADAA option for mixed status families. Students and families can go to to get started.

Following up with graduating seniors who have not yet completed their FAFSA or CADAA to offer resources and support. You can find more information about the new California Dream Act Application (CADAA) option for mixed status families here.

Sharing information about upcoming In-person Cash for College workshops and Virtual Cash for College webinar workshops. Please encourage students and educators to participate at an in-person or virtual workshop.

Cash for College Webinar for All Students and Families

Cash for College Webinar for Mixed-Status Families

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