Gov. Jerry Brown announced Saturday that he has signed the California Dream Act, making state financial aid available to undocumented immigrants who choose to attend California universities and community colleges.

Undocumented immigrants can begin receiving state financial aid in 2013 through the Cal-Grant assistance program, which granted an average of $4,500 to 370,000 low-income students last year.

Approximately 2,500 students will be eligible for the grants, which Brown said will cost $14.5 million. –BF

The Wall Street Journal:

… The controversial bill is the highest-profile act to expand undocumented students’ access to higher education after a federal Dream Act, which would have given undocumented students a path to short-term permanent residency status, failed last year to attract enough support in Congress.

“The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us,” Mr. Brown said.

Under current law, undocumented students pay resident tuition rates if they have graduated from a California high school and affirmed that they are in the process of applying to legalize their immigration status. Starting January 1, 2013, those students will be eligible to apply for state-funded Cal Grants and other public aid.

The legislation builds on a previous bill signed into law in July, which makes financial aid from private sources available to the same pool of students. The two laws are collectively known as the California Dream Act.

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