Completing the CADAA


Gather Your Information – What You Need to File the CADAA

Filling out the The California Dream Act Application (CADAA) can be a breeze if you have all the necessary documents ready. We’re here to help you gather everything you need to complete the form in one go. Here’s what you’ll need:

Email Address:
A personal e-mail address that you’ll have access to throughout your college journey.

Essential Documents

Tax Returns: Gather your parent’s most recent federal tax returns. Non-tax filers will need to indicate “Will not file” and list all untaxed income for the household.

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): Optional. This only applies if you made enough money to be required to pay taxes. 

Current Balances: Have the current balances of your parent’s savings and checking accounts. 

Net Worth of Investments: Note the net worth of any investments like stocks, businesses or a second home. 

Additionally, the CADAA will require details like your family’s household size and the number of household members attending college. 

Handling Tax Information

If your parent’s taxes from the past two years aren’t completed by May 2, select “Will file” on your CADAA and use estimated earnings. Update your application once your taxes are filed. The CADAA uses tax information from two years prior. 

Why These Documents Matter

These documents help determine your eligibility for state financial aid. Accurate and up-to-date info ensures you get the correct amount of aid.

List of Colleges

You will need to include all the colleges and universities you’re applying to on the CADAA. Be sure to list at least one California institution.

Tips for Getting Started

Verify Your GPA: Ensure your GPA is submitted to the California Student Aid Commission before May 2 or September 2 for community college students. If needed, get your Cal Grant GPA Verification Form filled out and mailed with proof of mailing from the Post Office.

Organize Early: Aim to complete your application by the May 2 priority deadline to maximize your financial aid options. Community college students have until September 2.

Meet AB 540 Requirements: To qualify for financial aid, ensure you meet the AB 540 requirements. This includes attending a California high school for at least three years and graduating or earning an equivalent degree. U visa holders and students with TPS are also eligible.

Create a Secure Account: Set up a username and password for the CADAA. Keep this information safe. 

If you need more help with the CADAA or have questions, we’re here for you! Check out our office hours or visit for additional resources for you and your parent(s). 

Being prepared with the right documents will make filling out the CADAA smoother and faster. Gather everything you need before you start, and you’ll be on your way to securing financial aid for college. Congrats on taking another important step toward your college journey! 

Solving Issues with Your California Dream Act Application

Hey future college students! Filling out the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) can sometimes seem daunting, especially if you encounter common issues along the way. But don’t worry—we’re here to guide you through each step of the process and help you smoothly resolve any challenges you may face. This guide will highlight common issues to avoid and provide tips to ensure your application is successful. Here’s what to watch out for: 

Name Variation

  • Issue: Your name on the application doesn’t match the name on the GPA upload. 

Incorrect Date of Birth

  • Issue: Your date of birth is listed incorrectly. 
  • Solution: Colleges can correct this in the Dream Act Correction Screen, or you can complete the Dream Act Application Name/DOB Change Request Form (G-19). 

Missing Parent Signature

  • Issue: Your application is missing a parent’s signature. 
  • Solution: Your parent must log in with a 4-digit PIN to sign the application or print, sign, and mail a parent signature page. 

Wrong Application Submitted

  • Issue: You submitted the FAFSA instead of the CADAA. 

Wrong Academic Year

  • Issue: You submitted an application for the wrong academic year. 
  • Solution: Complete and submit the application for the correct year immediately. Your school may need to submit an Application Conversion Form (G-55). 

GPA Mismatch

  • Issue: Your GPA information from high school doesn’t match your Dream Act Application. 

No Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

  • Issue: Your application didn’t generate an EFC. 
  • Solution: This indicates the application is incomplete or has technical issues. Colleges should check the Cal-ISIR and make necessary corrections. 

Missed Deadline

  • Issue: You didn’t submit your CADAA by the application deadline. 
  • Solution: A late application won’t be considered for an entitlement Cal Grant but might still make you eligible for other aid. If you have extenuating circumstances, you can appeal. If you submitted the wrong application on time, complete the correct one immediately. Your school may need to submit an Application Conversion Form (G-55). 

If you need more help with the CADAA or have questions, we’re here for you! Check out our office hours (link to office hours) or visit for additional resources for you and your parent(s). 

Understanding and resolving these common CADAA issues will help you complete your application accurately and on time. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you need it, and remember, every step you take brings you closer to achieving your educational goals. You’ve got this!