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Deadline looms for undocumented students to apply for financial aid

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The San Francisco Unified School District reached out to students to make sure they apply for financial aid through the California Dream Act before the deadline at midnight on Thursday. (KGO-TV)

Five years ago, California passed a law allowing undocumented students to receive state financial aid for college through the California Dream Act.

The deadline for students to apply is at midnight on Thursday, March 2, 2017. At this time, applications are down in part because of the current political climate.

Jessica Magana is a student at City College of San Francisco. She described herself as a "dreamer," meaning she was brought to the United States as a child and has remained here undocumented.

Like thousands of undocumented students in California, she's entitled to apply for the California Dream Act, state financial aid for college. "I actually just recently applied for the Dream Act. I knew about the deadline and I made sure to get it in right away," Magana said.

So far, in California there are fewer applicants than last year when 34,000 applications were received. As of Wednesday night, 31,000 "dreamers" had applied.

Magana says "dreamers" are afraid any information will be shared with other government agencies, including ICE. "They just fear they'll use this information against them, they'll be knocking down their doors," Magana said.

San Francisco's Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs is helping to reassure them their information is confidential. "If you don't apply, you won't be able to attend school and I feel even though under Trump's administration people shouldn't be afraid to apply," Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs spokesperson Wilfredo Coyotl said.

City College of San Francisco sent out reminders to current students about Thursday's deadline. "We have a task force to support undocumented students on campus, so we're very proactive in trying to let students know that if they are undocumented they are absolutely welcome here at City College of San Francisco," Samuel Santos said.

The San Francisco Unified School District has also reached out to "dreamers" in the district to make sure they have applied, otherwise they'll have to wait until next year.

Click here to apply for financial aid through the California Dream Act.

Related Topics:
educationimmigrationmoneycollege studentsSan Francisco
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