Undocumented Students

CCA works with undocumented students to help them apply for admission and earn a degree from a top art and design school in the country.


A safe space for all

Regardless of circumstance

We offer resources to undocumented students, including DACA, DREAM Act, and AB 540 students. Your privacy is protected by law, and as an applicant and student of CCA, your immigration status will remain confidential, as will your grades, records, and medical information—regardless of who you come in contact with on campus.

Campus Resources

Find the support you need

DREAMers Welcome Butterfly Design by Favianna Rodriguez

Dreamers Welcome designed by Favianna Rodriguez.

Connect to campus allies

CCA’s Division of Student Affairs and community members throughout the college are here to support all students, including those who may be impacted by any changes to the DACA program. To connect with campus support allies, look for offices displaying the “dreamers” butterfly logo.

CCA staff members are also prepared to communicate with undocumented students who have questions about student employment, financial aid, or immigration attorney referrals.

If you are a current CCA student, please refer to Portal for safe spaces and campus resopurces.

How to Apply

You can go to college in the U.S.

Citizenship doesn’t affect admissions decisions

For official reporting, CCA categorizes students as either “domestic” or “international.” Undocumented students are categorized as international students; however, you will need to complete the admissions application requirements of a domestic student.

Use the following information to answer application questions.

Applying as an undocumented student

Citizenship status

If you’re applying using the Common Application, choose “Other” for citizenship status, and then choose “I do not hold a currently valid U.S. nonimmigrant Visa” from the “Currently held United States visa” section. If you’re using the CCA Online Application, choose “DREAMers” for citizenship status.

Social Security Number

If you have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), use that number on your admissions and financial aid applications. If you don’t have either a valid SSN or ITIN, leave this item blank.

Country of citizenship

As an undocumented immigrant student, you have the option to choose “No Selection.” This option is considered a valid response, and we recommend this choice to undocumented student applicants, including those with DACA status. By choosing “No Selection,” you’ll avoid additional questions about permanent residency and visa status that are not applicable to you.

Personal statement

The personal statement or any additional comment sections are optional. You may provide supplemental context (i.e., to help reviewers better understand your circumstance and resources), but such information won't be used outside the application process.

Parent citizenship information

Upon submission of your application, you’ll be asked questions about your parents’ citizenship status. You don’t have to answer these questions. However, if you wish to answer them, do so truthfully.

Fee waivers

Eligibility for a fee waiver is based on the following questions:

  • Citizenship status if you choose “No selection”
  • California residency if you attended a California high school for three or more years and will graduate or have graduated from a California high school
  • Your family’s income and the number of people supported by that income

Financial Aid

An alternative to the FAFSA

CCA provides financial support for students regardless of their citizenship status

Merit-based aid

When you apply to CCA by the relevant priority application deadline for your application term, you are automatically considered for institutional scholarships such as merit scholarships and CCA’s Visionary Practice scholarships, which can provide full tuition support for recipients. You do not need to take any additional steps to apply for this kind of financial aid.

Need-based aid

Students with financial need may also qualify for need-based aid–which could be offered in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, or loans–but would need to take additional steps to be considered for this type of financial aid. Instead of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), DACA, Dreamer, and undocumented students should apply for need-based aid via one of two forms based on their state of residency.

Alternatives to FAFSA

Undocumented students, Dreamers, and DACA recipients residing in California should plan to complete the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) instead of the FAFSA. The CADAA does not require a social security number and may render an applicant eligible for state aid, such as Cal Grant funding. See more information about Cal Grant eligibility below.

Undocumented students, Dreamers, and DACA recipients residing outside of California can apply for need-based aid with an institutional form that their CCA admissions counselor can provide after they apply to CCA. This institutional form also does not require a social security number.

Cal Grant eligibility for California residents

Cal Grant funding is a type of need-based aid funded by the state of California that does not need to be repaid. Undocumented students, Dreamers, and DACA recipients may be eligible for this type of funding if they meet the eligibility, financial, and minimum GPA requirements, and take the following actions:

  • Complete the California Dream Act Application by the March 2 deadline*
  • Complete a certified GPA to be considered for a Cal Grant
  • If you or your school submits your certified GPA using your DACA SSN, be sure to include your DACA SSN on question number eight of your California Dream Act application

*The deadline to submit FAFSA or CADAA for Cal Grant eligibility has been extended from March 2 to May 2, 2024 for the 2024-2025 year only.

Fund your education with a Cal Grant

We suggest all undocumented students complete the California Dream Act Application for financial aid instead of a FAFSA; a certified GPA is also necessary for Cal Grant consideration.

How to apply for financial aid:

  • Complete the California Dream Act Application
  • Complete a certified GPA to be considered for a Cal Grant
  • If you or your school submits your certified GPA using your DACA SSN, be sure to include your DACA SSN on question number eight of your California Dream Act application.

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