Before there was legislation to support undocumented students through the CAL DREAM act, Fresno Pacific University chose to be among the first. The funding for the Samaritan Scholarship was established in the year 2000 after several local high school counselors requested meeting with administration to advocate for their gifted undocumented students that were not furthering their academic career. In 2001, Fresno Pacific University provided the first Samaritan Scholarship in response to the request of the community and as a biblical value and as part of the Institutional mission to advance the socio‐ economic mobility of the community through education.
Dreamer Student Resources
Welcome to the Dreamers resource page! On behalf of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Fresno Pacific University community, we want you to know that you are welcome here!
We’ve created this page to empower our Dreamer students to achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals. Through collaborations with various campus departments, and through the Fresno community, we aim to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all undocumented students.
The Samaritan Scholars Program
- History of the Program
- About the Program
The Samaritan Scholars program offers up to 100% full‐ tuition access to Fresno Pacific for students who are undocumented with a demonstrated financial need and exceptional academic qualifications. Guided by the Fresno Pacific University IDEA statement, “...knowledge is not only what one needs to advance in life socially and economically, but also essential toward advancing our humanity” the Samaritan program has succeeded in providing educational opportunities to gifted scholars for over 20 years.
- Program Information
The Samaritan program is for undocumented, academically prepared, first-time freshman or transfer students who have completed their high school education in California. Take a look at the list of benefits below.
- Leadership Development
- Learn principles of leadership from different readings
- Being part of the Future Citizens and Ally’s Newsletter
- Workshops & Training:
- Academic coaching, learn ways you can increase college success
- Raid-Rapid Response training
- Undocu-Ally Training
- Undocu-student entrepreneurship: Become equipped with opportunities to self-employ out of college
- Direct mentorship from the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Spiritual Formation
- Assists you in navigating through higher education systems
- Assists you in navigating through life while in college
- Seeks your successful journey in receiving your bachelor’s through Fresno Pacific
- Meet with your scholarship cohort bi-monthly for immigration updates on policies and laws that may affect you
- Career internship opportunities
- Assistantship available for students who do not have a work-permit. The assistantship program gives students the opportunity to participate in an internship.
- Cultural events/conferences that scholars can lead and attend
- SCORR, Keeping the Dream Alive Conference, Undocu-Student Action Week (participation in these events are subject to change).
- Leadership Development
- Samaritan Scholarship Application & Program Requirements
- Must be an undocumented student.
- Must have attended and graduated from a high school in California.
- Demonstrates Christian commitment
- Must have filed and submitted the California Dream Act Application.
- Must be enrolled as a full-time student at FPU.
- Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA; mid-semester grade reporting required.
- Regular attendance at FPU's College Hour (14 times/semester).
- Active involvement in campus life (ie: clubs, student government, newspaper, etc.)
- Active participation in leadership with the Office of Spiritual Formation.
- Active involvement in a local church.
- Annual review with program coordinator to review achievements.
- Apply and be admitted to Fresno Pacific University by the established deadlines.
- Submit a completed Samaritan Scholarship application and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Submit essays as detailed on the Samaritan Scholarship application form
- Submit a letter of reference attesting to your leadership and academic qualities. Please use a person who was not used during the admission process to the university. Letters can be mailed to Office of Undergraduate Admission 1717 S. Chestnut, Fresno, CA or emailed to Dreamers@fresno.edu
- Submit DREAM Act application for financial aid at www.csac.ca.gov
Deadlines to Apply for the Samaritan Scholarship
- All steps must be completed prior to the deadlines to be considered.
- Priority deadline for Spring: December 1
- After December 1, scholarship applications will be accepted on a rolling basis if funds are available.
- Priority deadline for Fall: March 2
- After March 2, scholarship applications will be accepted on a rolling basis if funds are available
- Fresno Pacific University Admission Steps
To be eligible for admission, there are 5 steps you must complete:
- Submit an application for admission. Apply online now, or download a printable application
- Request official copies of your high school (and/or college) transcripts to be sent to FPU.
- As of now, SAT or ACT scores are considered optional for admissions. If you wish to submit test scores, please use our school code to be sent to us directly.
- SAT code: 4616
- ACT code: 0357
- Complete the California Dream Act Application in order to be eligible for State and institutional financial aid.
We want to make sure you’re equipped to tackle college. Our dedicated staff and faculty are here to make sure you don’t have to navigate your studies alone. From academic support to peer mentoring, we’re here for you. Visit the pages below to learn more about the various departments on campus that would love to get to know you and walk alongside you on your FPU journey.
- Academic Support Center
- Transition Resources
- Campus Life Staff
- Career Development
- On-Site Counseling Services
- Disability Services
- Diversity, Inclusion, and Spiritual Formation
- Health Services
- Parent Services
- Student Government Representatives
- Sunbird Food Pantry
Make an Appointment
- How to contact us
The Office of Undergraduate Admission is in McDonald Hall, Room 120 (First Floor).
1717 S. Chestnut Ave,
Fresno, CA 93702
Monday – Friday
8:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Thursday
- Professional Staff
Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admission
Student Financial Services Advisor
Main Fresno Campus
Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Spiritual Formation
Legal SupportLaw Offices of Jennifer Doerrie
1690 West Shaw Avenue, Suite 106
Fresno, California 93711
- Legal Disclaimer
Fresno Pacific University does not provide legal advice. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.
Readers of this website should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any legal matter. No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting based on information on this site without first seeking legal advice.
Only an attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your situation.
Other Financial Support
We offer a variety of federal, state and private financial aid programs to assist students. More than 97 percent of FPU students receive financial assistance in the form of scholarships, loans, grants and many on-campus employment opportunities. Last year we awarded more than $29 million in financial aid.
Financial Aid Contact
- Student Financial Services
- Sunbird Food Pantry
- Undocu-Ally Trainings
- Education l Leadership Foundation
- Mexican Consulate
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
- Centro La Familia
- California Rural Legal Assistance
- Central California Legal Services (CCLS)
- Valley Health Team: Sliding Fee Scale Program
Consider a donation to the Samaritan Scholars Program. Give here: fresno.edu/give
Undocumented Student Terms
- Undocumented Student(s)A student that does not have US Citizenship, is not a permanent resident, and is not studying on a student visa.
Undocumented youth are often referred to as “DREAMers”. This moniker came out of the DREAM Act movement. The Development Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act is a proposed legislation first introduced in 2001. It recognizes that people brought to the U.S. by their families at a young age should not be penalized for the rest of their lives or relegated to a permanent underclass of American society without access to higher education. There were many iterations of the bill, but all of them would give temporary legal status with a 6-year pathway to permanent legal residency to young undocumented immigrants, if the individuals were brought to the United States at a young age, were attending or attended college or served in the military and passed criminal background checks and reviews. Between both chambers of Congress, different versions of the DREAM Act were re-introduced multiple times over the course of ten years, but despite bipartisan support, it never passed. It has been estimated that about 2 million young people would have been eligible for the DREAM Act.
- The California Dream Act Application
If students qualify and have applied for AB540 status, they can fill out the California Dream Act Application, and request for California State Aid (Cal Grants) at http://www.csac.ca.gov Dreamers cannot receive PELL GRANT- This is a federal government grant. Since there has been no legislation passed through Congress regarding undocumented students, there is no federal aid available for these students. Students that receive California State aid from having applied for the Dream Act are also considered DREAMERS.
- DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals- this legislation does not change a student’s ability to attend college or receive aid. This law was passed to give individuals, who arrived to the US as children, a work permit and a social security number (for IRS purposes only, not FAFSA). This will defer their deportation for two years even though they are not legal residents or US citizens. This legislation makes people weary of applying because it has been made clear that it is not a path to Immigration Reform. The DACA application has a high cost ($495) and can be potentially rescinded.
*An undocumented student may be considered any combination of the above terms if not all of them.
An AB-540 student is a student who has met the requirements below. It allows them to be considered a resident of California for tuition purposes only. A student must be admitted to a post-secondary institution and meet the qualifications before applying to state aid (Cal Grants) through the DREAM Act application. This financial application is specifically for AB-540 students www.ab540.com
- Must attend at least three years and graduate from a California high school.
- Students must sign an affidavit stating their California residency.
- The law requires that all information must be handled in a confidential manner.
- AB130- As of January 2013 students can apply for and receive private scholarships administered by the public colleges and universities.
- AB131- As of January 2013 students can apply for and receive state financial aid, including Cal Grants and Chafee Foster Youth Grants for use at eligible public and private institutions.
Frequently asked questions
- I am undocumented, can I still apply to FPU?
Yes, prospective students can apply to FPU regardless of their immigration status. There is no federal or state law that prohibits undocumented students’ admissions to public or private universities in the state of California. All prospective students will be reviewed under the same admissions criteria regardless of status.
- Do undocumented students qualify for in-state tuition?
Assembly Bill 540 was signed into law in October 2001 and allows eligible undocumented, legal permanent resident and U.S. citizen students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
To qualify, you must meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Have attended a California high school for 3 or more years
- Have graduated from a California high school or receive the equivalent, such as a GED; and
- Submit an affidavit to the California public college or university you are attending or plan to attend. (not required for Fresno Pacific University
- Are undocumented students eligible to receive financial aid?
While undocumented students do not qualify for student aid from the federal government, students who live in California and meet the eligibility requirements for a non-resident exemption, as well as students who have a U Visa or TPS status, can use the California Dream Act application (CADAA).
Similarly, students without Social Security Numbers or students who have lost DACA status (or never applied for DACA), may still be eligible. The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. In addition, the California Dream Act, allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public college in California.
- How do I apply for financial aid under the California Dream Act?
The CADAA is used by undocumented students who meet the non-resident exemption requirements under AB 540. The application can be found at https://dream.csac.ca.gov. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) processes the application and any aid received can only be used at eligible California public or private institutions.
- Will FPU share my immigration status with the federal government?
University policies regarding disclosure of student records remain the same under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA. We do not release student records without written consent from the student or a lawfully issued subpoena, warrant or judicial order. It remains our policy to require the necessary legal documents before disclosing student records or information derived from student records.
- Do I need a social security number to apply for admission and scholarships?
A Social Security Number (SSN) is not required for FPU admission and institutional scholarships eligibility. If you do not have a SSN you may enter zeros (000-00-0000) to continue. Students with a DACA temporary social security number are also highly encouraged to enter zeros in their admission application.
- I have a DACA temporary social security number; can I use it to complete the FAFSA?
According to fafsa.gov, if you are neither a U.S. citizen nor an eligible noncitizen, you are not eligible for federal student aid student aid via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
- As a DACA student, am I eligible for on-campus jobs and internships?
Yes, if your temporary work permit and social security card are current, they can be used to apply for internships, on-campus, and off-campus employment.
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