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In the end, immigration fears didn't stop students from asking for California Dream Act aid

 (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Last week, The Times reported that far fewer students than usual had submitted California Dream Act applications for college financial aid.

The drop in applications —  from about 34,170 last year to 20,100 this year — had officials worried that students who came into the country without legal papers were forgoing valuable financial aid out of concern about President Trump's immigration policies and fear that filling out information might put them at risk.

But stories about the application shortfall and officials' assurances that student information would be kept safe helped turned the tide. So did the work of the school districts across the state that held financial aid workshops.

The financial aid deadline was March 2. Thousands more applications came in over the last week. Overall, more students filed on-time applications this year than they did last year, said Patti Colston, communications manager of the California Student Aid Commission, the organization that administers state financial aid.

In the end, more than 35,880 students applied.

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