The California Dream Act went into effect on Jan. 1, allowing thousands of immigrant students a chance for the first time to apply for state financial aid to help pay tuition at state colleges and universities.
Within hours of going live, the online application system was overwhelmed by applicants and shut down.
“It was the first time the California Dream Act was implemented and we had some bugs,” said Patti Colston, a spokeswoman for the California Student Aid Commission.
“As soon as we found out, we contacted and notified students. To make sure their privacy was protected, we asked about 1,000 students to resubmit their applications,” she said, adding that no applications were lost.
By the March 2 deadline, 20,000 applications were received, said Colston. So far, 3,600 financial awards have been made to Dream Act-eligible students, averaging about $4,000 each. Applications are still being processed.