Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a California law, enacted in 2002, which allows non-resident students to pay in-state tuition fees for all California public colleges and universities. AB540: Exempts eligible undocumented students from out-of-state tuition fees.
How does a student become eligible for AB 540?
To qualify for resident tuition under AB 540, students must have:
Attended a California high school for at least three years:
The required three years may be non-consecutive. For example, students may go to a California high school for 9th and 10th grade, go out of state for 11th grade and come back to California for 12th grade.
Although AB 540 requires three years in HS (as opposed to 2 years and 9 months, for example), a student may also qualify for the non-resident tuition exemption if they have attended a combination of elementary, middle, and/or high school in California for at least three years (see AB 2000 information below).
Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent of a high school diploma such as a High School Equivalency Certificate, issued by the California State GED Office or a Certificate of Proficiency, resulting from the California High School Proficiency Examination.
AB 2000, is an expansion of AB540 and increases eligibility for students who graduated early from a California High School with the equivalent of three or more years of credits. If a student graduates early, they must have attended CA elementary or secondary schools for a cumulative total of 3 or more years.
AB 2000 amends the school attendance requirement of AB 540 and designates that if a student has not attended a California High School for at least three years, that portion of the eligibility criteria may be replaced by the following:
Attainment of three years’ worth of high school credits from a California High School (equivalent to 3 or more years of full-time high school coursework), and
A total of 3 or more years of attendance in California elementary or secondary schools, or a combination of those schools (the years do not have to be sequential).
SB 68 further expands in-state tuition eligibility in California beyond the current requirements for AB 540/AB 2000. Due to this new law, more students are elegible to pay in-state tuition at California public colleges.
SB 68 allows students to count full-time attendance at a California Community College, Adult School, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction School, High School, or combination of these schools to meet the 3 years AB540 requirements.
Students will be able to use an Associate’s Degree or the fulfillment of the minimum transfer requirements for the UCs or CSUs to meet the requirements. Contact the school you plan to attend for further information.
T and U visa holders
Lawfully present immigrants who meet the eligibility criteria above can apply if their classes were taken in 2001 or after
Individuals with international student visas, visitor visas, or other “nonimmigrants” statuses are not eligible to apply
AB 540 eligible students should complete the CA DREAM Act application before March 2nd, 2020 to qualify for all forms of funding for the 2020-2021 academic year. Financial Assistance for Eligible AB 540 Students csac.ca.gov