California Nonresident Tuition Exemption
Education Code § 68130.5, as amended, commonly known as AB 540

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California Nonresident Tuition Exemption commonly known as AB 540, exempts certain students from paying nonresident tuition (higher than resident tuition) and/or allows them to apply and receive state aid at certain California public and private colleges.

Satisfy either items 1 or 2 (Time and Coursework Requirement)

1. Three (3) or more years of full-time attendance or attainment of equivalent credits earned in California from the following schools (or any combination thereof):

A. High School *
B. Adult School *
C. Community College (credit or non-credit courses) ** or

2. Three (3) or more years of full-time high school coursework and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high school in California for a combined total of three (3) or more years.

AND Satisfy any from item 3 (Graduation and/or Transfer Requirement)

3. Graduation and/or transfer requirements:

A. Graduate from a California high school, or
B. Obtain a GED, HiSET or TASC in California, or
C. Attain an associate degree from a California Community College, or
D. Fulfilled the minimum transfer requirements to transfer from a California Community College to a University of California or California State University.

The following items must also be met to qualify for AB 540 status:

4. Will register or enroll in an accredited and qualifying California college or university, and

5. If applicable, complete an AB 540 affidavit stating that you will legalize your immigration status as soon as you are eligible (see the Admissions and Records Office at your college), and

6. Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (A, B, C, D, E, F, J, H, L, etc.), except persons granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or hold a U Visa ***

*Full-time attendance = minimum of 420 hours/school year

**Credit courses = full-time attendance is a minimum of 12 units semester/quarter per year. Maximum of two (2) years of credit coursework can be used toward meeting 3-year requirement.

**Non-credit courses = full-time attendance is a minimum of 420 hours/school year

***AB 1899 allows U and T visa holders to also apply for state financial aid. (T visa holders should file a FAFSA, U visa holders should file a CA Dream Act Application)

If you meet the requirements above, you should complete the CA Dream Act Application for financial aid. (A certified GPA is also necessary for Cal Grant consideration.)

Your college is responsible for verifying your AB 540 eligibility. Check with your Admissions and Records Office early in the summer before the Fall Term starts to complete the required AB 540 affidavit.

AB 540 Affidavit