On October 12, 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540 (Stats. 2001, ch. 814) that added a new section 68130.5 to the California Education Code. Section 68130.5 created a new exemption from the payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or equivalent. [Education Code section 68130.5]
Who is eligible?
Any student, other than a non immigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California (all public colleges and universities in California).
- The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three (3) or more years.
- The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).
- An alien student who is without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
- Students who are non-immigrants [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
- The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under the law.
- Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
- Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempt from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They will continue to be nonresidents.
- California Dream Act of 2011 was passed and provides scholarship and state/institutional grants for those students classified as AB540 students. This could provide eligibility for SUG and EOP grants beginning Spring 2013. Cal Grant eligibility isn't available until Fall 2013. The California Dream Application became available for students to complete on Monday, April 2nd, 2012. This is an electronic application very similar to the FAFSA that is only available at http://www.csac.ca.gov/dream_act.asp
AB 540 at SJSU
Student Advocates for Higher Education (SAHE) at San José State University is made
up of motivated students mobilizing to create a strong student support group for undocumented
immigrants (high school and college students). SAHE is open to all and especially
welcomes those who believe in the cause.
For additional information email: email@example.com
The group advisor, Julia Curry Rodriguez, Ph.D, can be reached at:408-924-5310 or Julia.Curry@sjsu.edu and firstname.lastname@example.org
Living in the United States, A Guide for Immigrant Youth
Published by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the guide offers information about the ways that immigration status can impact a youth's ability to get a job, go to college, or remain in the United States.
Paying for College
Citizenship criteria for specific stipends, internships, or scholarships are determined by the agency handling the application and selection process. The following links are recommended.
- Scholarships/ Lista de BECAS for All Students Regardless of Immigration Status.
- The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid provides a link to the AB 540 legislation.
- The College and Financial Aid Guide for AB 540 Undocumented Immigrant Students (PDF)
- Latino College Dollars
Information compiled from California State University, Long Beach's AB 540 On-Line CSULB Resource Guide.