California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540 Law)
Any student, other than one with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) nonimmigrant visa status (see exception for students who have been granted T or U visa status) who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempted 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).
A student is exempt from paying nonresident tuition if the student meets all of the following four requirements:
- The student must have:
- attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for the equivalent of three years or more, or
- attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school coursework and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years, and
- 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), or
- completed an associate degree from a California Community College, or
- completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California, and
- The student must register as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California, and
- The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.
Additional Eligibility Information
- Students who are nonimmigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption.
- Students who are nonimmigrants, other than those with T or U visa status as noted above, [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
- A year’s equivalence at a California Community College is a minimum of 24-semester units of credit or 36 quarter units of credit. For noncredit courses, a year’s attendance is a minimum of 420 hours, 210 hours for a semester, and 140 hours a quarter.
- The accumulation of credit and/or non-credit in any academic year shall be calculated in reference to a year’s equivalence. Partial completion in an academic year is allowed. (Example: 12 units of credit courses in an academic year is equal to a semester for purposes of determining eligibility.)
- Attendance in credit courses at a California Community College towards the attendance requirements shall not exceed two years of full-time attendance.
Requirements for Nonresident Tuition Exemption
If you have met the applicable conditions described above, you must:
- File an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates you have met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
- If you are eligible for this exemption and are transferring to another California public college or university, you must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
- AB540 does not provide federal student financial aid eligibility for undocumented students. These students remain ineligible for federal financial aid.
Students who are NOT eligible to receive this tuition waiver are the following non-immigrant statuses:
- F Visa
- J Visa
- M Visa
- B Visa
To apply for the AB540 exemption, please complete a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Affidavit and attach copies of all the required documentation as it applied to you:
To verify your attendance submit:
- Copy of my official California High School Transcripts (If more than one High School was attended you will need to provide a transcript from each school.)
- “Early High School Graduates” who have attained credits earned in California from a CA High School equivalent to three years: You will also need to provide a copy of your elementary and/or middle school transcripts to show attendance at a California school to equal a total of three years or more combined.
- Copy of my official California Adult School Transcripts
- Copy of my official Transcripts from a California Community College (1 year = 24-semester units of credit or 36 quarter units of credit).
To verify you have met the completion requirement:
- Copy of my California High School Diploma, California issued GED, or C.H.S.P.E
- Copy of my AA/AS Degree from a California Community College
- Copy of my evaluation of California Community College coursework verifying that I have completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California.
California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Requests are available online through the Admissions & Records Forms site.
Please submit the completed affidavit and all required documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, you may email inquiries to email@example.com. If you are a current student, please include your full name and Delta ID.