AB540 & AB2000

AB540 & AB2000 – Instate Tuition for Undocumented Students in California

Assembly Bill 540 was signed into law in 2001 after grassroots organizations and advocacy groups fought for nonresident Californians to access affordable higher education.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Attended a California high school for 3 or more years, or earned credits from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high school in California for a total of at least 3 years

  • Graduate from a California high school, or attain a GED; or pass the California High School Proficiency Exam

  • Register or currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California

  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa, or a nonimmigrant visa granted with T or U visa

  • File the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form (AB540 affidavit), confirming eligibility and stating that the filer will apply for legal residency when qualified

AB 540 Ineligibility

Students who do not meet the AB540 eligibility requirements, can still attend college as long as they meet the admissions criteria and are accepted by the college or university, but must pay non-resident fees.

Documents Checklist

  • Proof of high school attendance in CA

    • Transcripts for all schools attended in grades 9-12

    • May need to submit transcripts from middle school and elementary school

  • Proof of high school graduation or the equivalent

    • High school transcript

    • High School Equivalency Certificate

    • Certificate of General Education Development

  • The California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Form

The California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form

AKA: AB 540 Affidavit

The AB 540 Affidavit is a document the student completes to verify educational requirements, and certify the intent to establish legal residency as soon as the student is eligible.

Students must provide information on all pertinent schools attended and submit required documentation (ie. high school transcripts) as specified by the institution.

Where do I find the Affidavit?

The information YOU provide is declared under penalty of law of the State of California and YOUR signature verifies that the information is true and accurate. In addition, the California State University, the University of California and the California Community Colleges require documentation of high school attendance and graduation (or its equivalent) in support of the affidavit.

The affidavit also can be found at http://www.csulb.edu/depts/enrollment/forms/. The affidavit and supporting documentation of high school attendance and graduation should be submitted after the admission offer is made to the student and before the student pays tuition and fees.

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Application Process

  1. Apply for desired public higher education in California.

    • Some community colleges may require you to submit the AB540 form with your college application

  2. After admission, complete the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form. UC campuses have their own forms, so please contact the campus personal knowledgeable about AB540 and AB2000

  3. Submit affidavit before the deadline at:

    • Community Colleges: Admissions Office

    • CSU: Office of Admissions and Records

    • UC: Office of the Registrar

  4. Submit supporting documents as required by the institution

  5. Contact the institution for campus-specific instructions and deadlines

Other States Offering Exemption from Out-of-State Tuition to Undocumented Students:

Eleven states have similar laws to California’s AB540, requiring attendance at a state school for a certain number of years, graduation from high school and completion of an affidavit. The states that offer these laws include:

Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. California students hoping to go to out-of-state schools cannot transfer their eligibility from California but must pay out-of-state tuition.

California Dream Act Application

For More Information Visit:

For Your Resource and Distribution:

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