The eligibility criteria for AB 540 has been expanded to include attendance to California Community Colleges thanks to the implementation of SB 68. See below for more information.
AB 540 and Residency Status
Assembly Bill 540 is a law that was passed in 2001 by the California legislature. The laws were written for students who are either undocumented or U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents but are considered non-residents for tuition purposes. If these students meet specific requirements, such as attending a California public institution of higher learning, they are able to pay resident fees instead of non-resident fees. Since the implementation of AB 540, there has been a number of legislation changes that have expanded the eligibility criteria for a non-resident tuition exemption.
AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for paying "resident fees," students must meet the following requirements:
- Have attended a California high school for a minimum of three or more years; OR
- Have attended a primary, secondary, or high school in California for a combination of three or more years; OR
- Have attended or attained credits at a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for a total of three or more years (only two years of community college can be counted) AND
- Graduate from a California high school and pass the California High School Proficiency Exam OR get a GED (General Equicalency Diploma or Graduate from a California high school or the equivalent (for example: pass the California High School Proficiency exam or GED); OR
- Completed or will complete an associate's degree form a California Community College; OR
- Completed or will complete the minimum requirements at a CA Community College for transfer into the CSU system AND
- Enroll in an accredited California institution of higher education (CCC, CSU, or UC)
- File a Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request with the school. In the case of students without legal immgiration status, they must state that they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immgiration status as soon as they are eligible to do so.
AB 540 and Citizenship Status
As stated above, U.S. citizens/permanent residents can also be considered "non-residents for tuition purposes." This can occur because if a student is under the age of 19 or is over 19, but still financially dependent on a parent or legal guardian, then the student’s residency status will be determined by the residency status of the parent or guardian. A student’s residency status will not affect the student’s citizenship status.
AB 540 and Residency Status
AB 540 does NOT establish legal residency for immigrant students or for undocumented students who are eligible for AB 540. It only exempts students from paying non-resident fees. Undocumented students who have questions about their legal residency should consult an immigration attorney.
Steps for Submitting your AB 540 Affidavit for Undergraduates and Graduates
Submit your completed Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request and official high school trancripts by July 15, 2019 for new fall incoming students.
If you are an SF State student applying to a graduate program at SF State you must re-submit ONLY your exemption request to graduate admissions. No need to submit your official Transcripts. All other graduate students must submit their official HS Transcripts AND Affidavit to graduate admissions.
Please submit your exemption request to Undergraduate Admissions, SF State, 1600 Holloway Avenue, SSB San Francisco, CA 94132
Graduate students must submit their exemption request to Graduate Admissions, SF State, 1600 Holloway Ave, ADM 250 San Francisco, CA 94132
AB 540 student status will not be official until final high school transcripts & affidavit are submitted and processed. Non-resident fees will be charged until AB 540 status is approved.
- You will receive a letter or an email from the Admissions Office verifying your status as an AB 540 student (usually just prior to beginning of classes).
- Bring a copy of the completed exemption request at orientation and present it to Bursar’s office to ensure you will only be required to pay resident fees if you are using the installment plan
For Questions Contact Norma Salcedo (415) 405-3503 email@example.com