Education Code § 68130.5, as amended, commonly known as AB (Assembly Bill) 540. California Nonresident Tuition Exemption: Non-California residents who meet specific criteria may be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California institutions and/or allows them to apply and receive state aid (by filling the California Dream Act) at certain California public and private colleges.
MUST MEET THE EXEMPTION REQUIREMENTS (Attendance and Graduation Requirements)
Attendance requirement (must meet one):
- Attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, OR Attained credits earned in California 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 schools in California for a total of three or more years.
- Attended or attained credits at a combination of California high school, California adult school*, and California community college for the equivalent of (3) years or more.
*A year’s equivalence of attendance at a California community college is either a minimum of 24-semester units of credit or 54 quarter units. Only two (2) years of full-time attendance in credit courses at the California community colleges will count towards the three (3) or more years of attendance. Full-time attendance at a California adult school is a minimum of 420 hours of attendance for each school year.
Graduation/Degree Requirement (must meet one):
- The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent from a California high school prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) or
- Completed or will complete (before the first term of enrollment at the CSU) an associate’s degree from a California community college; or
- Completed or will complete (before the first term of enrollment at the CSU) the minimum requirements at a California community college for transfer to the California State University. The student 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.
- The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the campus 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 law.
For more information on how to establish AB 540 residency at CSUSB visit the CSUSB Admissions Website.
California Dream Act
The CA Dream Act is a state-based financial aid program for eligible undocumented students that was established in Spring 2012 by the CA Student Aid Commission. The California Dream Act application allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. In addition, the California Dream Act, allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at any public college in California. The California Student Aid Commission (Commission) processes this application. Any aid offered can only be used at eligible California institutions. This CA Dream Act is unrelated to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Students who live in California and meet the eligibility requirements for a non-resident exemption (AB 540), as well as students who have a U Visa or TPS status, can use the California Dream Act application (CADAA). Similarly, students without Social Security Numbers or students who have lost DACA status (or never applied for DACA), may still be eligible. The full language of the law and eligibility requirements is stated in CA Education Code 68130.5.
The CA Dream Act allows AB 540/ SB 68 students to apply for: State-funded grants (including Cal Grants, State grants, UC Grants & the CA College Promise Grant), state programs such as EOP & EOPS, certain scholarships administered by the public institution, financial aid fee deferments, if applicable.
The California Dream Act Application can be completed online at www.caldreamact.org. The California Dream Act Application is not an application for federal financial aid. Students eligible to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), must use that application which is available online at www.fafsa.gov. Students should not complete both applications.
The Annual CA Dream Act Deadline is March 2nd
CA Dream Act and Selective Service
According to federal law, all men between the ages of 18 and 25 (documented and undocumented) must register for the Selective Service and should register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. A Social Security number is not required to register. Furthermore, in order to be eligible for state financial aid through the CA Dream Act, men must provide proof of Selective Service registration to the college or university they plan to attend. Men who are between the age of 18 and 25 years old, even undocumented individuals, must register for the selective service so your CA Dream Act aid is not put on hold. Register early and show proof of registration to your school to ensure you receive state financial aid. The processing of selective service registration takes 1-2 months. Once successfully registered, the government mail's Selective Service Registration Card, be sure to keep a copy of this card because you might be required to show it to your college or university.
In regards to sharing someone’s immigration status, the Selective Service System states: “They have not now, nor in the past collected or shared any information which would indicate a man's immigration status, either documented or undocumented. The selective service system has no authority to collect such information, has no use for it, and it is irrelevant to the registration requirement. Consequently, there is no immigration data to share with anyone.”
As an undocumented individual, you must register for the Selective Service by mail. Selective service Registration Form
Is it safe for me to apply for the CA Dream Act Application?
CSAC released a joint statement with the California Department of Education stating,
“The information provided via the California Dream Act Application is used solely to determine eligibility for state financial aid and isn't shared with the federal government or used for immigration enforcement purposes. The CSAC will protect this information to the fullest extent of the law."
To read the full statement, visit the California Department of Education.
DREAM Loan Program
The purpose of the California DREAM Loan Program is to ensure that students who meet AB-540 criteria and DREAM Loan eligibility requirements have access to additional forms of funding to help them afford public higher education. The California Dream Loan is borrowed money you must repay with interest. The interest rate for the California Dream Loan corresponds with the interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans and is subject to change annually. Senate Bill 1210 establishes the California DREAM Loan Program for purposes of extending loans to students who meet the non-resident exemption requirements established by AB 540 and have demonstrated a financial need. The DREAM Loan authorizes any campus of the University of California or the California State University to participate. California community colleges are not authorized to participate. Eligible students should contact their college/university for more information.