Registration & Student Services Building

Admissions and Records

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540)

(The law passed by the Legislature in 2001 as “AB 540”) 

General Information

Any student, other than a nonimmigrant 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).

  • Requirements
    • The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three 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 nonimmigrants (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 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 exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be “nonresidents.”
  • These students remain ineligible for federal financial aid but are eligible to apply for aid through the CA state Dream Act application and institutional scholarships.
For more information and resources for undocumented students, click here 

Procedures for Requesting AB540 Exemption From Nonresident Tuition

Complete the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB 540) form. Submit it to the Admissions Office at the community college where you are enrolled or intend to enroll. You may be required to submit additional documentation. Call the college Admissions Office if you have questions.

Complete California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB 540) form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar at the UC campus where you are enrolled or intend to enroll. Your campus has established deadlines for submission of exemption requests; however, requests are not to be submitted until you have been admitted to a UC campus. Some students, such as transfer, graduate and professional students, also must submit their official high school transcripts; check with your campus for specific instructions. Once you are determined to be eligible for the exemption, you will continue to receive it as long as you fulfill the eligibility requirements or until the university no longer offers this exemption. The exemption covers the Nonresident Tuition Fee and the Educational Fee differential charged to nonresident students. Applying for the exemption does not alter your responsibility to pay by the campus deadline any nonresident tuition and associated fees that may be due before your eligibility is determined. For general information, visit the following website: For campus-specific instructions regarding documentation and deadline dates, contact the campus Office of the Registrar.

Complete California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB540) form. Contact the Office of Admission and Records at the CSU campus where you are enrolled or intend to enroll for instructions on submission, deadline information and additional requirements. You will be required to submit final high school transcripts and appropriate records of high school graduation or the equivalent if you have not done so already. Call the Office of Admissions and Records at the campus if you have questions.

Building: Registration & Student Services
Contact: Admissions and Records Office
Phone: 408.864.5300

Last Updated: 3/24/17