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California Nonresident Tuition Exemption

For Eligible California High School Graduates

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

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 University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).

Requirements:

  1. The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

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. 

AB540 does not provide student financial aid eligibility for undocumented alien students.  These students remain ineligible for state and federal financial aid.