AB 540, AB 2000, SB 68 and California Dream Act

AB 540, AB 2000 & SB 68

If you are considered a “non-resident” student in California looking to go to college or access higher education, you will pay much higher tuition fees than resident students. In order to pay in-­state tuition, the college must determine that you are a California resident for tuition purposes, or that you meet the eligibility to be exempt from non-­resident tuition through AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68.


2017-18 Yearly Estimated Average Tuition & Fees California Community College California State College University of California Eligible for the CA Dream Act
In-State Tuition for Residents $1,104 plus local campus fees $5,472 plus local campus fees $12,630 plus local campus fees YES, plus local campus fees
In-State Tuition for Non-Residents $3,846 plus local campus fees $11, 328 plus local campus fees $41, 622 plus local campus fees NO, plus local campus fees









A student is exempt from paying non-resident tuition if the student meets all of the following four requirements:

  1. The student must have:
    • attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for the equivalent of three years or more, 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 year, AND
  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), OR
    • completed an associate degree from a California Community College, OR
    • completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California, AND
  3. The student must register as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California, AND
  4. The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.

Students who are non immigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this

Students who are non-immigrants, other than those with T or U visa status as noted above, [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.

California Dream Act

The California Dream Act (unrelated to DACA) allows some undocumented students to apply for and receive state-based financial aid and institutional scholarships. Passing the California Dream Act symbolizes a milestone victory for undocumented students and allies in California who organized and advocated for increased access to college. This represents a critical investment in undocumented students and in the future of California.

The types of aid included in the CA Dream Act are: Cal Grants, UC Grants, State University Grants, California College Promise Grant and EOP or EOPS grants. It also includes the Middle Class Scholarships and school-specific scholarships. The CA Dream Act can also give you access to Dreams Loans at the CSU or UC, even if you are undocumented.

Who can apply for the CA Dream Act?
Undocumented Students must meet the eligibility criteria for AB 540, AB 2000, SB 68 or U-Visa holders to apply for and receive California state financial aid. The California Dream Act allows students to receive state and institutional grants if they meet income guidelines, apply by the priority deadlines, and complete all necessary paperwork on-time.

Procedures for Requesting AB540 Exemption From Non-Resident Tuition

Complete the form entitled California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request. Submit it to the college Admissions Office. Students may be required to submit additional documentation.

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.