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This site provides detailed information for students and College of Alameda faculty & staff about AB 540, the California Dream Act and links for undocumented students who may be interested in applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
If students meet specific requirements, they are able to pay ‘resident fees’ instead of ‘non-resident fees’ if they attend a CA public institution of higher education. Thanks to the California Dream Act, AB 540 students at community colleges who are are now eligible to apply for privately-funded scholarships, the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, assistance from EOPS, CARE, or CalWorks, and state aid like Cal Grants and Chafee.
The Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver is available now!
Submit the form to Financial Aid in the Welcome Center.
- Apply for admission at the Peralta Community Colleges’ website. (https://web.peralta.edu/enrollment-2/).
- Submit the “California Nonresident Tuition Exemption” form to Admissions & Records A109. If you qualify, your enrollment fees change drop from $276 per unit to $46 per unit! Tip: If you are not a student with a valid visa, you will mark the second checkbox that reads “I am NOT a nonimmigrant alien (including, but not limited to, a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an alien without lawful immigration status).” Include proof such as a transcript that you graduated and attended a CA high school for at least 3 years.
- Submit the BOG Fee Waiver to Financial Aid in the Welcome Center. If your income qualifies, your enrollment fee will be waived.
- To qualify for maximum financial aid, as soon as you are able to submit a California Dream Application (undocumented AB 540 students only).
- Check the Peralta Foundation Scholarships for availability.
Additionally, under the California Dream Act of 2011, AB 540 students are eligible to apply for:
- Privately funded scholarships. Through the Peralta Colleges Foundation and the College of Alameda there are various general and selective scholarships available.
- Institutional financial aid like EOPS grants & fee waivers and community college BOG fee waivers.
- State financial aid like Cal Grants and Chafee Grants.
Students who are not residents of California for one year and one day prior to the first day of the term, or do not qualify for nonresident status known as “AB540”, will be charged nonresident tuition. Nonresident tuition is charged at the rate of $230 per semester unit plus $46 per unit California Community College Enrollment fee totaling $276 per semester unit. Additionally a $2 per semester, per campus Campus Center Use fee will be charged.
AB 540 and the California Dream Act do NOT establish legal residency for immigrant students or for undocumented students. Undocumented students who have questions about their legal residency should consult with an immigration attorney or immigrant advocacy groups. Visit E4FC for free legal services.
Regardless of immigration status the student can apply for admission to a public college or university in California. The law allows students the following rights regardless of immigration status:
- Public colleges and universities in California cannot discriminate in admission based on a student’s immigration status.
- Students are not required to show an ID or Social Security Card for admission.
- Students are not required to show proof of legal U.S. residency in the review of a college application.
AB 540 and undocumented students enrolled at the College of Alameda have the right to access the same general services as other students. These services include:
- Tutoring Services
- Disabled Student Program and Services
- Admissions and Enrollment
- Financial Aid
- Health Services
There are also many groups (online and local) dedicated to supporting undocumented students:
The information a student shares with a college or university is protected by federal law. This information CANNOT be shared with anyone, including immigration officials. The information that the student provides to the college is protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. The school cannot legally share this information with third parties including the Department of Immigration and Naturalization (INS), now the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Also, not all AB 540 students are undocumented. Most are legal residents. AB540 forms are worded in a way so as to protect undocumented students from having to declare their status (they are grouped with US citizens and permanent residents). The affidavit says “IF” they are an “alien without lawful immigration status,” then they will pursue a means to change their immigration status when it becomes available.
Below is the wording for the box you check on the form and the affidavit you sign:
I am NOT a nonimmigrant alien (including, but not limited to, a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or alien without lawful immigration status.)
In June 2012, President Obama announced that his administration would not remove SOME undocumented people or put them into Immigration Court. Instead, they will be able to apply for “Deferred Action,” which is a temporary two-year period during which no attempt will be made to remove the individual and a possible work card. This status can be renewable. Please go to E4FC to get the most updated information on this policy or see the E4FC Step-by-Step Guide or go to