AB 540 & Undocumented Students


AB 540 and Residency Status

Assembly Bill 540 is a law passed in 2001 by the California legislature and recently amended with Assembly Bill 2000 in 2015. The laws were written for students who are either undocumented or U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents but are considered non-residents for tuition purposes. If these students meet specific requirements, such as attending a California public institution of higher learning, they are able to pay resident fees instead of non-resident fees.

AB 540/AB 2000/SB 68 Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for paying "resident fees," students must meet the following requirements:

  • Three or more years of full-time high school coursework, and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of California elementary, secondary, and adult schools.
  • Three years of adult school and GED.
  • Two or more years of full-time California Community College AND one year of California elementary, secondary, or adult schools.
  • Enroll in an accredited California institution of higher education (CCC, CSU, or UC).
  • File a Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Affidavit with the school. In the case of students without legal immigration status, they must state that they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immigration status as soon as they are eligible to do so.

Steps for Submitting your AB 540 Affidavit for Undergraduates and Graduates

  • Submit your completed Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Affidavit and official high school transcripts by the first day of classes. 

  • If you are an SF State undergraduate student now applying to a graduate program at SF State, you must ONLY re-submit your affidavit to the Division of Graduate Studies. No need to submit your official transcripts. All other graduate students must submit their official high school transcripts AND affidavit to the Division of Graduate Studies Admissions. 

  • AB 540 student status will not be official until final high school transcripts & the affidavit are submitted and processed. Non-resident fees will be charged until AB 540 status is approved.

  • You will receive a letter or email from the Admissions Office verifying your status as an AB 540 student (usually just prior to the beginning of classes).
  • If you plan to pay out of pocket on the installment plan, bring a copy of the completed affidavit to your orientation and present it to the Bursar’s Office to ensure you will only be required to pay resident fees.

California Dream Act

  • Complete the CA Dream Act Application or the FAFSA application by the March 2 priority deadline. Please confirm your eligibility so that you can submit the correct application for federal and/or state financial aid.