Dreamers - AB 540 & SB 68

What is AB-540?

CA Assembly Bill AB-540 is a California law passed in 2001 which states that undocumented students who meet certain requirements can qualify to be exempt from nonresident tuition at California public colleges and universities (includes Community Colleges, CSUs and UCs). In 2014, Assembly Bill AB-2000 was passed, expanding the definition to allow additional flexibility for who can meet the requirements. In January of 2018, Senate Bill SB-68 went into effect, which further expands the criteria. This is very important because this exemption allows eligible undocumented students to pay the in-state tuition rate ($46/unit), rather than non-resident student tuition rate ($282/unit, effective Summer/Fall 2019 term).

Tuition & Fees

The difference between California non-resident and resident tuition at Chabot College is as follows: 

Costs Non-resident CA resident
Non-resident Tuition $282.00/unit 0
Enrollment Fee $46.00/unit $46.00/unit
Total Cost/Unit $328.00/unit $46.00/unit

Total cost for 12 units

(Including $20 Health Fee, Fa/Sp 19)

$3,956.00 $572.00


Who qualifies for AB-540/AB-2000/SB-68?

In order to qualify for AB-540/AB-2000/SB-68 status in California, the student must meet ALL of the following four requirements:

Requirement 1: Attendance at California schools. This requirement may be met in either of the following two ways:

A) Total attendance (or attainment of credits earned) in California equivalent to three or more years of full-time attendance at California high schools, California adult schools**, campuses of the California Community Colleges*, or a combination of these;

OR

B) Three or more years of full-time California 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 and secondary schools.

*Note - Full-time attendance at a California community college means either 12 units of credit per semester (or quarter equivalent per year) or a minimum of 420 class hours per year (or semester or quarter equivalent per year) in non-credit courses. Attendance in credit courses at a California community college counted towards this requirement shall not exceed a total of two years of full-time attendance.

**Note - Full-time attendance at a California adult school means a minimum of 420 class hours of attendance for each school year in classes or courses authorized by Education Code.

Requirement 2: Completion of a course of study. This requirement may be met in any of the following three ways:

A) Graduation from a California high school or equivalent (such as a GED);

OR

B) Attainment of an associate degree from a California community college;

OR

C) Fulfillment of the minimum transfer requirements established for the University of California or the California State University for students transferring from a California community college.

Requirement 3: Registration. Requires registration as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California.

Requirement 4: Affidavit of student without lawful immigration status. Students without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with their college or university stating that the student has either 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. This affidavit is confidential and this information will note be shared with other agencies.

How to Apply?

In order to qualify for AB-540 status, students must submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form to the Chabot Office of Admissions & Records along with official transcripts/attendance records (high school, adult school, and/or community college) that verify requirements 1 and 2 listed above. 

For assistance, please use the Immigrants Rising online California In-State Tuition Tool or stop by the Dream Center to speak with someone who can help you figure out if you may qualify. Our counselors are happy to assist you with this process! 

Students who are eligible for AB 540 are also eligible for CA state financial aid through the CA Dream Act Application.

Note: AB-2000 also expanded the definition to include students who have been granted T or U visa status. Students who are nonimmigrants, 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.

Please note, AB-540 does NOT establish legal residency for immigrant students or for undocumented students who are eligible for AB-540. It only exempts students from paying non-resident fees. Undocumented students who have questions about their legal residency should consult an immigration attorney.