California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB 540)
The California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540) is available for certain nonresident students (including U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented individuals) who have attended, graduated, or achieved the equivalent from a California School. These students may be exempted from paying non-resident tuition but must remain classified as “nonresident” for residence classification and financial aid eligibility purposes. The exemption originated with the passage of Assembly Bill 540, Assembly Bill 2000, Senate Bill 68 and Senate Bill 1141.
The California Nonresident Tuition Exemption is open to students who are:
- U.S. Citizens
- Permanent Residents
- Undocumented students (including TPS, DACA, Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile, VAWA)
- T and U Visa Holders Only
Must meet the the following exemption requirements:
Attendance requirement (must meet one)
- Attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, OR
- Attended 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 years.
- Attended or attained credits at a combination of California high school, California adult school, and California community college* for the equivalent of (3) years or more.
*A year’s equivalence of attendance at a California community college is either a minimum of 24 semester units of credit or 36 quarter units. For noncredit courses, a year’s attendance is a minimum of 420 class hours per year (a semester is equivalent to a minimum of 210 hours and a quarter is equivalent to a minimum of 140 hours). Full-time attendance at a California adult school is a minimum of 420 hours of attendance for each school year.
Graduation/Degree Requirements (must meet one)
- The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent from a California high school prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) or
- Completed or will complete (before the first term of enrollment at a California community college) an associate’s degree from a California community college; or
- Completed or will complete (before the first term of enrollment at a California community college) the minimum requirements at a California community college for transfer to the California State University.
If you have met the applicable conditions described above, you must:
- File an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates you have met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
- If you are eligible for this exemption and are transferring to another California public college or university, you must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
- AB540 does not provide federal student financial aid eligibility for undocumented students. These students remain ineligible for federal financial aid.
- Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be “nonresidents.”
- The California Dream Act extends Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, Chaffee grants, and institutional financial aid to students that meet these criteria as well as the applicable criteria for eligibility for specific types of financial aid.
- Undocumented students who are eligible for AB540 will remain ineligible for federal financial aid.
- Students who take adult school or community college courses while concurrently enrolled in a California community college or CSU to qualify for the AB540 exemption will continue to be charged out of state tuition as nonresidents until the exemption requirements are fulfilled.
- Students who already earned a high school diploma or the equivalent from another state may not take courses to obtain a California high school diploma or the equivalent in order to be granted the exemption.
Students who are NOT eligible to receive this tuition waiver are the following non-immigrant statuses:
- F Visa
- J Visa
- M Visa
- B Visa
How to Apply for California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB540)
To apply for the AB540 exemption, please complete a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Affidavit and attach copies of all the required documentation as it applies to you. California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Requests are available online through the Admissions & Records Forms site. Please submit the completed affidavit and all required documentation to email@example.com or in person at the Admissions &Records window located in the Delta Connect Center, DeRicco 1st floor.
To verify you have meet the attendance requirement please submit:
- Copy of your official California High School Transcripts (If more than one High School was attended you will need to provide a transcript from each school.)
- “Early High School Graduates” who have attained credits earned in California from a CA High School equivalent to three years: You will also need to provide a copy of your elementary and/or middle school transcripts to show attendance at a California school to equal a total of three years or more combined.
- Copy of your official California Adult School Transcripts 1 year of full time attendance = 420 class hours).
- Copy of your official Transcripts from a California Community College (1 year = 24-semester units of credit or 36 quarter units of credit or a minimum of 420 class hours per year. For noncredit courses, a year’s attendance is a minimum of 420 class hours per year (a semester is equivalent to a minimum of 210 hours and a quarter is equivalent to a minimum of 140 hours).
To verify you have met the graduation/degree requirement please submit:
- Copy of your California High School Diploma, California issued GED, or C.H.S.P.E
- Copy of your AA/AS Degree from a California Community College
- Copy of your evaluation of California Community College coursework verifying that you have completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a current student, please include your full name and Delta ID.
Updated: April 2023