California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption

What is AB 540?

AB 540 allows eligible undocumented student to have access to in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in California. Eligibility for AB 540 was expanded upon through AB 2000 and SB 68 to include more California students to qualify for in-state tuition.

A student may qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition if they meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfaction of either of the following:

  2. High School attendance in California for three or more years, or

  3. attainment of credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to 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 those schools. or

  4. attainment of credits at a California Adult School, or

  5. attained credits at a California Community College, or

  6. a combination of the school listed above, and

  7. Graduated or will graduate from a California high school, or

  8. obtained a Certificate or General Education Development (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), or

  9. attained an associate degree from a California Community College, or

  10. fulfilled the minimum transfer requirements to transfer from a California Community College to a University of California or California State University, and

  11. Will register or enroll in an accredited and qualifying California college or university.

  12. If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible.

  13. Do no hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.)


  1. California Adult School must be established by either a county office of education, a unified school district or high school district, or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  2. A year's equivalence at a California Community College is either a minimum of 24 semester units of credit or 36 quarter units. Only two (2) years of full time attendance in credit courses at the California Community Colleges will count towards the three (3) or more years of attendance. Full-time attendance at a California adult school is a minimum of 420 hours of attendance for each school year.
  3. If you have Temporary Protected Status or hold a valid U Visa you are eligible

California In-State Tuition Qualifier Tool

Immigrants Rising’s CA In-State Tuition Qualifier Tool helps you determine if you meet the attendance and degree requirements for in-state tuition. This tool is meant to be used as a guide, please consult with Admissions Office staff to confirm if you qualify for in-state tuition.

For detailed information and frequently​ asked questions, please refer to the California Student Aid Commission.