Online Resource Guide

This resource guide is intended to assist students, parents and advisors with commonly asked questions about "AB 540", along with helpful resources.

California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption (AB540 Waiver Residency Verification)

You can attend and afford to go to college! There are 3 California laws that make the dream of going to college possible for AB 540 students, including undocumented students.


AB540 requires that state colleges and universities keep student information confidential. A student's immigration status cannot and will not be reported to immigration officials or any other third party

Admissions Process

The process for applying to Sacramento State is no different from any other student with the exception of the social security section of the CSU application:

  • When completing the CSU application, the section requesting a social security number should be left blank.
  • Please complete the entire application, as it applies.
  • Upon completion and submission of the application, you will need to complete and submit an affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request Form).
  • When you complete the affidavit form, please be sure to select the box, which best describes your immigration status. NOTE: Non-immigrant aliens admitted to the U.S. temporarily or who hold a visa are not eligible.
  • High school seniors should submit their affidavit shortly after they have successfully graduated from high school.
  • NOTE: The affidavit will not be accepted, if you have not yet submitted your official final high school transcripts with the graduation date posted. Please be sure to submit your official transcripts before submitting the affidavit form.


AB540 was signed into law on Oct. 12, 2001. Students who meet specific requirements under AB540 are exempt from paying nonresident tuition at public California colleges & universities. Click here for more detailed bill information


In order to qualify for AB 540 a student must:

  1. Have attended a high school in California for 3 years or more.
  2. Have graduated from a California high school or received the equivalent of (GED).
  3. File and affidavit with the public state college or university stating that he or she will file an application to obtain legal permanent residency as soon as he or she is eligible.

If you are eligible for the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB540), print the California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request (pdf), complete it and submit it to the Residence Screening Office.

If you are a continuing student seeking to change your status from non-resident to resident more information can be found at https://www.csus.edu/sfsc/Residency-Reclassification.html or by calling (916) 278-4270.

Additional questions may be directed to the Residency Coordinator, located in the Admissions and Outreach Office, Lassen Hall 1102 or by calling (916)278-7766 or via email at caresidency@csus.edu

Paying for College

View information on the  California Dream Act

Financial Aid:

AB 131 was signed into law on Oct 8, 2011. Students who qualify for AB540 and meet GPA and income requirements determined by the California Student Aid Commission can apply for financial aid (Effective Jan. 1, 2013). The California Student Aid Commission is currently working on developing the application process for AB540 students (more information to come).


AB 130 was signed into law on July 25, 2011. Students who qualify for AB540 are eligible to apply for privately funded scholarships available at public California colleges and universities. 

There are also several private scholarships available that do not require residency. The following links are recommended for various scholarship opportunities, along with deadlines and application instructions. The link below also includes a list of available scholarships at Sacramento State. It is recommended that students begin searching and applying for scholarships as early as possible.

Scholarship Tips:

  • It is recommended that students begin looking for scholarships as early as possible. What does"early" mean? Do not wait until the summer before entering college to apply! Begin your search now. Also, look for scholarship announcements within your high school and local community.
  • It's important to follow the application directions for each individual scholarship provider in terms of eligibility requirements, specific deadlines, and application process information.
  • Be very sure to CHECK ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS. You do not want to spend hours putting a scholarship application packet together, only to find out the scholarship is no longer offered or that your residency status makes you ineligible.



On October 12, 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540 (Stats. 2001, ch. 814) that added a new section 68130.5 to the California education Code. Section 38130.5 created a new exemption from payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California for three or more years and received a high school diploma or its equivalent. Thus, any student, except a person in nonimmigrant status, who meets the requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at all public colleges and universities in California.


On July 25, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill 130 that amended Section 68130.7 of and added Section 66021.7 to, the Education Code, relating to student financial Aid. Under this section, students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the provision described in current state statute are eligible to receive scholarships derived from non-state funds received, for the purpose of scholarships, by the segment at which he or she is a student (Effective January 1, 2012).


On October 8, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill 131 that amended Section 68130.7 of and added Sections 66021.6, 69508.5, and 76300.5 to, the Education Code, relating to student financial aid. Under this section, students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under current state statue are eligible to apply for, and participate in, any financial aid program administered by the California State University and the State of California to the full extent permitted by federal law (Effective January 1, 2013).

Additional Resource Guides for Students & Parents

AB540, A Guide for Immigrant Youth


AB540/Undocumented Student Resource Guide (CFC Edition)


AB540, A Guide for Parents

http://e4fc.org/images/E4FC_ParentGuide.pdf  (English)
http://e4fc.org/images/E4FC_ParentGuide_Spanish.pdf  (Spanish)

Free Legal Service for Undocumented Students

Educators for Fair Consideration:  https://immigrantsrising.org/legalintake/ .
E4FC's Case Analysis Service provides free analysis of possible immigration remedies and benefits to immigrant students nationwide. This confidential and anonymous service is intended for immigrant students who do not yet have legal residency or citizenship in the United States. Students should be under 35 years old and enrolled (or intending to enroll) in college.