What is AB540/ SB 68/ SB 1141?
Any student, other than one with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) nonimmigrant visa status (see exception below for students who have been granted T or U visa status), who satisfies the requirements (below), shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).
Who is eligible?
Students (including undocumented students) who, for various reasons, are classified as nonresidents may be eligible. The student must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible:
1. Time and coursework requirements:
- attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for the equivalent of three years or more.
- attained 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.
2. Degree or unit requirements:
- graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).
- completed an associate degree from a California Community College.
- completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California.
3. Registration requirements:
- The student must register as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California.
4. Signed Nonresident Exemption Request:
The student must file the signed AB540/SB 68/SB 1141 affidavit with the college or university stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so.
5. Physical presence in California:
You must be physically living in the state of California with a permanent California address to qualify for the exemption. Reference: CCCCO LEGAL ADVISORY 18-02
Who is not eligible:
Students in possession of nonimmigrant visas (including, but not limited to any of the following visas: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T*, TN/TD, TWOV, U*, and NATO) are not eligible for this exemption.
*Except for holders of T and U visas: California Community College policy permits T and U visa holders with approved I-485 applications who meet the requirements described above to be exempt from nonresident supplemental tuition until they are eligible to establish California residency.
DACA students who do not meet the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB1141 tuition requirements, listed above, will not be eligible for the exemption.
Complete the AB540/SB 68 / 1141 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form:
AB-540/SB 68/SB 1141 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form
PLEASE NOTE: After completing, printing and signing the AB-540/SB 68 Form, submit a copy of the form electronically
• Students who are nonimmigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code, sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption.
• 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.
• A year’s equivalence at a California Community College is a minimum of 24 semester units of credit or 36 quarter units of credit. For noncredit courses, a year’s attendance is a minimum of 420 hours, 210 hours for a semester, and 140 hours a quarter.
• The accumulation of credit and/or non-credit in any academic year shall be calculated in reference to a year’s equivalence. Partial completion in an academic year is allowed. (Example: 12 units of credit courses in an academic year is equal to a semester for purposes of determining eligibility.)
• There is no cap on the number of years of attendance in credit courses at a California Community College counted towards the attendance requirements.
• The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
• Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
• 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, the California Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG fee waiver), 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.
• AB540 does not provide federal student financial aid eligibility for undocumented students. These students remain ineligible for federal financial aid.
Financial Aid and Scholarships:
For a complete listing of scholarships, please refer to: http://scholarships.santarosa.edu/
For Financial Aid, please refer to: https://financialaid.santarosa.edu/dream-act
AB 540/SB 68/ SB 1141 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- Will I qualify for AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 if I only attended 2 ½ years of High School in California?
No. The law clearly states 3 or more years of High School in California AND prior to the start of the semester term have attained a CA High School diploma or the equivalent of a California GED or a California Certificate of Proficiency.
- Can I qualify for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 if I have not filed an application to legalize my immigration status?
Yes. Undocumented students are eligible for AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 as long as the student has attended high school in California for 3 or more years AND prior to the start of the semester term graduated/received a diploma from a California High School, or has attained a High School Equivalency Certificate (a California GED), or a California Certificate of Proficiency. Students who have filed an application to legalize their immigration status or students who will file an application as soon as eligible to do so qualify for AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141.
- Will an approved AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 make me eligible to apply for Financial Aid?
Yes. As of the Spring semester, January 1, 2013, students at Community Colleges eligible for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB1141 may now apply for Financial Aid under the California Dream Act of 2011.
Students are eligible to apply now for privately funded scholarships, Board of Governors Fee Waivers, Assistance from EOPS/CARE, or CALWORKS and State financial aid like CAL GRANTS and CHAFEE Grants. Please check with our Financial Aid Office (707-527-4471) for information.
- Will I be able to continue my eligibility for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 when I transfer to a higher Education in California?
The public system of higher education in California including the University of California, the California State University and the California Community Colleges have adopted the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 as part of their educational code. You will be required to submit a new Affidavit form to the Office of the Registrar where you will be enrolled.
- Will a student residing in another state and homeschooled through an online school in California who completed the 4 years and graduated qualify for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141?
Home Schooling through a California school to complete the curriculum from a school in California while considered a resident of another state is not acceptable. AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 requirements specifically states “high school attendance in California for 3 or more years”.
- Will a student who had 3 or more years of high school attendance in California and received a Certificate of Completion (other than a high school diploma) from a California high school qualifies for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141?
Yes. A student who received a California Certificate of Completion in addition to the three years of California High School attendance is eligible for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 exemption from nonresident tuition.
A student who does not pass the California high school exit exam (CAHSEE) is still AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 eligible if the student received a Certificate of Completion from a California high school AND have completed the three years of high school in California.
This also applies to a student with a disability who had participated in special education in a California high school for 3 or more years AND received a California Certificate of Achievement/Completion.
- Will a student who graduates from high school in May or June be able to submit their AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 Form 2 to 3 months before graduation for the SummerFall registration period?
Even though we cannot accept AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 forms from students until after they have graduated from high school, students can still register for summer and/or fall semesters during registration priority in April. The registration fees charged will temporarily include non-resident fees. Students do not have to pay these fees at the time of registration and should opt for the defer/pay fees later option. After high school graduation, students may submit the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 forms to the Admissions & Records Offices, and if the student meets the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 requirements, the non-resident fees will be reversed and removed from their account.
- How can I be guaranteed confidentiality with information I submit on the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141?
The information you provide on the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 is for college purposes only and must remain confidential under California law.
- Do private universities such as the University of Southern California (USC), Stanford University, University of San Francisco (USF), or technical colleges like ITT Tech, Healds College, or Bryman College, etc. accepts the California AB 540/ SB 68 / SB 1141 Affidavit nonresident tuition exemption?
No. Private colleges and universities set their own tuition policies. AB 540/ SB 68 / SB 1141 applies only to public community colleges and universities in California.
- Will I qualify to apply for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 if my graduation from high school was before the passage of AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 law?
As long as the student attended a California high school for 3 or more years AND graduated from a California high school, attained a California GED or California Certificate of Proficiency.
- Am I eligible for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 tuition exemption if I hold a valid student visa?
No. AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 is available only to U.S. citizens, those with legal permanent resident status, undocumented immigrant student and just recently as of January 1, 2013, non-immigrant students holding an approved “T” or “U” Visas. However, a non-immigrant student holding an expired visa is no longer a non-immigrant and becomes undocumented. If a student is currently undocumented, the student is eligible to apply for the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 exemption as long as the student meets the requirements under the AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 .
- Does AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 eligibility also qualifies me to change my immigration status?
AB 540/ SB 68/ SB 1141 eligibility exempts a student from paying nonresident tuition. It DOES NOT change nor adjust immigration status. For information you may contact our Admissions & Records Office (707) 527-4685.
- Do I need to demonstrate an intent to become a California resident in order to qualify for this exemption?
No. However, the exemption is not available for students who are absent from California, and are taking distance education classes from California community colleges.