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State Law: AB 540

AB 540 Guidelines & 68130.5 Requirements for Eligibility

AB 540 Ineligibility

AB 540 Affidavit

Where do I find the Affidavit?

States Offering Exemption from Out-of-State Tuition to Undocumented Students

What Is AB540?

State Law: AB 540

On October 12, 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540 (Stats. 2001, ch. 814) adding a new section, 68130.5, to the California Education Code. Section 68130.5 created a new exemption from the payment of non-resident tuition for certain non-resident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent.

AB 540 Guidelines & 68130.5 Requirements for Eligibility

  • Must have attended a California high school for 3 or more full academic years (between grades 9 through 12, inclusive and does not need to be consecutive years);
  • Must have or will graduate from a California high school or have attained a G.E.D.; or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE);
  • Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California;
  • Must file or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that the filer will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.)

AB 540 Ineligibility 


An ineligible student is one who does not meet the AB 540 criterion. In most situations, not having met the three years attendance at a California high school is what prevents a student from qualifying for AB 540. Students can still attend as long as they meet the admissions criteria and are accepted by the college or university, but must pay non-resident fees.

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AB 540 Affidavit 


The AB 540 Affidavit serves two purposes; one is to verify that the student meets the educational requirements, and the second is to certify the intent to establish legal residency.

The first purpose relates to educational eligibility where students must indicate:

I have graduated from a California High School or have attained the equivalent thereof, such as a high school Equivalency Certificate issued by the California State GED Office or a Certificate of Proficiency, resulting from the California High School Proficiency Examination.
I have attended high school in California for three or more years.

Students must also provide information on all schools attended in grades 9-12 and submit required documentation (high school transcript) as specified by the institution.

The second purpose refers to the eligibility for exemption of non-resident tuition. To exempt a student from paying non-resident tuition the Affidavit must be completed prior to enrollment at an institution. The legal document certifies that the student is in the process of legalizing their residency status or will file for legal residency as soon as eligible.

Non-resident tuition exemptions ARE granted for students who indicate on the affidavit that they are not a nonimmigrant alien (as long as the educational criterion is also met):

I am NOT a nonimmigrant alien (including, but not limited to, a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an alien without lawful immigration status). ,

Non-resident tuition exemptions are NOT granted for students who indicate on the affidavit that they are a nonimmigrant alien:

I am a nonimmigrant alien {including, but not limited to A FOREIGN STUDENT (F Visa) or exchange visitor (J visa)}.

The information YOU provide is declared under penalty of law of the State of California and YOUR signature verifies that the information is true and accurate. In addition, the California State University, the University of California and the California Community Colleges require documentation of high school attendance and graduation (or its equivalent) in support of the affidavit.

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Where do I find the Affidavit? 


The affidavit is found at http://www.csulb.edu/depts/enrollment/forms/. The affidavit and supporting documentation of high school attendance and graduation should be submitted after the admission offer is made to the student and before the student pays tuition and fees.

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States Offering Exemption from Out-of-State Tuition to Undocumented Students 


Eleven states have similar laws to California’s AB540, requiring attendance at a state school for a certain number of years, graduation from high school and completion of an affidavit. The states that offer these laws include Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. California students hoping to go to out-of-state schools cannot transfer their eligibility from California but must pay out-of-state tuition.

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