AB 540 and Residency Status
Assembly Bill 540 is a law that was passed in 2001 by the California legislature and was recently amended with Assembly Bill 2000 in 2015. The laws were written for students who are either undocumented or U.S. Citizens/Permanent Residents but are considered non-residents for tuition purposes. If these students meet specific requirements, such as attending a California public institution of higher learning, they are able to pay resident fees instead of non-resident fees.
AB 540/AB 2000 Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for paying "resident fees," students must meet the following requirements:
- Attend a California high school for a minimum of three or more years; OR
- Have attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full time high school course work and attending a combination of elementary, middles and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years AND
- Graduate from a California high school and pass the California High School Proficiency Exam OR get a GED (General Equicalency Diploma or Graduate from a California high school or the equivalent (for example: pass the California High School Proficiency exam or GED); AND
- Enroll in an accredited California institution of higher education (CCC, CSU, or UC)
- File a Non-Resident tuition Exemption Affidavit with the school. In the case of students without legal immgiration status, they must state that they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immgiration status as soon as they are eligible to do so.
AB 540 and Citizenship Status
As stated above, U.S. citizens/permanent residents can also be considered "non-residents for tuition purposes." This can occur because if a student is under the age of 19 or is over 19, but still financially dependent on a parent or legal guardian, then the student’s residency status will be determined by the residency status of the parent or guardian. A student’s residency status will not affect the student’s citizenship status.
AB 540 and Residency Status
AB 540 does NOT establish legal residency for immigrant students or for undocumented students who are eligible for AB 540. It only exempts students from paying non-resident fees. Undocumented students who have questions about their legal residency should consult an immigration attorney.
Steps for Submitting your AB 540 Affidavit for Undergraduates and Graduates
Submit your completed Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Affidavit and official high school trancripts by the first day of classes.
If you are an SF State student applying to a graduate program at SF State you must re-submit ONLY your affidavit to graduate admissions. No need to submit your official Transcripts. All other graduate students must submit their official HS Transcripts AND Affidavit to graduate admissions.
AB 540 student status will not be official until final high school transcripts & affidavit are submitted and processed. Non-resident fees will be charged until AB 540 status is approved.
- You will receive a letter or an email from the Admissions Office verifying your status as an AB 540 student (usually just prior to beginning of classes).
- Bring a copy of the completed affidavit to your orientation and present it to Bursar’s office to ensure you will only be required to pay resident fees if you are using the installment plan.
Financial Aid Questions? Contact Catherine Custodio (415) 338-2612 email@example.com
Affidavit Questions? Contact Norma Salcedo (415) 405-3503 firstname.lastname@example.org