Southwestern College

AB 540

On October 12, 2001, Governor Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540, which adds a new section to the California Education Code. It creates a new exemption from payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent. This law provides an exemption from paying non-resident fees, however, it does not give the student resident classification status for any other purpose. Students who receive this exemption would be required to establish residency for any state-funded program (EOPS, BOGW, Financial Aid).


Read the following questions and answers to find out

What are the criteria?

Students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Attended a California high school for three or more years.
  • Graduation or attainment of graduation equivalency from a California High School.
  • Enrollment at a college not earlier than the Fall 2001 semester.
  • Undocumented persons must complete an affidavit stating that the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will do so as soon as the student is eligible.

Does this mean that a student who is a US citizen or an undocumented immigrant, who graduated from a California High School many years ago, is also eligible?


If the student graduated from a California high school several years ago, moved out of state and has now returned to California to attend college, is that student eligible?


Are students who have been living here in California, and are holders of a visa that is precluded from establishing domicile in the United States (B-1, B-2, C, D-1, D-2, F-1, F-2, H-2, H-3, J1, J-2, M-1, M-2 O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, Q (NAFTA), TN and TD) eligible to use AB540?

No. These persons are not eligible for this exemption unless they have applied to INS for a change of status to a classification other than nonimmigrant alien.

What if the student is out of status, but has not filed for a change of status through INS?

This student would be eligible.

Do we have to require proof from the student?

According to the Chancellor's Office, we only require the signed affidavit.

NOTE: Non-resident students using this exemption will still be required to sign the non-resident forms

Click here to download the AB 540 form [pdf]


Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Download Acrobat Reader Download Flash Player Download QuickTime Download Windows Media Player Download Microsoft Silverlight Download Word Viewer Download Excel Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer
Last updated: 6/16/2016 11:46:10 AM