Assembly Bill 540 was passed in 2001 and allows qualified undocumented students to be exempt from paying significantly higher out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities in California. Authored by the late Assembly Member Marco Antonio Firebaugh, AB 540 has had a significant impact on the lives of many undocumented students who have dreams of attending college, by making college more affordable and accessible.
Students are eligible for the AB 540 exemption if they meet ALL of the following requirements:
*Attend a California high school for 3 or more years
*Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent, such as a GED;
*Submit an affidavit (a written promise) to the California public college or university where they are attending or plan to attend. In this statement, students declare that they meet all AB 540 requirements and if they are undocumented, that they have filed an application to adjust their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible to do so. A copy of the AB 540 Affidavit can be found here.
WARNING:The language in the affidavit may be confusing, we highly recommend getting help in filling out the application from a knowledgeable resource. Not filing out the form correctly can result in students not being granted AB 540 status at their school. Most schools already have these forms available when applying to school, so they should be able to help you out. If they tell you different, educate them on AB 540 and your right to an education.
If you would like to know more about applying for AB-540 status, please visit the MALDEF resources website on AB-540 in California. MALDEF’s Access to College for ALL! AB540 Guide
**REMINDER: In order to qualify for the CA Dream Act (receive public financial aid), you need to be an AB-540 student first**