Understanding AB 540
Q: What does it mean to be undocumented?
An undocumented person is a noncitizen who entered the United States without legal immigration status or who stayed after the period she or he was authorized to be here.
Q: Can an undocumented student go to college?
Yes! Undocumented students may attend any California college or university where they are admitted. In addition, if they meet the requirements of a state law known as AB 540, undocumented students do not have to pay the much-higher tuition rate that usually applies to out-of-state students. And under another law, known as the California Dream Act, undocumented students who qualify for AB 540 status can apply for state financial aid.
Q: How do I qualify to pay in-state tuition?
In order to qualify under AB 540, an undocumented student must have
- Attended or completed the equivalent of three years of high school, community college or adult school in California
- Graduated or obtained the equivalent of a high school diploma or community college degree, or completed the requirements for transfer to a UC or CSU
- Submitted an AB 540 affidavit, also known as a Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form, to the college that you plan to attend. On this affidavit, you must state that you meet the two previous requirements and that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status – or that you will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.
Here are the steps to qualify for AB 540 status at De Anza
- Apply for admission.
- Visit the Admissions Office Student Forms webpage and download the Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form (AB 540 affidavit).
- Complete the form, print it and submit it to the Admissions Office in the Registration & Student Services Building.
- If you have questions about applying for admission as an AB 540 student, email Barry Johnson in the Admissions Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Aid for Undocumented Students
Under another law, known as the California Dream Act, undocumented students who qualify for AB 540 status are eligible to apply for state financial aid as well as for private scholarships to attend California colleges or universities. (However, undocumented students are not eligible for federal aid.) To learn more, visit our California Dream Act webpage.
For more information
- Download this one-page AB540 Guide for Undocumented Students.
- Check out our Undocumented Student Resources webpage.
- Visit the HEFAS (Higher Education for AB 540 Students) office at De Anza, where you will find peer advisers, free resources and a supportive community for undocumented and AB 540 students.