Dream Center

Assembly Bill 540

According to the California state law entitled Assembly Bill 540 (PDF) (AB 540, California Non–Resident Tuition Exemption), some California non-residents may be eligible to pay in-state fees. This law aids students who are California high school graduates, including undocumented students. Although AB 540 does not make undocumented students eligible for federal or state financial aid, it does allow AB 540 students to pay in-state tuition. AB 540 was signed into state law on October 12, 2001, and authorizes any student, including undocumented students who meet specific criteria, to pay in-state tuition at California’s public colleges and universities. This makes the cost of attendance at CSU, Chico more affordable for immigrant and returning students.

Any student who meets the following AB 540 eligibility requirements shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition at all public colleges and universities in California.

AB 540 Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, a student must meet all the following requirements:
  • Attend a California high school for three or more years
  • Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent General Education Diploma (GED)
  • Register as an entering student or be currently enrolled in a California Community College, California State University, or a University of California
  • In the case of a person without lawful immigration status, sign a statement with the college or university (not with INS) stating that they will apply for legal residency as soon as they are eligible to do so. (This requirement does not apply to those with legal residency.)


  • All information provided by the student will be kept confidential by the University.
  • AB 540 only provides an exemption to the requirement to pay non-resident fees at California public colleges and universities. The law does not provide any immigration benefits.
  • Students with current non-immigrant visas (example: tourist or student visas) are not eligible for this fee exemption. Non-immigrant students, as defined by federal immigration law, may hold one of the following visas:
    A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, TN, TD, and V, and TROV and NATO.