California Nonresident Tuition Exemption
For Eligible California High School Graduates
(The law passed by the Legislature in 2001 as AB540)
Any student, other than one with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) nonimmigrant visa status (see exception below for students who have been granted T or U visa status), who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).
attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, or
attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years and
graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) and
must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above.
Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request (and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents.
The California Dream Act extends Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, Chaffee grants, and institutional financial aid to students that meet these criteria as well as the applicable criteria for eligibility for specific types of financial aid. More information can be found on the California Dream Act website: