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Nonresident Tuition Exemption

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption For Eligible California High School Graduates

(AB 540, AB 2000)

Any student, other than a nonimmigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California (all public colleges and universities in California). Students must provide official high school transcripts in order to confirm eligibility and submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request to Enrollment Services.


The student must have:

  • Total attendance in California equivalent to three or more years of full-time attendance at a California high school, adult school, community college, or a combination of these, OR
  • Three more more years of full-time high school coursework AND a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, secondary schools, or a combination of these.


  • The student must have graduated from a California high school or the equivalent (passing the California GED or California High School Proficiency exam)​ prior to the start of the term, OR
  • The student has attained as Associates degree from a California Community College, OR
  • The student has fulfilled the minimum transfer requirements established for University of California or California State University.​


An alien student who is without lawful immigration status 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.

  • Students who are nonimmigrants [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
  • Any nonimmigrant alien granted “T” or “U” visa status under title 8 U.S. Code Section 1101(A)(15)(T)(i) or (ii), or section 1101(A)(15)(U)(i) or (ii) who meets AB540 requirements also qualifies.
  • 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. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
  • 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. They continue to be "nonresidents".

California Dream Application: The passage of AB131 authorized state funded financial aid to AB540 eligible students. If you are an undocumented AB540 student, complete the CA Dream Application at


For more information about tuition, fees, and other exemptions and waivers visit our FAQ page:

What Fees Do I have to Pay?