California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540)
For Eligible California High School Graduates

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General Information

AB 540 is a California law that allows all students who qualify, including undocumented students to pay in-state tuition fees at all public colleges and universities in California. AB 540 is not a path to adjust the immigration status. However, undocumented students may be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

  • The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.
  • The student must have 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).
  • Undocumented students 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 non-immigrants (for example, those who hold F [student] visas, B [visitor] visas, etc.) are not eligible for this exemption.
    • 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."
    • Beginning January 1, 2013, AB540/undocumented students will be eligible for state financial aid. This includes Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGW), and Cal Grant. However, they do not qualify for federal financial aid.
Procedures for Requesting This Exemption From Nonresident Tuition at Foothill College

Click here for step-by-step instructions to complete the Foothill Application for Admission as AB540.

For questions or assistance with this process please call (650) 949-6964 or email

Top of page Last updated: September 15, 2016