AB540 / SB68

The following Assembly Bills allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition at the California State University campuses:

Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540), passed in 2001, grants students meeting certain criteria an exemption from paying nonresident tuition at the CSU.

Assembly Bill 2000 (AB 2000) passed in 2014. This is an expansion of AB540. It increases the scope of student eligibility for students who graduated early from a California High School with the equivalent of three or more years of credits. If a student graduates early, they must have attended CA elementary or secondary schools for a cumulative total of 3 or more years. It allows students meeting the criteria below to pay in-state tuition, the same as resident students.

Senate Bill 68 (SB 68) passed in 2017. This public postsecondary education exemption from nonresident tuition was approved by the governor and filed with the Secretary of State on October 5, 2017. This legislation amended Education Code, section 68130.5, changing the criteria for students eligible for a nonresident tuition exemption, as previously defined in Assembly Bill 540 (2001). Senate Bill 68 expands the requirements of AB 540/ AB 2000 to include attendance at California Community Colleges and attainment of an associate's degree.

The California Dream Act (Assembly Bills 130 and 131) were signed into law in 2011. Together these bills compose the California Dream Act and give AB 540 / AB 2000 students the right to apply for state financial aid, including Cal Grant A & B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, institutional grants and community college fee waivers.


SB 68 expands AB 540 to enable students to count years spent at a California Community College and Adult School towards AB 540 eligibility. Additionally, the bill will allow the completion of an Associate’s Degree or satisfaction of the minimum requirements to transfer to the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) to meet the degree or unit requirements. These new eligibility criteria expand possibilities for students educated in CA to qualify for in-state tuition and state-based financial aid at CCCs, CSUs, and UCs.

Who is Eligible?

Undocumented individuals, T and U visa holders, U.S. citizens, and lawfully present immigrants that meet eligibility criteria can apply. Individuals with international student visas, visitor visas, or other “non-immigrant” statuses are not eligible to apply.


To be considered for the nonresident tuition exemption under SB 68, students must meet 2 requirements:

  • Length of time & coursework completed per school; and
  • Degree Completion, Unit Requirements, GED or other

Part One

Three full-time years of attendance of equivalent earned in a California:

  • High School
  • Adult School
    • Full-time attendance = a minimum of 420 hrs. per school year
  • Community College
    • Credit courses
      • 12 units per semester or quarter and max 2 years of full-time attendance
    • Non-credit courses
      • Full-time attendance = minimum of 420 hrs. per school year


Three years of high school coursework and three years of total attendance in California:

  • Elementary School
  • Secondary School
  • Or any combination of these two

Part Two

Fulfill one of the following:

  • Graduate from a California High School
  • Obtain a certificate of completion, GED, HiSet or TASC in California
  • Attain an associate degree from a California Community College
  • Fulfill minimum transfer requirements for University of California or California State University

Note: (1) California high schools must be established by the State Board of Education. (2) California adult schools must be established by: (A) County Office of Education (B) Unified School District/High School District (C) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation