Dreamers/AB540

Assembly Bill 540/Dreamers California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request

For Eligible California High School Graduates

Any student, other than a non-immigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at all public colleges in California (the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California).

General Eligibility and Residency
  • The law does not grant residency; it requires that certain nonresident students be exempted from paying nonresident tuition.
  • This benefit is available to all U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the U.S., and aliens who are not non-immigrants (including those who are undocumented), who meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • Students must meet all requirements to be eligible for exemption.
  • The exemption is not available for persons who are absent from California, but who are taking distance education classes from California Community Colleges.
Requirements

A student is exempt from paying nonresident tuition if the student meets all of the following four requirements:

1. The student must have:

· Attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and California Community College for the equivalent of three years or more, 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

2. 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), or

· Completed an associate degree from a California Community College, or

· Completed the minimum requirements at a California Community College for transfer to the California State University or the University of California, and

3. The student must register as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California, and

4. The student must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that if the student is a non-citizen without current or valid immigration status, the student has filed an application to legalize immigration status, or will file an application as soon as the student is eligible to do so. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless required under law.

Students who are non-immigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes who have been granted a T or U visa status are eligible for this exemption.

Students who are non-immigrants, other than those with T or U visa status as noted above, [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.

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 payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be “nonresidents”.

To Request an Exemption
  • New students, submit an application for admission to Chaffey College.
  • Continuing or returning students, please call the Admissions and Records Office for information.
  • Complete a Residency Questionnaire forms and submit them to the admissions and records office.
  • Once the documents have been reviewed, you will be contacted by a residency advisor.

If you qualify for the AB 540 exemption you may be eligible for certain types of financial aid. Be sure to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as you apply for admission. If you are a Dreamer, please submit a Dream Act Application. Contact the financial aid office for more information.

Special Immigrant Visas

Education Code section 68075.6 grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California upon entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.

This exemption applies to the following:

  • Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq (Pub.L. No. 110-181, §1244)
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Pub.L. No. 109-163, §1059)
  • Afghanistan nationals who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Pub.L. No. 111-8, §602)
  • Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code

 

Dream Act 

The California Dream Act of 2011 allows students who meet AB540 criteria to apply for and receive certain state and institutional financial assistance programs, including:

  • California College Promise Grant (CCP Grant)
  • Institutional grants
  • Full-Time Student Success Grant (FTSSG)
  • Chafee Grant
  • Assistance from EOPS, CARE or CalWORKs
  • Privately-funded scholarships
Eligibility for AB540

If one or more of the following statements is applicable to you, you will be considered as one meeting the AB540 criteria.

  • Attended a California High School for at least three years;
  • Or attained credits earned in California from a California High School or equivalent or attend a combination of elementary, middle and/or High Schools in CA for a total of 3 years
  • Graduated from a California High School, got a GED or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam;
  • Are registered or enrolled at a California Community College; AND
  • File or will file an affidavit stating that you have filed (or will file when you are eligible to do so) for legal immigration status.

Please contact Admissions and Records to determine if you are AB 540 eligible. For more information visit the admissions department's residency page [NOTE: need hyperlink to new URL].

To get a Cal Grant, you must also meet all other Cal Grant eligibility.

What is a California Dream Act application?

The California Dream Act application is used to determine the California state financial eligibility of students who meet the qualifications of Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540). The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) will process this application. Any aid received can only be used at eligible California institutions.

Who should submit a California Dream Act application?
Students who have a Social Security card with words "Valid For Work Only With DHS Authorization" or "Not Valid For Employment" should complete the Dream Act application.

Students who received their Social Security number through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA); please complete a California Dream Act application.

The Dream Act application is not an application for federal financial aid. Students who have a permanent Social Security Number must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will assure that the applicant is considered for both federal and state assistance.

Students should file either the FAFSA or the Dream Act application, not both.

Use the online Dream Act form to apply.

 

Important reminders:
  • Apply early. Applications become available on October 1
  • Deadline for Cal Grant: Submit your application by March 2. The California Dream Act application is open throughout the school year. You may not qualify for consideration for a Cal Grant if you apply after March 2, but you may still qualify for any of the other aid programs listed above.
  • GPA Verification form students MUST submit a GPA verification form to the CA Student Aid Commission before March 2, 2016.
  • Continuing Chaffey College students who have completed 24 units or more will have their GPA Verification automatically submitted by the Chaffey College Financial Aid Office.
  • High school seniors: A GPA Verification form must be submitted by your high school. See your high school counselor.
  • Include Chaffey College School Code is 001163 on your application
  • Complete the AB 540 affidavit
  • Students will need to complete the Dream application every year

Once you have applied, the financial aid office will receive your application information and will notify you by email regarding the status of your application.

California Dream Act Resources

Educators for Fair Consideration

MALDEF

10 things you need to know about the California Dream Act

Latino College Dollars

Know Your Rights