Skip to main content Go to the Main Menu
Your Virtual Counselor! Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!
The California Career Center. Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action!

Instate Tuition to Qualified Undocumented Students

California Dream Act
The California Dream Act, authored by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (Los Angeles), became law through the passage of two Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131.

AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria (California Education Code 68130.5(a)) to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities.

AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.

For more information about the types of financial aid Dream Act students can access, please visit the California Student Commission.

Assembly Bill 540
Assembly Bill 540 (AB540) or California Education Code Section 68130.5 is a California state law that allows qualifying undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges (University of California System, California State University System, and California Community College System).

Qualifications:

  • High school attendance in California for three or more years.

  • Graduation from a California high school or attainment of the equivalent thereof.

  • Registration as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California not earlier than the fall semester or quarter of the 2001-02 academic year.

  • In the case of a person without lawful immigration status, the filing of an affidavit with the institution of higher education stating that the student 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.


AB540 does not:

  • Provide state or federal financial aid. Ask your school counselor for scholarship referrals or information about loans that do not require legal status or citizenship.

  • Establish or guarantee state residency. AB 540 requires that public colleges and universities keep student information confidential and not report it to the INS or any third party.

  • Make those with a current visitor or student visa eligible for instate tuition.

Additional Information

FinAid: Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students