Dream Center

AB 540

What is AB 540?

AB540 (2001) is a California law that allows eligible non-resident students to be exempt from paying non-resident tuition. Without AB540, some students, including undocumented students, would have to pay the fees normally associated with non-resident students.

At CSUN, that means an additional $372 per unit in fees at the out-of-state rate. This means paying $4,355 for 6 units as an out-of-state student instead of the in-state part-time fee of $2,123; and $8,890 for 12 units as an out-of-state student instead of the in-state full-time rate of $3,272.

AB540 does NOT give anyone residency or legal status. It is only used for tuition purposes in the state of California. AB540 can also apply to Legal Permanent Residents or U.S. Citizens who may be considered non-residents of California; they too can pay in-state tuition if they meet the eligibility criteria of AB540.

For example, a student who finished the last three years of high school in California and graduated from a California high school (or equivalent, e.g. GED), but started their high school in a different state, could qualify under AB 540.

Who Qualifies for AB540?

AB540 applies to:

  • Students with a T-Visa or U-Visa.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Oftentimes these will be students who attended all or part of their K-12 education in California but later established residency in another state. Some students in this situation may qualify for AB540.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
  • Undocumented students
  • Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, B, C, D, E, etc.)**
    • **If you have Temporary Protected Status or hold a U Visa you may be eligible for the California

To qualify for AB540, you must:

  • Have attended a California high school for at least three years;
  • Have either:
    • graduated (or will graduate) from a high school in California or have passed the General Educational Development (GED) test, or
    • earned credits in California equal to three years of high school coursework and completed three or more years at a California elementary, secondary school (or a combination of both); and
    • Fill out an AB540 affidavit form, and a CSU Residency Questionnaire.

What Do I Need to Do?

After submitting your AB540 affidavit, you need to submit additional documents. You need to submit:

  • Official transcripts from your high school (elementary and middle school if needed) showing that you graduated and that you meet the 3-year requirement. Make sure to check your CSUN email address.
  • Do not procrastinate! Make sure to submit all the documents soon after you are admitted to CSUN. Any delays can affect the timeliness of any financial aid received being disbursed.

Males between the ages of 18-26 need to register with the Selective Service System. To register, you can:

  • Apply through your California Dream Act application. The application will have an option for you to register if you have not done so already.
  • Register through a paper form. You can find the form at any post office, or download the form here.

Mail the form to:
Selective Service System
P.O. Box 94739
Palatine, IL 60094-4739

If you already registered with the Selective Service System, you will have to bring in your registration card to the Financial Aid & Scholarship Department office located in Bayramian Hall.


If you need help with filling out the forms, feel free to stop by the DREAM Center! We’re located in the University Student Union, Building C. You can also reach us through phone at (818) 677-7069 or through email at dreamcenter@csun.edu.