Dreamers. AB540. and DACA Students

AB 540/SB 68

AB 540 exempts students (including undocumented students) who meet eligibility requirements from out-of-state tuition fees. 

In 2017, AB 540 was expanded through SB68 to include adult schools and CA Community Colleges (non-credit and credit classes) attendance and other graduation or degree requirements.

Students must meet the requirements for Part One & Part Two
PART ONE: Time and Coursework Requirements (either A or B):

  1. Attendance for three full-time years or the equivalent at any combination of the following:
    1. California high school
    2. California adult school (including non-credit courses offered by a California community college) *
    3. California community college (maximum of two years of credit courses can count toward this requirement)


  1. Three years of California high school credits, along with three years of total attendance at a California elementary school, California secondary school, or any combination of the three. 


PART TWO: Degree or Unit Requirements (completion of any of the following):

  1. Graduation from a California high school or the equivalent (GED, HiSET, TASC, CHSPE)
  2. Attainment of an Associate degree from a California Community College
  3. Fulfillment of the minimum transfer requirements from a California Community College to a UC or CSU campus


Qualifying for AB 540/SB 68 provides students with the ability to pay resident fees and apply for the state-based financial aid through the CA Dream Act, if eligible. AB 540/SB 68 also allows eligible students to 1) participate in EOP&S and EOP at the CCC, CSU & UC and 2) receive the admissions application fee waiver at the CSU & UC.


Submitting the Affidavit - Students must also complete and submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540/SB 68 Affidavit) in order to qualify for in-state tuition, along with official transcripts and/or attendance records, if required. 

It's important for students to check with the Admissions/Registrar Office to be aware of the ideal timeline for submitting the affidavit.

Affidavit: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/affidavit-for-ca-community-college/

FAQ for Affidavit Submission: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/submitting-the-affidavit/

Information for students from mixed status families: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/mixed-status-households-how-to-apply-for-in-state-tuition-and-financial-aid/

Student Data Protection

Cerro Coso Community College will not release any personally identifiable student information, including any data related to immigration status, without a judicial warrant, subpoena or court order, unless authorized by the student or required by law.

The CCCs, CSUs & UCs are open to all students who meet the minimum requirements for admission, regardless of immigration status.

Students can be confident that based on federal and state law, any information they submit on their college admission and/or financial aid applications will not put themselves or their families at risk.

Directory information, which includes name, dates of attendance, and other factors can be considered public information. Students may request that the college restrict access to their directory information by contacting the Admissions or Registrar's Office. Directory information, which includes name, dates of attendance, and other factors can be considered public information. Students may request that the college restrict access to their directory information by contacting the Admissions or Registrar's Office.

CA Dream Act

The CA Dream Act is a state-based financial aid program for eligible undocumented students that was established in Spring 2012 by the CA Student Aid Commission.


Student must:

  1. Apply for the CA Dream Act 
  2. Submit by March 2nd, when required
  3. Successfully meet 
    1. income guidelines
    2. GPA & other Cal grant eligibility 
    3. AB 540/ AB 2000/ SB 68 eligibility 
    4. Program requirements for EOP or EOPS
    5. Other requirements, as determined by the institution

Note: DACA is not required to apply for the CA Dream Act. DACA is a federal program, while CA Dream Act is a state-based financial aid program.


The CA Dream Act allows AB 540/ SB 68 students to apply for:

  1. State-funded grants (including Cal Grants, State grants, UC Grants & the CA College Promise Grant)
  2. State programs such as EOP & EOPS
  3. Certain scholarships administered by the public institution
  4. Financial aid fee deferments, if applicable


  1. Apply for the CA Dream Act at https://dream.csac.ca.gov/
  2. If necessary, complete any additional application materials required by your school (e.g. CA & College Promise Grants, institutional scholarships, etc.).
  3. Review and accept award on school's portal.
  4. Confirm and accept Cal Grant, if applicable.
  5. Resolve any outstanding holds on your student portal.
  6. Ensure your institution approves AB 540/SB 68 classification.

Scholarships That Do Not Require Proof of Citizenship or Legal Residency

Scholarships that are based on criteria, other than proof of citizenship or legal residency. Additionally, scholarships that use the CA Dream Application or the FAFSA to determine financial need.


Criteria can vary, but the common denominator is that a social security number and proof of citizenship or legal residency is not required to apply or receive the scholarship.


Money you don't have to pay back that can help cover educational expenses.


  1. Determine eligibility
  2. Complete application
  3. Submit by stated deadline
  4. Check scholarship status
  5. If you win the scholarship, inform your school to determine the next steps.

Visit https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/undergraduate-scholarships/ for a list of scholarships.

FAFSA vs CA Dream Act: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/fafsa-vs-ca-dream-act-apply-to-the-correct-financial-aid-in-ca/

Selective Service and CA Dream Act: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/selective-service-and-ca-dream-act/

Verifying your income for the CA Dream Act Application: https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/verifying-your-income-for-the-ca-dream-act-application/

Immigration Legal Services

Open to ALL Community College students, faculty, and staff.

Services include:

  • General immigration consultants
  • DACA
  • Citizenship
  • Family petitions
  • Adjustment of status
  • Visas (U, T, and Special Immigrant Juvenile)
  • and more!

Every 1st Tuesday (9am-5pm) and 3rd Wednesday (10am-6pm) of the Month


Please call 1-877-881-8281 for time-sensitive matters or for assistance with making an appointment.

UFW Foundation

Immigration Legal Services: The California Department of Social Services, Immigration Branch funds qualified nonprofit organizations to provide services to immigrants who reside in the state of California.

More Resources

Paying for College in California

Know Your Legal Rights