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California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB 540)

AB540 was passed in 2001 to allow AB540 eligible students in California to pay the lower resident fees at California's public colleges and universities.

In October 2011, AB131 was signed into law to allow students eligible for AB540 to also start applying the 2012-2013 year for state financial aid like University of California Grants, State University Grants and Board of Governor's fee waiver.

Effective January 2013, students can apply for Cal Grants

AB 540 is a California law that allows all students who qualify, including undocumented students to pay in-state tuition fees at all public colleges and universities in California.

How to Request Exemption From Nonresident Tuition

  1. Apply for admission to Foothill College.
  2. Complete the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request (AB 540) form.
  3. Submit the form to the Admission & Records at Foothill College.
  4. Complete the California Dream Act application.

Click here for step-by-step instructions to complete the Foothill Application for Admission as AB540.

For questions or assistance with this process please call 650.949.6964 or email


To be eligible, you must have

  • attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.
  • 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).

Undocumented students must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she 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.

  • Students who are non-immigrants (for example, those who hold F [student] visas, B [visitor] visas, etc.) are not eligible for this exemption.
  • The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
  • 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 the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be "nonresidents."
  • Beginning January 1, 2013, AB540/undocumented students will be eligible for state financial aid. This includes Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG [Board of Governors] Fee Waiver), and Cal Grant. However, they do not qualify for federal financial aid.





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