FAQS


State Law Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540)

To be eligible for the tuition exemption, a student must have:

a) Attended a high school in California for three or more years; and
b) Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent thereof; and
c) Enrolled, or is registering to be enrolled, at the University of California after Jan. 1, 2002.

Note that as of 2006, graduation from a California public high school required passage of the California High School Exit Exam, or CAHSEE.

Nonimmigrant students are not eligible for this exemption. Nonimmigrants, as defined by federal immigration law, may hold one of the following visas: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, TN, TD and V, and TROV and NATO. (This list of visa types is illustrative, not exhaustive.)

All students applying for this exemption must sign an affidavit. If a student is without lawful immigration status, the student must state 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.

Yes. For purposes of eligibility for the tuition exemption, enrollment in the 9th grade, whether at a middle or a high school, counts toward the California high school attendance criterion.

No. The three years for a student's 9th through 12th grades need not be consecutive or completed at a single California school. For example, if a student attended 9th grade at a California middle or high school, left the state to attend 10th grade in another state, and returned to a second qualified California high school to complete 11th and 12th grades, that student would still meet the requirement of three years of high school attendance in California.

The three possibilities include the following:

a) A diploma from a California high school;
b) A High School Equivalency Certificate, issued by the California State GED Office; or
c) A Certificate of Proficiency, resulting from the California High School Proficiency Examination.

No. It does not matter how long ago the student graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent thereof.

No. Undergraduate and graduate/professional students may be eligible, regardless of their current class level.

The University will review on a case-by-case basis AB 540 applications from California home-schooled students to determine if they qualify for the exemption.

No. This type of private school would not meet the requirements of Section 48222 of the California Education Code, which defines a "high school in California" for the purposes of exemption eligibility.

No. Students will be asked to complete a Statement of Legal Residence; students who are classified as non-residents may request an AB 540 application and affidavit. Until students self-identify and apply for the tuition exemption, the campus will not know which students qualify. However, once a student has been deemed eligible, that student need not reapply to that campus while continuously enrolled.

No. Students will be asked to complete a Statement of Legal Residence; students who are classified as non-residents may request an AB 540 application and affidavit. Until students self-identify and apply for the tuition exemption, the campus will not know which students qualify. However, once a student has been deemed eligible, that student need not reapply to that campus while continuously enrolled.

Applications can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar at the UC campus where the student has been accepted for admission and is enrolling. 

Yes. Information about specific student eligibility for this exemption is not shared among the California public higher education systems; thus, a student who was declared eligible for AB 540 status at another California college or university needs to self-identify again once enrolled at UC. Moreover, UC determines eligibility for this exemption independently of prior determinations made by other California institutions.

California DREAM Act

This page lists all of the available options for getting additional assistance. If you are a current UCR student, check out USP FB page for CA DREAM Act workshops. 

If you or your family has unusual circumstances that impact your ability to pay for school (such as loss of employment, loss of benefits, death, or divorce), complete the Dream Act Application to the extent that you can and submit it as instructed. Then, talk to the financial aid administrator (FAA) at the school you plan to attend. If your family’s circumstances change after you complete the Dream Act Application, the FAA may decide, on a case-by case basis, to adjust data elements used to calculate your EFC. The FAA’s decision is final and cannot be appealed to CSAC.

If you are considered a dependent student by the application, but have no contact with your parents and are unable to provide your parents data on the Dream Act Application, you may have a special circumstance. If you are completing the Dream Act Application online, answer the questions to the best of your ability then sign and submit the form for processing. If you are completing a paper application, complete as much of the form as you can, sign, and submit it for processing. Your application will be incomplete and no EFC will be calculated, however, the financial aid offices at the schools listed on your Dream Act Application will still receive your data. Contact those schools listed on your Dream Act Application for further assistance to complete your application.

Dependent Students must provide student and parental household information regardless of whether you live with your parents or receive their financial support. Some exceptions apply. 

Individuals must file a return if their gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the IRS Filing Requirements.

DACA does not impact an undergraduate student’s eligibility for state/institutional financial aid.

Undocumented Students that meet the AB 540 requirements are eligible for state and institutional aid through the CA DREAM Act. CA DREAM Act allows undocumented students that are eligible for AB540 to receive aid such as Cal Grants, UCR Grants, and the DREAM Loan.

Again, eligibility to CA DREAM Act financial aid is not based off a student’s DACA status.

 

Learn more about the California Dream Act from the California Student Aid Commission. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On September 5, 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to phase out and eventually end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) over two and half years. 

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer accept or process first-time applications after September 5, 2017. 

If you have a permit that will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, you must apply to renewal you DACA by October 5, 2017. 

Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), also known as work permits, for current DACA recipients remain valid until they expire or the government terminates your DACA.

Effective September 5, 2017, USCIS will no longer approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program. Those with a current advance parole validity period from a previously-approved advance parole application will generally retain the benefit until it expires. However, CBP will retain the authority it has always exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border. Further, USCIS retains the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.

 

Congress has the opportunity to pass legislation that provides permanent protection to undocumented youth, such as the DREAM Act

How to get involved:

UC Advocacy Network

University of California Student Association 

Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Collective 

PODER at UCR

United We Dream 

 

Learn more about DACA from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

UC Immigrant Legal Services Center's Message on DACA (9/5/17)

IRLC DACA Advisory 

National Immigrant Law Center