Access to higher education is a right that everyone should have. In January 2002 California Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) was instated which made that right a little easier for students who could not afford the cost of tuition at a public colleges and universities in California. AB 540 allows qualifying students, including undocumented immigrant students, the right to enroll in a California public college or university and pay in-state tuition fees.
The requirements of the law are as follows:
- Attend a California high school for 3 or more years (the years do not need to be consecutive);
- Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent, such as a GED;
- Submit an affidavit (a written promise) to the California public college or university where they are attending or plan to attend. In this statement students declare that they meet all AB 540 requirements and if they are undocumented, that they have filed an application to adjust their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible to do so.
The law is not a path to citizenship or residency.
Students must meet all the requirements for admission and be selected for admission on their own. AB 540 is ONLY a factor in the cost of attendance AFTER a student has been admitted and decides to enroll in a public university in California.