2019-44: Update the AB540 Eligibility Logic in CCCApply

Request No.2019-44
Date of RequestNovember 20, 2019
RequesterNancy Jodaitis, Immigrants Rising
Application(s)Standard Application
Section / Page

AB 540 eligibility algorithm / status

Steering Hearing DateTBD
Proposed Change to Download FileTBD
Proposed Change to Residency LogicYes / AB540 Logic

Problem / Issue

During a review of the current application workflow, including the submission and post-submission process for undocumented/nonresidents, and she pointed out that our AB 540 logic is out-dated and needs to be updated ASAP.  Additional education information must be included - above the two high school values and the visa types.  

Nancy Jodaitis from Immigrants Rising will review the details in the Standard Data Dictionary and submit a detailed set of requirements for updates to this important eligibility 

REFERENCE: https://ab540.com/

Reference: https://immigrantsrising.org/wp-content/uploads/Immigrants-Rising_Understand-the-Differences-In-State-Tuition-and-CA-Dream-Act.pdf

Proposed Solution

COMING SOON more from Immigrants Rising - Detailed requirements on what is needed to ensure CCCApply is in compliance with AB540 eligibility logic.

1) AB540 eligibility requirements
  • Should / are noncredit students eligible for AB540?
  • What about International students?  

#1 Response:  https://immigrantsrising.org/resource/understand-the-differences-in-state-tuition-ca-dream-act-and-daca/
Non-credit in adult school should be counted. and adult school.  Not international. Only undocumented, documented, legal permanent residents,  T and U visa holders,  TPS holders lawfully present immigrants. 

2) California Dream Act Application
  • You noted yesterday that CCCApply should be including the California Dream Act Application information on the Special Links & Opportunities page that appears after submission of the application.  On that page, for example, some of the links appear based on whether the applicant meets specific requirements, and some links appear for everyone.
Which would the CDAA be?
  • Is there specific logic that determines who should see this link or should it be displayed for all students? 
  • Should this appear for the Noncredit application too?
  • International application?
Only domestic. Not international. I don’t think noncredit. 
Response from Immigrants Rising: 
HERE is specific information about AB 540, AB 2000 and SB 68:
Non-credit in adult school should be counted. and adult school.  Not international. Only undocumented, documented, legal permanent residents,  T and U visa holders,  TPS holders lawfully present immigrants. 
Cal Dream Act
Only domestic. Not international. I don’t think noncredit. 
Will send and respond more later!

Nancy Jodaitis
Director of Higher Education 
Immigrants Rising 

Background Information about AB540

*The text below was taken from the University of California website for "Undocumented Student Resources"

California state legislation

AB 540 is a California law that allows some nonresident and undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and fees. To be eligible for AB 540, students must:

  • Have attended a California high school for at least three years
  • Have graduated (or will graduate) from a high school in California or received a GED or passed California High School Proficiency Exam
  • Have signed the California Nonresident Exemption Request, which states that the student meets all the requirements to qualify for AB 540 status and, if s/he is undocumented, is in the process of adjusting their immigration status, or will do so as soon as they are eligible
  • Not possess a non-immigrant visa

Learn more about AB 540 and how to apply.

The California Dream Act is made up of two California Assembly Bills: AB 130 and AB 131. Both pieces of legislation enable students who qualify for AB 540 to be eligible for certain types of UC and state financial aid. Together, these bills means that AB 540 students are now eligible for:

  • UC scholarships and grants
  • Cal Grants
  • Chafee Foster Youth Grants
  • Other state financial aid

Learn more about the California Dream Act and how to apply for financial aid.

AB 540 or the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption, also known as the AB540 Affidavit. Once you are admitted to a California public college or university you can submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request. As long as you maintain continuous enrollment once you have been granted the exemption you will continue to be charged the in-state tuition rate.

AB 540 has attendance, coursework and graduation Requirements. As a result of AB 540 you can apply for exemption from out-of-state tuition. This is a brief summary of the requirements. For a full listing see the “What is AB 540” page.

Coursework and Graduation Requirements

  • A total attainment of coursework credits earned equivalent to three years or more at any California high school.
  • High school graduation diploma, or GED, or attainment of an associate degree or fulfillment of the minimum transfer requirements established for the California State University or the University of California.

Attendance Requirements

  • Total attendance of three years in a California school equivalent to three years of full time attendance at a California high school, elementary or middle school, adult school, California Community College, or in combination of these schools.
  • Must register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California.
  • Must file or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that the filer will apply for legal residency as soon as possible.
  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa.

If your dream is to go to the finest college or university you have to work hard in K-12, take college preparatory courses (i.e. the UC and CSU A-G course list) from the 8th to 12th grade, take high school advanced placement courses, and stayed out of trouble.


Undocumented parents live with the fear of deportation and they strongly caution their children to keep their immigration status private. Therefore, students heed their parent’s warning and are reluctant to talk to teachers and counselors about their situation and the constraints of being undocumented. If a student’s parent is fearful about disclosure, it may be helpful to tell the parent that there is a law that protects the privacy of Kindergarten – 12th grade students, college students and parents. That law is called FERPA – the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

About FERPA 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, universities cannot release the student’s information, including the fact that they are undocumented, except under very specific circumstances, such as a court order. 

Requirements Worksheet

Current AB540 Logic in CCCApply

Eligible for AB540 Waiver

Data Element:



Whether applicant is eligible for AB540 tuition waver, as determined by the Submission Calculation Service

Format, Length:

boolean, 1


1 = True/Yes

0 = False/No

Allows Null:





Alerts college Financial Aid personnel to applicants who are eligible for AB540 tuition waiver.

Determines whether AB540 information and links are included on the Links and Opportunities page.


Populated by Submission Calculation Service; for details, see CCCApply Appendix A: Submission Calculations Service specification.

residency table

Appendix A: Submission Calculation Logic & Residency Algorithmon page 197

Xap Field:


Revision Log:


Appendix B: Financial Aid Algorithm

CCCApply facilitates early awareness of financial assistance in two directions. The application process asks questions about the Needs & Interests of the applicant to alert them to the possibility of financial assistance, and offer links to the online BOG Fee Waiver application and FAFSA federal aid application form. Based on responses to the Needs & Interests questions, CCCApply can send notification to financial aid departments at the same time as the application is downloaded by the college so that financial aid departments can begin their processes of contacting and assisting the applicants. 

The process of identifying the student and the information required in the notification to the financial aid departments are outlined below. 

AB540 Notification to Students

If the AB540 Eligibility flag is “Yes”, then the following links are automatically generated on the Special Links and Opportunities page:

You may be eligible for a special tuition waiver.

For more information see the Explanation of AB540 Tuition Exemption Para imformacion en Español, lea AB540 Tuition Exemption en Español

Print and mail the AB540 Tuition Exemption Request Form:

  • PDF version of the AB540 Tuition Exemption Request Form
  • HTML version of the AB540 Tuition Exemption Request Form

 Note:  All documents must by ADA‐compliant. The High Technology Center concludes that PDF is not yet generally acceptable, so HTML is the better choice of format for compliance. The forms will be available in both HTML and PDF).

Financial Aid Referral Flag: Identifying Students for Financial Assistance

If a student answers “yes” to any of the following questions from the Needs & Interests section of the application, the Financial Aid Referral Flag (fin_aid_ref) will be set:

  • Financial help to attend college
  • Receiving TANF, SSI, or General Assistance
  • CalWorks
  • EOPS ‐ Extended Opportunity Programs and Services
  • Scholarship information
  • Veteran’s services

Appendix C: AB540 Waiver Algorithm

After the Preliminary Residency Determination is set, the AB540 Eligibility Flag is set according to the following logic:

  1. 1.   The response to both of the following questions on the Education Page is “Yes”:
  • “I have graduated from a California high school or have attained the equivalent thereof, such as a High School Equivalency Certificate, issued by the California State GED Office or a Certificate of Proficiency, resulting from the California High School Proficiency Examination.”
  • “I have attended high school in California for three or more years.”
  1. 2.   AND the Preliminary Residency Determination is NOT “1 (Resident)”
  2. 3.   AND the “Visa Type is null” OR “Visa Type is T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, U1, U2, U3, U4, U5”.
  3. 4.   THEN the AB540 Eligibility flag is “Yes”; otherwise it is “No”.

All data items referred to above, as well as the eligibility flag, are available in the standard download file for all colleges.

Supporting Documentation

DescriptionFile TypeURLNotes


AB540 AffidavitPDFhttps://ab540.com/uploads/californiaCC.pdf(updated)
What is Ab540?URLhttps://ab540.com/What_Is_AB540_.html

Suggestion for AB 540 Language Requirements

AB 540 nonresident tuition exemption

Under California law AB 540, certain nonresident students are exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition.

If you're granted an AB 540 exemption, you will be charged in-state tuition and fees, and not the supplemental tuition charged to nonresidents.

Who is eligible?

Students (including undocumented students) who, for various reasons, are classified as nonresidents may be eligible.

You must meet all three of the following requirements to be eligible:

1. Time and coursework requirements


Attendance for three full-time years or the equivalent at any combination of the following:

  • California high school
  • California adult school (including non-credit courses offered by a California community college)
  • California community college (maximum of two years of credit bearing courses can count toward this requirement)


Three years of California high school coursework and three years of total attendance at a California elementary school, California secondary school, or any combination of the two.

2. Degree or unit requirements

Meet one of the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a California high school (or attainment of the equivalent)
  • Attainment of an associate’s degree from a California community college
  • Fulfillment of minimum transfer requirements from a California community college to a UC or CSU campus

3. Signed Nonresident Exemption Request

You also must have signed the California Nonresident Exemption Request, which states that you meet all the requirements to qualify for AB 540 status and, if you are undocumented, are in the process of adjusting your immigration status (or will do so as soon as you are eligible).

Who's not eligible:

  • Students in possession of nonimmigrant visas (including, but not limited to any of the following visas: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T*, TN/TD, TWOV, U*, and NATO) are not eligible for this exemption.
    • *Except for holders of T and U visas: UC policy permits T and U visa holders with approved I-485 applications who meet the requirements described above to be exempt from nonresident supplemental tuition until they are eligible to establish California residency according to UC policy.
  • DACA students who do not meet the AB 540 tuition requirements, listed above, will not be eligible for the exemption.