California Dream Act & Financial Aid – AB540 Eligibility

Assembly Bill 540 was signed into law in October 2001 and allows eligible undocumented, legal permanent resident and U.S. citizen students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

In order to qualify, you must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. Attend a California high school for 3 or more years;
  2. Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent, such as a GED; and
  3. Submit an affidavit to the California public college or university you are attending or plan to attend.

Click here for the CA Dream Act FAQ.

How to apply for AB 540

If you are eligible for the AB540 tuition exemption and enrolled in a public college or university, you must fill out the AB540 form (Nonresident Tuition Exemption Application and Affidavit Form) in order to waive out-of-state tuition.

For new students to UC Berkeley, the form is filed after you are accepted.

The AB540 form is a “written promise.” In this statement, students declare that they meet all AB540 requirements and have filed an application to adjust their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible.

Send your form to:
Residence Affairs Unit
Office of the Registrar
120 Sproul Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-5404

California Dream Act & Financial Aid

On July 25th, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB130 into law allowing AB540 students to receive aid from private sources through California colleges and universities. Subsequently, UC Berkeley created its Berkeley Undergraduate Dream Act Scholarship that provides $8,000 to qualified students beginning fall 2011.

On October 8, 2011, Governor Brown signed AB131 into law allowing AB540 students to receive financial aid from state sources that are not in conflict with federal law. As of January 1, 2013, AB540 students are eligible to apply for Cal Grant awards and for grants and scholarships awarded by California public colleges and universities.

If you qualify for AB540, you could be eligible for the following types of aid:

  • AB130 – Privately funded UC scholarships (beginning January 2012)
  • AB130 – Other UC scholarships and grants (beginning January 2013)
  • AB131 – Cal Grants (beginning Fall 2013)
  • UC Berkeley Director’s Work Study (beginning Fall 2013)

Undocumented Students Who are AB540 Eligible Should:

  1. Submit the current California Dream Application every year before the March 2nd priority deadline. Click here to view the Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) Guide for instructions on how to complete the application. If you are receiving a Cal Grant, you must also complete a Non-SSN GPA Verifcation Form from your school before March 2nd.
  2. Also, if you are a male and 18 years of age, you must sign up for Selective Services through a paper application (download form here). Once complete, take this form to any U.S. Postal Office. Your aid will not be released until a Selective Service verification is submitted to Financial Aid. This process can take up to 4-6 weeks.
  3. Submit a California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request or a University of California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Application and Affidavit (AB540 form) complete with official transcripts to the public university of your choice.
  4. Once you have completed these steps, the campus will notify you of any financial aid for which you are eligible.

Questions? Please visit the UC Berkeley financial aid website or contact Cal Student Central at 120 Sproul Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720 or at 510-664-9181.You can also send your question to: studentcentral.berkeley.edu/open-case