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Frequently Asked Questions for AB 540 Students


Q: If I am undocumented can I go to college?


A: YES, if you are an undocumented student you can go to any college or university in California as long as you meet the requirements and are admitted/accepted.  To avoid paying out-of-state tuition at a public college or university in California, you will need to meet the AB 540 eligibility requirements.  Please refer to the link regarding Applying for Admission for information specific to Cal State San Marcos.


Q: If I am undocumented, can I apply for financial aid?

A: Yes, based on recent California legislation, Assembly Bill 130 and 131, undocumented AB 540 students may now apply for state grants and scholarships. This legislation is referred to as the California Dream Act. To be considered for State University Grants and Cal Grants, applicants must complete California Dream Application between January 1 and March 2 of each year to apply for financial aid for the upcoming Fall semester. AB540 students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships.  For more information, please see Information for AB 540 Students on the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office website.  You may also refer to Paying for College on this site.


Q:  How do I qualify to pay in-state tuition?


A: In order to qualify for in-state tuition (at a public California college or university) under AB 540 you must have completed 3 years of high school in California and graduated or obtained the equivalent of a high school diploma.  You must also complete an AB 540 affidavit (California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption form) at the college/university that you will attend stating that you meet AB 540 eligibility requirements.


Q: When should I apply?


A: For the Cal State University system, October 1 – November 30 is the filing period for the fall term.  Cal State San Marcos currently accepts applications from first time freshman and upper division transfer students during the fall filing period only. 


Q: Is the AB 540 Affidavit/California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Request form confidential?


A: YES, the AB 540 Affidavit will be filed with college or university you attend and remains confidential information.


Q: Is there anyone I can contact for more information?

A: Yes, we have a list of faculty and staff who can provide information and assist students who may qualify as an AB 540 student.  Please refer to the list of contacts under the How to Get Help section.  Also the student organization, Standing Together As oNE Dream (S.T.A.N.D.), provides support and networking opportunities to empower AB 540 students.  Meetings are scheduled weekly during the University Hour.