What is AB 540?
Assembly Bill 540 is a California law that allows qualified students to pay in-state tuition at the state's institutions of higher education. AB 540 does not grant state or federal financial eligibility, and only provides an exemption to the requirements to pay non-resident tuition.
How do I know if I qualify for AB 540?
To qualify as an AB 540 student, undocumented students must meet the following:
- Have attended a California high school for 3 years or more full academic years between grades 9 through 12 (they do not need to be consecutive years);
- Be (or will be) a graduate from a California high school or have attained a GED or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE);
- Register or be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California;
- File or plan to file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that he/she will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
- Not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.).
Is AB 540 the same as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
No. DACA is not legislation. It is merely a modified manner in which Homeland Security allows certain individuals, who meet specific guidelines, to request consideration of deferred action from USCIS. Individuals who are eligible to received deferred action will not be removed from the United States during a specific period of time unless deferred action is terminated. If you received deferred action, you may be eligible for employment authorization.
Is there any organization that can assist me with DACA or other immigration questions?
Yes. The Education-Leadership Foundation helps many college students and their families. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that strives to provide services to low-income families and students, such as tutoring, mentoring, scholarships, internships and leadership development. They also provide immigration assistance, health education awareness and volunteer opportunities through collaboration with other organizations. See their website at http://www.education-leadership.org or call (559) 291-5428.
What other legislation I should know?
AB 130 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive non-state funded institutional aid.
AB 131 allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.
Driver’s License (AB 60): Beginning January 1, 2015, any eligible California resident will be able to receive a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status.
What is the California Dream Act?
The California Dream Act is actually a combination of three bills: Assembly Bill (AB) 540, AB 130, and AB 131. Together, these bills allow undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain provisions to be treated the same as resident students.
Combined, these Assembly Bills constitute what is called the California Dream Act, and they allow undocumented AB 540 students to pay the resident fees at public colleges and universities, apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers and state-sponsored Cal Grants.
Who can I talk to about AB 540 issues at Fresno City College (FCC)?
The Dream Center is designed to provide information and academic counseling to new and continuing AB-540/Dreamers/DACA students at Fresno City College. The Dream Center is located in the Students Services Building (ST- 108) and is opened 8:00AM - 5:00PM. Students can call (559) 443-8570 or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there many undocumented students at FCC?
California has the largest number of undocumented immigrants (about 2.6M), who represent 25% of all undocumented immigrants nationwide. Undocumented immigrants make up about 6.8% of the California population, and approximately 750 undocumented students attend FCC.
Is there a club or organization connected to AB 540 students?
Students Without Borders is an official club at FCC that works to educate students about AB 540, to assist students with “coming out of the shadows,” and to serve as advocates for those students who remain voiceless. The club is open to all students. For more information, go to the Student Activities Office or call (559) 443-8688.