Undocumented, AB540, and DACA Information
Policies and Terms to know...
See below for important information that helps you as a student at Cuesta College!
These acts allow all students including undocumented students and those who have been
granted a T or U visa status, who meet the requirements below, to be eligible to pay
in-state tuition at any California College (UC, CSU, California Community Colleges).
Who qualifies for AB540/ AB2000 and SB68?
Any student who meets the following eligibility requirements shall be exempt from paying non-resident tuition at all public colleges and universities in California. Being "AB540" means that you are a student who is exempt from paying the "non-resident or out-of-state" tuition fees.
- Attend a California high school for three or more years
- Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent General Education Diploma (GED)
- Register as an entering student or be currently enrolled in a California Community College, California State University, or a University of California
- Sign the California Nonresident Exception Form (AB540 exemption form) to qualify for in-state tuition (include Transcripts or copy of GED Diploma)
You must fill out the California Nonresident Tutition Exception Form (often referred to as the AB540 exemption form) to be eligible for in-state tuition.
Must Submit to Cuesta's Admission & Record's Office with Official Transcripts.
By mail: Cuesta College Admissions Office, PO Box 8106, San Luis Obispo CA 93403-8106
In-person: Admissions & Registration
By email: PDF attachment to email@example.com. Please do not send photo of documents.
Visit Admission & Records for more information about being qualifying for AB540 status.
The California Dream Act (also known as CADAA or CA Dream Act) is the name given to Assembly Bills 130 & 131, which allows eligible undocumented students to apply for and receive state-based financial aid and institutional scholarships.
Apply for the CA Dream Act (CADAA) to be eligible for state- based financial aid. Apply by the priority deadline of March 2nd. This is money you DO NOT have to pay back!
Who can apply for CA Dream Act (CADAA)?
Undocumented students who meet the eligibility criteria for AB 540, AB 2000, SB 68 or U-Visa holders can apply for and receive California state financial aid.
Check out these links to help you apply for the CA Dream Act!
Roadmap to applying for CA Dream Act
CA Dream Act Application Checklist
Didn't apply for the CA Dream Act? Fill out the California College Promise Grant (CCPG), which waives your cost of courses.
This application allows AB 540/ AB 2000/ AB68 eligible students to receive state financial aid while attending colleges in California. You DO NOT need to have DACA to apply for the CA Dream Act Application.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a kind of administrative relief from deportation and protects eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. Additionally, it grants a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal.
Source / Immigrants Rising
On July 16, 2021, Judge Andrew Hanen issued a ruling partially ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. While this decision may get appealed, it is important to know how it impacts the program now. Unfortunately, no new DACA applications will be processed by USCIS.
Current DACA Recipients:
- Can continue to apply to renew their DACA
- DACA protections and benefits will continue (ex. deportation protection and work permits)
New DACA Applicants:
- No new applications are being processed at this time.
It is important that you speak with an immigration attorney to understand your situation and address all your questions. On July 19, 2021, DHS and USCIS updated their websites to comply with the court’s order.
SB 68 is here to expand in-state tuition eligibility for more undocumened students! Due to this new law, more students will now be able to pay in-state tuition at California public colleges and universities (CCCs, CSUs & UCs) and apply for state-based financial aid.
- SB 68 allows students to use full-time attendance at California Community College, Adult School, Department of Rehabilitation & Correction School, and High School or a combination of these schools to meet the 3 years required to be eligible for in-state tuition
Check out Immigrant Rising's Quick Guide to SB 68!
SB 1141 (Limón), became effective on January 1, 2023. This law, cosponsored by the California Community College Chancellor's Office & Immigrants Rising, expands eligibility for in-state tuition by removing the two-year cap on credit courses taken at the CA Community Colleges. Students are now able to use three years of full-time credits (or the part-time equivalent) from a CCC to meet the attendance requirements for AB 540. This is equivalent to 72 semester units or 108 quarter units.
Here some important AB 540 resources to undocumented student support personnel:
SB 1141 Fact Sheet: Provides an overview of the expansion of in-state tuition through SB 1141
AB 540 Quick Guide: Includes attendance and degree requirements for in-state tuition expanded through SB68 and SB 1141
AB 540 Attendance Worksheet: Allows students to track their requirements and monitor their progress with attendance and degree requirements
Immigrants Rising's mission is to empower undocumented young people to achieve educational
and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The mission of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is to work with and educate
immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic
society that values diversity and the rights of all people.
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights
CHIRLA’s mission is to achieve a just society fully inclusive of immigrants. They
organize and serve individuals, institutions and coalitions to build power, transform
public opinion, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights.
They support California Colleges by providing free legal immigration at select colleges.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is an agency of the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security that administers the country's naturalization and immigration