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AB 540

On October 12, 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540 that added a new section to the California Education Code. The law created a new exemption from the payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent. 

There are certain requirements that must be met in order to qualify as an AB 540 student:


1.   Must have attended high school in California for three or more years;

2.   Must have graduated from a California high school or passed the GED; and

3.   Must file an affidavit with the college or university.


Your high school attendance in California does not need to be in consecutive years. For example, if you were a high school student in 9th and 10th grade in California, left the state of California for 11th grade, but returned to complete 12th grade, you DO QUALIFY as an AB 540 student. 

AB 540 students cannot receive any form of financial aid. The status is only for paying in-state tuition fees and does not qualify students for any other financial aid. GCC has its own privately funded scholarships for AB 540 students and additional ways of supporting these students financially. For more information, please click here.

AB 2000: Passed in 2014. This is an expansion of AB540. It increases the scope of student eligibility for students who graduated early from a California High School with the equivalent of three or more years of credits. If a student graduates early, they must have attended CA elementary or secondary schools for a cumulative total of 3 or more years. It allows students meeting the criteria below to pay in-state tuition, the same as resident students.

SB 68: Passed in 2017. This public postsecondary education exemption from nonresident tuition was approved by the governor and filed with the Secretary of State on October 5, 2017. This legislation amended Education Code, section 68130.5, changing the criteria for students eligible for a nonresident tuition exemption, as previously defined in Assembly Bill 540 (2001). Senate Bill 68 expands the requirements of AB 540/ AB 2000 to include attendance at California Community Colleges and attainment of an associate's degree.

AB 130 & 131(California Dream Act): Were signed into law in 2011. Together these bills compose the California Dream Act and give AB 540 / AB 2000 students the right to apply for state financial aid, including Cal Grant A & B Entitlement awards, Cal Grant C awards, institutional grants and community college fee waivers.