AB540/AB2000: Exemption from Payment of Nonresident Tuition

Certain nonresident students (including U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented individuals) who have attended, graduated, or achieved the equivalent from a California school may be exempted from paying nonresident tuition. Such students must remain classified as "nonresidents" for residence classification and financial aid eligibility purposes. Students seeking exemption from nonresident tuition must satisfy attendance requirements and graduation/transfer requirements. Students must also complete and submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form, along with supporting documents (i.e., transcripts, proof of attendance) to the campus Admissions and Records Office.

Attendance Requirements

California Education Code Section 68130.5 states that a student shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California State University and the California Community Colleges if the student meets the following requirements:

Section A

A total attendance of – or attainment of credits earned while in California equivalent to – three or more years of full-time attendance or attainment of credits at any of the following:

  1. California high schools.
  2. California high schools established by the State Board of Education.
  3. California adult schools established by any of the following entities:
    • A county office of education.
    • A unified school district or high school district.
    • The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  4. Campuses of the California Community Colleges*
  5. (v) A combination of those schools set forth in (i) to (iv), inclusive.

Please note that only two (2) years of community college attendance can be used to satisfy this requirement.  A third year must be taken from attendance at one of the schools listed above (i-iii).

*A year's equivalence at a California community college is either a minimum of 24 semester units of credit or 54 quarter units.  Only two (2) years of full-time attendance in credit courses at the California community colleges will count towards the three (3) or more years of attendance. Full-time attendance at a California adult school is a minimum of 420 hours of attendance for each school year.

Section B

Three or more years of full-time high school coursework, and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of California elementary and secondary schools.

Graduation/Transfer Requirement

Students must satisfy the graduation/transfer requirement by fulfilling any of the following:

  1. Graduation from a California high school or attainment of the equivalent thereof; or
  2. Attainment of an associate degree from a campus of the California Community Colleges; or
  3. Fulfillment of the minimum transfer requirements established for the CSU for students transferring from a campus of the California Community Colleges.


Download AB540 Instructions and Affidavit


Important note: This summation is not a complete explanation of the laws regarding California residence for tuition purposes. Applicable sections of the California Education Code and Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations are available for review at the Admissions Office, Building 172H, Second floor, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You may also review them online at:

You may also contact the Admissions Office with questions concerning residency issues not covered here.

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