Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is AB 540?
On October 12, 2001, Governor Gray Davis signed into law Assembly Bill 540 (Stats. 2001, ch. 814) adding a new section, 68130.5, to the California Education Code. Section 68130.5 created a new exemption from the payment of non-resident tuition for certain non-resident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent. AB 2000 expanded the scope of AB 540 in 2014.

What is the difference between in-state tuition vs. nonresident tuition?
Cerritos College In-State and Non-resident tuition can be found on the Admissions website.

What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for AB 540 / 2000?

  • The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years, or attained credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to three or more
    years of full-time high school course work and attended a combination of elementary, middle and/or high schools in California for a total of three or more years and
  • Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam) and
  • File an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has
    filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
  • Students who are non-immigrants who are victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes who have been granted T or U visa status, under Title 8 of the United States Code,
    sections 1101(a)(15)(T) or (U) are eligible for this exemption.

If I meet two of the three requirements on the AB 540 waiver, can I still qualify for AB 540?
No. In order to qualify for the AB 540 Nonresident Tuition Exemption, a student must meet all the requirements.

AB 540 requires that I submit a sworn statement or an affidavit to the admissions office of the college or university that I am attending. What type of information do I have to include in the affidavit?
All students seeking AB 540 status must file an affidavit with the college stating that the student meets the law requirements and, if the student is not a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident, that the student is either in the process of adjusting his or her immigration status or will do so as soon as he or she is eligible.

Who does not qualify for AB 540?
Students who are non-immigrants, other than those with T or U visa status as noted above, [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.

Does having an AB 540 waiver make me a resident?
Nonresident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be “nonresidents”.

How often do I need to submit an AB 540 Waiver?
A student should submit an AB 540 waiver when they initially apply to the college before enrollment.  A new AB 540 waiver form will need to be submitted only if there is a break in enrollment.

To whom do I submit my AB 540 waiver?
You submit your AB 540 waiver to the Admissions and Records office.

California Dream Act Question 

What financial aid can a DREAMER apply for? 

  • Cal Grant
  • Chafee Grant
  • Middle Class Scholarship
  • UC Grants
  • State University Grants
  • California College Promise Grant (Fee Waiver)
  • Some University scholarships
  • Some private scholarships administered by campuses

Application deadline for all Dreamer Cal Grants and most of the other aid listed above is March 2.  Dreamers are not eligible for federal aid.

What types of aid are available at Cerritos College for Dreamers? 

  • California College Promise Grant (Fee Waiver) - Waives enrollment fees; does not waive health fee, student activity fee, lab fees, and parking permit fees.
  • Cal Grants - A financial aid program administrated by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) providing aid to California undergraduates, vocational training students, and those in teacher certification programs.  Cal Grants are the largest source of California state funded student financial aid.
  • Full-Time Student Success Grant - Must have a received a Cal Grant with full-time enrollment.
  • EOPS - EOPS is a combination of programs and services designed to help low income and educationally disadvantaged students obtain academic success. EOPS offers book vouchers, grants, counseling, priority registration and many other services. Visit the EOPS office to apply.

What is the California Dream Act?
The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain provisions to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities (AB 130), state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants (AB 131).

What is AB 130?
AB 130, the bill signed in July, allows undocumented students access to $88 million in privately funded university scholarships and grants that were previously not available to them.

What is AB 131?
AB 131 is a legislative bill that allows students who meet AB540 criteria to apply for state-funded Financial Aid, such as Cal Grants, Board of Governors Fee Waiver, and eligibly for EOPS and their grants.

How do I apply for the California DREAM Act?
The CA Dream Act Application is used by undocumented students who meet the eligibility requirements of AB 540. The application can be found at The California Student Aid Commission processes the application and any aid received can only be used at eligible California public or private institutions. Application deadline for all Dreamer Cal Grants is March 2.  Dreamers are not eligible for federal aid.  To apply for Cal Grant, you will need to submit the Cal Dream Act Application and a Non-SSN GPA form.  Make sure you use your DACA SSN on Question #8 of your CA Dream Act Application.  

Attend a workshop for assistance with the application or you can come in to the Financial Aid Office.

Can I fill out the CA DREAM Act application if I do not have a social security number?
Yes. Students who meet the AB 540 eligibility requirements are not required to have a Social Security number in order to submit the application. If an applicant has a Social Security number issued by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for work purposes only, that number should be entered on line #8 of the application. Line #8 should be left blank for applicants without Social Security numbers.

**In 2015-16, the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging students with DACA Social Security numbers to complete the FAFSA. This is not good advice for California students (attending college in CA). Undocumented AB 540 students should complete the CA Dream Act Application instead of the FAFSA. In the event you have already submitted a FAFSA before learning that you should submit a CA Dream Act Application, complete the CA Dream Act Application, then contact the California Student Aid Commission at 1-888-224-7268 to let them know that you have submitted both applications.

Is the California DREAM Act and FAFSA the same thing?
No. The California DREAM application and FAFSA are not the same application.

Undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid. If you attend an eligible California public or private institution, you will be considered for CA state financial aid--like Cal Grants, Chafee Foster Youth Grant, Middle Class Scholarship—and institutional aid—like University Grants, State University Grants, California Community College Board of Governors (BOG) fee waivers, and private scholarships administered through institutions. Your school will determine your financial aid eligibility. We encourage you to submit the CA Dream Act Application by March 2, because it is the deadline to receive consideration for most types of aid available to you.

What if my parents live in another county and I am living with another relative or other?
If you are 24 years or younger, and don’t meet any of the independent criteria (application questions #46-58), even if you do not live with your legal parents (your biological and or adoptive parents) you must provide your parents’ information, and one parent must sign your application. You cannot report your aunt, grandparent, sibling, boyfriend/girlfriend, legal guardian, or friend’s information in place of parent information unless they have legally adopted you.

If you are unable to get your parent information, complete the application as much as you can and see your college’s financial aid office (FAO) as soon as possible. The FAO will evaluate your condition and tell you if they can override the need for parent information. The California Student Aid Commission does not have the authority to override dependency or financial information.

Does my parent's citizenship status affect my eligibility for the DREAM Act (Financial Aid)?
No, your parent's citizenship status does not impact your eligibility to receive Dream Act (financial aid).