Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is AB 540?
AB 540 stands for California Assembly Bill 540. It is a law that has been in effect since January 2002 which permits students to pay “resident fees” instead of “non-resident fees” if they meet certain criteria. The basic criteria to meet eligibility for AB 540 are the following:
- Three years enrollment in a California high school program
Completion of a California high school diploma, Certificate of Completion or a GED
- Enrollment in a public California institution of higher learning i.e. CCC, CSU, or UC
- A signed affidavit declaring the student’s statements to be true and, if they are undocumented, their intention of pursuing legal residency when they are eligible to do so.
2. Is student information, i.e. the affidavit, shared with outside agencies?
The information that a student shares with a college or university is protected by federal law. This information CANNOT be shared with anyone, including immigration officials.
3) What is the difference between resident &
non-resident tuition fees?
Non-resident fees for a full-time student (12 units) is $2600 per semester. Fees for full-time resident students or AB 540 eligible students are $432 + Health fees for each semester (fees are subject to change). That’s a savings of over $2000 per semester!!
4) Will AB 540 students become residents of
No, but they can enjoy paying the lower resident fees (see question 2.)
5) If a student enrolls in only 1 or 2 years in a high school and graduates, can they still be eligible for AB 540?
6) What are the first two requirements for adults to qualify for AB 540?
- Three years in one or more high school courses at CCSF High School Diploma Program (either Mission Campus or John Adams) or another California high school.
- GED (in Spanish, English or French) or a California High School Diploma
7) What is the GED?
The GED is a series of 5 tests that are recognized nationally as equivalent to a high school diploma.
8) If students already have their GED, do they qualify for AB 540?
No. Students with GED’s may qualify ONLY if they ALSO have 3 years enrolled in a California high school program.
9) What courses are offered in the CCSF High School Diploma Program?
Some of the courses offered include:
- Literature & Composition
- Beginning Algebra
- US History
- Contemporary US Writers
10) Will students’ English skills improve by taking the High School Diploma classes?
Yes, students’ English skills are likely to improve significantly, particularly if they enroll in courses that focus on grammar and writing. ESL students who take English courses through the CCSF High School Diploma Program frequently place much higher on the credit ESL test than those who don’t have this preparation. This may result in a savings of time and money in credit classes.
11) How much does the CCSF High School Diploma Program cost?
Nothing, it’s FREE.
12) Do AB 540 students qualify for Financial Aid?
Undocumented students are not eligible for Financial Aid but there are some scholarships available that don’t require residency.
13) Can students finish the high school requirements for AB 540 faster if they take more courses?
No. The law states they must be enrolled in a California high school program for 3 years. Please note: part-time enrollment is acceptable.
14) Can students take the GED in a language other than English?
Yes. The GED is available in Spanish and French.
15) If a student has been taking Non-Credit ESL classes for a long time, can these course count towards the CCSF High School Diploma Program?
No. However, ESL courses can count as elective credits if students ALSO take at least one high school course at the same time.