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:

  • 3 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 (unless they have a written subpoena).

3) What is the difference between resident &
non-resident tuition fees?

Non-resident fees for a full-time student (12 units) total $3168 + health fees for the Spring 2017 semester. Fees for full-time resident students or AB 540 eligible students are $552 + Health fees for each semester (fees are subject to change). That’s a savings of over $2500 per semester!!

4) Will AB 540 students become residents of

No, but they are eligible to pay lower resident fees once the AB540 exemption form is filled out (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?

No. Students must complete 3 years of California High and Graduate from a California High School and fill out the AB540 exemption form.

6) What are the first two requirements for adults to qualify for AB 540?

  1. 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
  2. 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 GEDs 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:

  1. Literature & Composition
  2. Beginning Algebra
  3. US History
  4. Civics
  5. Contemporary US Writers
  6. Economics

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?

AB 131 permits non-resident students who qualify for AB 540 the opportunity to apply for California State Aid as of January 2013. However, AB 540 students are still not eligible to apply for Federal Aid.

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.

16) Where can students and faculty get more information about AB 540? 

Please contact any of the following:

  • The Academic Counseling Department at Mission Center, María Vásquez Rm 116, 920-6059 or Julissa Viñals Rm. 118, 920-6058
  • Academic Counseling, Ocean Campus MUB 039, 452-5235 or Nancy Vargas 239-3122,
  • Latino Services Network (LSN), 452-5335, Cloud Hall 364
  • Asian Pacific American Students Success Center (APASS) 452-5620, Batmale Hall 208