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Residency - AB540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption

Under the provisions of AB 540 (2001), certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California are exempted from payment of nonresident tuition at public colleges and universities in California, including Cabrillo.

 To Get the Exemption 

See the criteria below to see if you qualify.

 AB540 Exemption Request Form>>

Fill out the AB540 Exemption Request form and return it to us in person to the 100 Building, Aptos Campus, or to the Watsonville Center.

You can also fax it to (831) 479-5782, or mail it to the address provided on the form.

Note: We treat the information we obtain about you in this process as strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.

Do you qualify? To be exempt under this law, you need to:

  • have attended a high school (public or private) or adult school in California for three or more years and
  • have 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
  • not be on an F1, B or other nonimmigrant visa and
  • if you are an alien student without lawful immigration status you must file an affidavit with us stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status, or will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.


  • If you are a nonimmigrant [for example, you hold an F (student) visa, B (visitor) visa, etc.] then you are not eligible for this exemption.
  • If you are transferring from another California public college or university and wish to continue your exemption, make a new exemption request to us, along with required documentation.
  • If you meet the criteria, you will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but you will not be classified as a California resident. You will continue to be classified as nonresident.
  • If you are an undocumented alien student, AB540 does not make you eligible for state and federal financial aid. Click on the link to learn more about resources available to undocumented students.
  • If you went to Adult School in lieu of High School, please fill out the AB540 Exemption Supplementary Form, as well.
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