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MSJC > Student Services > Counseling > In-State Tuition vs Out-State Tuition

In-State Tuition vs Out-State Tuition

What is AB 540?
 AB 540 is a California law that allows students, including *undocumented students, who have attended a high school in California for at least three years and graduated or attained the equivalent of a high school diploma, to pay in-state tuition to attend California public colleges or universities. Prior to 2002, when this law became effective, undocumented immigrant students were required to pay out-of-state tuition to attend public colleges and universities in California, which is much more expensive than in-state tuition.
What is in-state tuition vs. out-state tuition?
California Community College
*Effective Summer 2012
California State University (CSU) per year (**)
University of California (UC) per year(**)
In-State vs. Out-State
In-State vs. Out-State
In-State vs. Out-State
$46 per unit vs. $242 per unit
$5,131 vs.  $13,967
$11,300 vs. $28, 615
*Tuition may increase due to newly proposed California State Budget.
** All amounts are average and may vary from campus to campus.  Other fees may apply to each campus.
What are the AB540 eligibility?
  1. Attend a California high school for three or more years
  2. Graduate from a California high school or receive the equivalent of high school diploma (such as GED)
  3. Register or currently be enrolled in one of the three instituions of higher learning (CCC, CSU, UC).
  4. If undocumented, file and AB540Affidavit.pdfAB540Affidavit.pdf with the college or university stating that he or she will fiel an application to adjust their immigrant status as soon as they are eligible. 
How to apply for AB540 at Mt. San Jacinto College?
When applying for admission online, the box where you would put a Social Security number should be left BLANK, and then click on the following box: “Check the box if you have no Social Security number or decline to state.”
  • All of the information submitted to a college or university, including the AB540Affidavit.pdfAB540Affidavit.pdf, is protected by law and must be kept confidential. 
  • The information provided by the students will NOT be shared with anyone unless they grant written permission for the school to share their file, or unless there is a court order from a judge to view the file.
  • Visit Enrollment Services to file an affidavit, and provide official high school transcripts.


Know your Rights!
  • You cannot be denied admission to a California college or university based on your immigration status.
  • You are not required to show a state-issued ID and social security card to apply for admission to a California college or university.
  • You are not required to pay out-of-state, international, capital outlay, or penalty fees to enroll at a California public college or university if you qualify for AB540. 
  • You will pay the same fee as documented residents.


Warning: Perjury/Fraud

Falsifying information about citizenship, California residency, financial aid and/or military status could result in the following:

  1. Criminal charges for perjury and/or fraud if convicted, imprisonment
  2. Student disciplinary action, and/or
  3. Accumulated monetary charges for restitution or nonresident tuition due.



Please use the following websites to find scholarships information and more:



California Dream Act of 2011
For more information please link into the following links:
Update: Cal Grants for students who are AB540, the application opened as April 2, 2012 on the California Student Aid Commission website.
If you have any further questions contact the California Student Aid Commission at 1-888-224-7268.
*California Dream Act of 2011 – takes effect January 1, 2013 but applications are available now!

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Latino College Dollars

Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF)

Inland Empire Scholarship

Fondo Futuro Scholarship

The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute

Congress Woman Lucille Roybal-Allard

The New Partnership Foundation


USC Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis-The College & Financial Aid Guide for: AB 540 Undocumented Immigrant Students

Helpful information:


Publish by Educator for Fair Considerations (E4FC)

 Life After College:  A Guide for Undocumented Students  

 Guide for dreamers applying for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)



Undocumented student publish how-to guide for peers on finding jobs after college