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Rights and Privacy


There are no laws that prevent undocumented students from attending public colleges and universities in California. Under AB540 legislation and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):

  • students are not required to present an ID or Social Security Card for admission
  • students are not required to show proof of legal U.S. residency for admission
  • students' files are kept confidential and cannot be shared to third parties, including immigration officials, unless the student provides written consent to release the information

Outside Resources

American Civil Liberties Union: https://www.aclu.org/

Educators For Fair Consideration: http://e4fc.org/

Assembly Bill 540 (AB540)

Assembly Bill 540 (AB540) is a law that was passed in 2001 that allows undocumented students who meet certain requirements to pay resident instead of non-resident tuition fees in California public colleges and universities.

To meet the requirements for AB540 status, students must:

  • have attended a high school (public or private) in California for at least three years or graduated early from a California high school with the equivalent of three or more years of credit *
  • 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).
  • 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.

* If you graduated early from high school under this provision, you must also have attended California schools (elementary and secondary) for a cumulative total of three or more years.

To change your residency status to AB540, submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request to the Admissions and Records Office. You will be asked to attach either official or unofficial high school transcripts with the form. After the form has been submitted to Admissions, students will be notified of the results via email.

Important: Please note that an AB540 status does NOT establish legal residency for undocumented students. It is an exception from paying non-resident fees.

Senate Bill 150 (SB150)

Concurrently enrolled students (high school students enrolled in college classes) who are classified as non-resident students for fee/tuition purposes may be eligible for the SB150 waiver of non-resident fees while still in high school. Students must be part-time (enrolled in 11 units or less) who currently reside in California and are attending high school in California. Students wishing to take advantage of this exemption should complete a California Residency Reclassification Request form and attach a copy of high school transcripts showing current enrollment. Forms and attachments should be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office.

Tuition fees

Non-resident students attending California's public colleges and universities are required to pay fees that are much higher than students who are California residents or AB540 eligible. Please refer to the charts below for more information regarding fees:

  Out of State
Student
California Resident
Student
AB540 Eligible
Student
BOG Eligible
Student*

 

Tuition cost

 

 

$269/unit

 

 

$46/unit

 

 

$46/unit

 

 

$0/unit

 

Student union fees
(max $10/year)

 

 $1/unit

 

 $1/unit

 

 $1/unit

 

 $1/unit

 

Student Activity Fees
(refund may be requested)

 

 $5/semester

 

 $5/semester

 

 $5/semester

 

 $5/semester

 

 

 * Undocumented AB540 students are eligible to apply for the Board of Governor's (BOG) Fee Waiver program.

California Dream Act

The California Dream Act of 2011 was passed into laws AB 130 and AB 131. At Diablo Valley College these laws allow undocumented AB540 eligible students to apply for and receive several types of state Financial Aid, including:

In addition, undocumented AB540 students may also apply for:

Students who meet AB540 requirements are strongly encouraged to complete the California Dream Act Application  by March 2 every year to qualify for the services mentioned above. Additional information and forms may be requested to confirm your eligibility for these programs. Please contact the Financial Aid, EOPS/CARE, CalWORKs, and Scholarship Office for more information.

DREAMers Scholarship

All undocumented students are encouraged to apply for the DREAMers Scholarship at DVC.

To qualify, students must:

  • have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • be a continuing student after Spring 2015

Students applying for this scholarship do not have to be AB540 eligible and the information on your application will be kept strictly confidential. For more information regarding the application process and requirements, please visit the Scholarship Office.

Below are additional links to external scholarships for undocumented students:

Student support services

All students, regardless of immigration status, have the right to access all general student services on campus. These services include, but are not limited to:

Resource guide for AB540 students at DVC

The California DREAM Act, Assembly Bill 540, and Senate Bill 150 extend many rights to undocumented individuals who wish to advance their formal educations.

In recognition of these laws and the importance of facilitating access to higher education, the DREAMers Alliance at Diablo Valley College has created a resource guide for individuals who have been marginalized by an undocumented status.  This resource guide is designed to inform undocumented students about their educational rights under California Law and to share information about the wealth of assistance - especially financial - available to students at DVC.

The guide offers step-by-step assistance with the enrollment process.  It also explains how to qualify and apply for additional support services on our campus including EOPS, CARE, CalWorks, Career and Transfer Services, and Financial Aid - including scholarships!

Click the image below to access the DVC AB540 Student Resource Guide

Resource Guide