Reedley High School

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AB 540 and CA Dream Act Students Resource page

The recent rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has left over 690,000 active DACAmented young people pondering their future. However, in California, there are laws and policies that support undocumented immigrants who desire to pursue an education. These initiatives are NOT tied to DACA; hence, students wishing to pursue higher education in California may do so knowing that if they meet the criteria for Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540), they will continue to be considered for in-state tuition and for state and institutional financial aid. The following outlines AB 540, AB 130, AB 131, and SB 1159.


AB 540 is a California state law passed in 2001 that allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. 


  • AB 540 status is authorized in state law, so it is not directly affected by the outcome of the recent DACA rescission.  Support for the AB 540 law remains strong at the University of California and among California policy makers. 


The California Dream Act is a California state law passed in 2011 that consists of two Assembly bills, AB 130 & AB 131.  Together these bills allow undocumented students to apply for / receive state aid programs, such as Cal Grant & Chafee, and public university grants and community college fee waivers (AB131), as well as private scholarships that do not require citizenship (AB130).


  • The financial aid available to undocumented AB 540 students comes from state and UC sources.  Therefore, the outcome of the federal election has no effect on the availability of your financial aid.
  • Eligible AB 540 students must submit the California Dream Act available online:

As of November 2018, the Undocumented Student Program at UC Berkeley offers their advice: