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AB540 or Dream Act

Dare to DreamGetting Started at Hancock

Welcome to Allan Hancock College! If you are looking for information that might pertain to undocumented students and the admissions process this is the place to start. Students cannot be denied admission to a California college or university based solely on residency status. However, the process might slightly vary from the typical. Undocumented students may be exempt from paying out-of-state tuition at a public college or university in California, but will need to meet the AB 540 eligibility requirements (see below for eligibility criteria).

Steps for enrollment at Allan Hancock College:

  1. Complete an online admissions application
  2. A. Determine if you are AB 540 eligible and complete the AB 540 Affidavit. If you are still in high school at the time of completing the admissions application, please complete the AB 540 High School Graduation Letter with your high school counselor. Turn in both forms to Admissions & Records.
    B. If you are not eligible for AB 540, you might qualify for seasonal agricultural exemption. Please see seasonal agricultural exemption form for more information.
  3. Apply for financial aid by completing the California Dream Act Application. The application will also determine if you qualify for the Board of Governor Fee Waiver (BOG), which waives your enrollment fees.
  4. Complete the online orientation
  5. Check your English and Math placement. You will be placed based off of your high school transcript information as reported 
  6. Complete an Educational Planning Workshop (EPW)
  7. Register for classes

Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) is a California State Law that allows undocumented student and documented nonresident students who meet certain requirements to pay in state tuition fees at any UC, CSU, or California Community College. By making college more affordable, AB 540 has had a significant impact on the lives of many undocumented students who have dreams of attending college. 

Students are eligible for the AB 540 (SB 68) if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • Attended 3 or more years of any combination of K-12 in California and have 3 or more years of California high school coursework OR attended a combination of California high school, adult school, and community college* for the equivalent of 3 years or more.
  • Graduate from a California high school or have the equivalent (i.e. California-issued GED, CHSPE, HiSET) OR complete an associates degree from a California community college OR complete minimum requirements at a California community college for transfer to the California public university systems.
  • Submit an affidavit (a written promise) to the college or university where they plan to attend.
  • Do not hold a valid non-immigrant visa

*A year's equivalence at a California community college is 24 semester units or 420 hours of attendance in noncredit courses. Maximum of two years of credit coursework at the community college can be counted towards eligibliity.

For official determinations of eligibility at AHC contact Admissions & Records Office at extension 3248

The California Dream Act (AB 130 & AB 131) allows eligible AB 540 students to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. AB 540 students are not eligible to apply for FAFSA, however California created the CA Dream Act Application for eligible AB 540 students in the place of FAFSA. Students should submit the CA Dream Act every year by March 2.

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Students.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a type of administrative relief from deportation. The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: protection from deportation, and a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal. DACA does not grant a path to permanent residency or citizenship. More information about DACA can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrating Services website.

* As of September 5, 2017 the Trump administration announced the rescission of DACA and will phase it out over the next six months. More info can be found on the  USCIS DACA announcement page and DACA Phase Out: What it Means for Undocumented Students & What to DO Now