University of California nonresident students eligible for in-state fees under a new state law can now apply for a tuition exemption waiver. Eligible students who file an application will now pay about $4,000 a year instead of approximately $15,000.
The program covers certain nonresident U.S. citizens, nonresident permanent residents, as well as undocumented students; to qualify they must have attended high school in California for at least three years and graduated from a California high school. The exemption application includes an affidavit that applies to undocumented students; the affidavit states they have filed or will file an application to legalize their immigration status. Transfer and graduate students will need official high school transcripts.
Students can file an application to have their Spring quarter or semester nonresident tuition waived. The deadline to submit applications and any required documentation is the end of the Spring term. Starting in 2002-2003, new students must meet campus deadlines for submission of the exemption application (generally before tuition and fee payments are due at the beginning of the term).
Applications are available at each campus. Announcements of the availability of this new exemption will appear in campus newspapers, and may be sent out via email and direct mailings. Students may also receive information with billing statements, summer school orientation packets or other campus publications.
In January, the university’s Board of Regents voted to align the university with existing state law contained in AB 540, but requested additional legislation (AB 1543) to limit UC’s liability in the event that AB 540 was successfully challenged in state court. On April 8, 2002, Gov. Gray Davis signed an amendment to Assembly Bill 540, which went into effect immediately.
It is estimated that a few hundred UC students are eligible for the exemption. About half of these students are U.S. citizens classified as California nonresidents for various reasons.