Dreamers & AB 540

What is FERPA? Will my immigration status be kept confidential?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  You can be reassured, that your immigration status and the information provided in the affidavit will be kept confidential and is not shared with immigration services.

When completing the AB 540 Affidavit, students who are undocumented check the same exact box that U.S. Citizens and Residents do to protect undocumented students. ("I am NOT a nonimmigrant alien. [U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or aliens without lawful immigration status, among others, should check this box.]) For more information about FERPA, visit the website.

For more information about FERPA as it relates to immigration status, visit Fears website.

What if my parents are not California residents?

When completing your admission application, your parent's citizenship, immigration and residency status is only used to determine your residency for tuition purposes. Your answers do not affect your admission. Your parent's immigration status will also stay confidential.

Know the Difference:
AB 540 vs California Dream Act vs DACA

AB 540 vs. California Dream Act vs. DACA
AB 540 California Dream Act DACA
AB 540 allows qualified non-California residents to be exempt from paying out-of-state tuition at public colleges and universities in California. Assembly Bills, AB 130 and AB 131, allow students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a discretionary immigration benefit granted by DHS. It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings.
Does not grant residency. Does not grant residency. Allows students to qualify for financial aid by completing the California Dream Act Application. DACA is not a law. It has only enacted for the past 6 years since 2012
You can visit the Sonoma State Office of Admissions & Records to pick up an affidavit or download it online. For the California Dream Act Application visit the CSAC website. Students should speak with an immigration attorney in regards to their situation before applying for DACA.


AB 540 or DACA do not grant a student legal residency and they will still be classified as a nonresident. Filing and meeting AB 540 requirements only exempts a student from paying non-resident tuition.

*Some students that may not qualify for AB540. May qualify for AB 2000, please visit the Admissions office for more information.

AB 540 Resources

Sonoma State University is committed to helping our students achieve their educational goals. The following may serve as sources of information for students, parents, and educators regarding on and off campus programs, and provide students with necessary resources to make their experience a successful one.