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Financial Aid Services

Undocumented Students


The College of San Mateo is committed to supporting undocumented students throughout their academic journey. We believe a student’s immigration status does not affect admission eligibility regardless of AB540/AB130/AB131/DACA-eligibility. We offer a variety of services and resources to further the success of our current and future undocumented students.

What is AB 540?

Assembly Bill 540 is a law that prevents public colleges and universities in California from discriminating against a student’s admissions based on their immigration status. Through AB540, qualifying undocumented students can pay in-state tuition at any CSU, UC and Community College in California.  AB 540 Affidavits are required and approved through the Admissions and Records Office in order to update a student’s residency status.

Though AB 540 establishes residency for tuition and financial aid purposes, these laws do not establish legal residency in California. For additional questions, please contact Admissions and Records.

AB540 Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • High school attendance in California for three or more years
  • or elementary or secondary school attendance,
  • or both in California for a total of 3 or more years and
  • attainment of credits earned in California from a California high school equivalent to 3 or more years of full-time high school coursework and a total of three or more years of attendance in California elementary schools, California secondary schools, or a combination of these schools.
  • Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California;
  • Must file or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that the filer will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.)

What are Assembly Bills 130 and 131?

Assembly Bill 130 (AB 130) of 2011, allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities. Assembly Bill 131 (AB 131) of 2011, allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant and Chafee Grant.

What is the California Dream Act?

As a response to AB 130/131, the California Dream Act application was created to allow eligible AB 540 students qualify for California state grants (Cal Grant) and other financial aid benefits within California. Available each year, the California Dream Act grants access to the CCPG fee waiver, CSM Promise, and EOPS. We strongly encourage students to complete their CA Dream Application by the March 2nd priority deadline of each academic year. Additionally, undocumented students who are ineligible to apply to the CA Dream Act can still look into scholarship opportunities through our campus. For information on the CSM Scholarship and outside scholarships, please visit the CSM Scholarships website.

How to Apply for CA Dream Act

  1. Apply for Admission to College of San Mateo
  2. Submit the AB 540 Affidavit to the Admissions and Records Office
  3. Submit a CA DREAM Act Application (CADAA)
    1. Add CSM-School code 00118100

Students are encouraged to submit their CADAA applications by March 2nd of every year! 

Types of Financial Aid for Undocumented Students

Type Amount
Cal Grant B $1,648 per year
Chafee Grant up to $5000 per year
Student Success Completion Grant $4,000 per semester
Scholarships up to $20,000 per year
CCPG $1,610 per year
EOPS varies

To get additional information on CSM resources for undocumented/AB540 student, please visit the CSM Dream Center. For more California State resources, please visit the CSAC website.

How and when do I get notify of my Financial Aid?

Financial Aid can take 4 to 6 weeks to process. After review of a student’s application and supporting documentation, students will get an email notification inviting students to check their WebSMART for award information and grant amounts.

Below are steps on how to access this information on WebSMART:

  1. Log in to WebSMART
  2. Select “My Eligibility”
  3. Select Award Year

Additional Resources for Undocumented Students

Contact Information

For questions on Financial Aid or assistance with completing the CA Dream Act for Undocumented Students, DACA recipients, and/or AB540 at CSM, please contact Yesenia Mercado ( or Claudia Menjivar (