Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action

Higher Education for AB 540 Students



Our Mission:
We are an institutional and educational program that provides free resources, reduces financial stress, and creates a safe learning environment for all students with an emphasis on undocumented/AB 540 information.

We are dedicated to empowering students, building leadership skills, promoting social justice, and advocating for higher education.

We Provide:
Computer and Printing Services
Scholarship and Transfer Information
Peer Advisors and Tutors
Book Loan Program
Access to Counselor


Who is an undocumented student?
Undocumented students are foreign nationals who come to the U.S. without legal documentation or have overstayed their visas. They may be eligible for in-state tuition under AB 540 at public colleges and universities in CA.
  • Each year, about 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high schools across the U.S., with more than 25,000 graduating from CA alone
  • Only 5-10% of undocumented high school graduates pursue higher education at two-year community colleges and four-year universities


What is AB 540?

Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) allows undocumented students or non-California residents to qualify for in-state tuition. There are 3 requirements to be eligible for AB540:
  • Attend a CA high school for 3 or more years
  • Graduate from a CA high school and receive a diploma or General Education Degree (GED)
  • Be currently enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education in CA (e.g. community college, California State University, University of California, etc.)

 Download a form here.


What is the CA DREAM Act?

The CA DREAM Act includes 2 Assembly Bills:
AB 130 allows students who are eligible for AB 540 to apply for and receive non-state funded scholarships for public colleges and universities in CA.

AB 131 allows students who are eligible for AB 540 to apply for and receive state-funded financial aid such as institutional grants, community college fee waivers, Cal Grant, and Chafee Grant.

Apply at: *

 *Applications due yearly on March 2nd


Contact us:
Office: Lower level of the Hinson Campus Center, Room 132
Phone: 408.864.5559

Join us on Facebook @



 Our Community Partners

SIREN- Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network

San Jose De-BUG

Educators for Fair Consideration

Community Law Center of East Palo Alto

Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action (VIDA) 

Office of Equity, Social Justice and Mutlicultural Education

SSRS- Student and Retention Services



Building: East Cottage

Contact: Cynthia Kaufman
Phone: 408.864.8739

Student Staff: David
Student Staff: Cadence
Student Staff: Dylan


Last Updated: 5/19/16